Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Camping at Avon Tyrell - 13/14th June

By Jack, Michael, and James.

At Avon Tyrrell
This weekend the group stayed at Avon Tyrrell outdoor activity centre, to learn navigation skills (useful for setting up our walks) and experience life as a First World War soldier. We pitched and slept in Bell tents, which involved an individual supporting a pole whilst others set the tent over the top. Sleeping in the tents was an enjoyable experience, despite the fact there was rain full which woke us all up.

The activities for the weekend included, map reading tasks, in which we split into teams of three and explored the area in search of check points, within thirty minutes. This exercise enabled us to learn orienteering skills to help us with our walk.

Our Pizzas!
Ashley leading the way.
Making the Hay Box
In addition, the group also challenged themselves to prepare and cook a pizza on a camp fire, with only basic equipment available, similar to the conditions soldiers would have had in the trenches. We had create a  pizza dough using gluten free flour, which proved a challenge to the making of the base, as it lacked in texture. We then added tomato sauce on top and grated cheese along side a pepperoni topping. The pizza was then folded and placed on top of a wire sheet above the camp fire. We allowed twenty minutes for it to be cooked and the result was a messy and soft pizza pasty which was not pleasant to eat. We also cooked a replica Maconchie stew similar to Irish stew which soldiers would have ate during the war, a definite improvement from the pizza disaster! We even practiced keeping the food warm in our own hay box.

Michael in the buggy
On Saturday the group ventured across Avon Tyrrell  into the New Forest where we individually navigated the entire group in order to return to our original destination. We ventured through open moors and through dense woodland of the forest, leading to open roads. One of our volunteers Michael drove a an all terrain BOMA buggy which allowed him to cross difficult areas that he otherwise would have not been able to. The walk was equally enjoyable as well as a challenge for all of us because of the hot temperature. The purpose of this walk was to enable us to set up our own walks whilst improving our navigation skills and team work. This was also to try and replicate the journey of a soldiers training for war.

The weekend showed us we were able to work well outdoors as a team and behave responsibly. We learned skills in navigation, cooking, communicating and map reading.We are very grateful to our tutors, Damon and Lewis, at Avon Tyrrell for their support and giving us fun activities to do. We would love to come back again soon!