Emma is one of our Adventure Activities IOW Superstar Trainee Instructors. The following post was written by Emma based on some of the Bushcraft training she recently received in her instructor training.

‘Last week I took a trip down to the woods, which is not normally my hang out spot. A very different view point from my paddle board view or the Freshwater Coffee Shop where I spend most of my time!

The wood had something very different to offer, it was an education let me tell you! Without the protection of my 5mm wetsuit or my Almond Latte I was in for a bit of a forest awakening…

The forest I am referring to was Brighstone Forest, where we regularly bring groups of all types to explore some Bushcraft (Bushcraft is the term used to describe Wildness Survival skills!), normally being an assistant or a helpful hand to these groups I had never truly dived into the brushcaft world… till now!

I thought I would share the 5 things I learnt from Brushcraft training….

 

  1. A hashtag is more than just a way of getting likes on Instagram!

 A hashtag fire is what I found to be one of the many and easiest ways (In my opinion) to get a roaring fire, that is defiantly an Instagram worthy photo! It is literally a dose what is says on the tin, you start with a layer of larger sticks sitting next to each other all facing the same way. The next layer is the same but rotated 90degrees, just like a hashtag! Think of it like you are setting up a Jenga game. This continues with each layer being smaller size sticks until you are just putting small twigs on the top. You would then layer hay, shavings and cotton wool to finish it off. And there you have a hashtag that will keep you warm and cook your dinner!

  1. Where you lay your head is everything 

 One of the many things we covered was wild camping and how to build a shelter that you can survive the night in, and let me tell you a forest mattress is amazing! (Fun fact your body needs to maintain a core temperature of approximately 37oC (98.6oF) to stay warm). When I first started building the shelter I thought using wood on the ground of the shelter was a waste of wood and time, but when taking a break, I wriggled into my shelter and had a sit down, the damp and cold instantly started to creep up my legs. I couldn’t imagine how I would ever stay warm laying on the forest floor all night. However we then learnt that making a bed of leaves and sticks is a far more efficient and comfortable way of spending a night on the forest floor!

  1. A top tip!

There are some little things that can really help you fend for yourself if you were ever stuck out in the wild. This is one of my favourites…

Waterproof matches! These are so simple and so useful and you can make them very easily at home. All you have to do is take some normal matches and dip the top half in melted candle wax and let it set. If you were planning a little expedition into the wild this is a really easy little technique that keeps your matches dry when the skies decide open on your camp!

  1. I could have been a carpenter in another life 

An amazing thing we were taught was how to carve wood into useful objects, mine was a butter knife. Silly as it sounds it was amazing!! I have never got into an activity as much as I did making my little butter knife. My favorite part was carving detail into the handle to which I added an Aztec style. We also learnt all about the best wood to use, how and where to get it. When asked what I was doing that evening I had to stop myself from saying more carving!

  1. Know your Bear Grilles from your Ray Mears 

Knowledge is everything, there is so much to know and learn in Brushcraft. And each part of my training, whether it be knowing my Ash from a Sycamore tree or knowing how to make fresh drinking water. I feel I have just touch on the tip on the knowledge and I can and will go so much deeper. 

So, there you have it my top 5 Bushcraft Tips, it was a struggle to pick just 5. I learnt so much on my course and still have so much to learn and can’t wait to get started on furthering my journey in Bushcraft’

 

Adventure Activities IOW offer Bushcraft experiences for everyone. Whether you’re a family, party, stag or hen group, school group or just want to learn some nifty skills yourself. Our 2 hour introduction to Bushcraft based in Brighstone Forest teaches you a range of basic woodland survival skills from Fire making to basic tool making! 

Emma 

Special thanks to Adventure Activities and Ed the Tree

The whole Adventure Activities UK team were beyond excited this morning to discover that our very own Aiden, has been shortlisted for the ‘Inspiring Educator Award’ in the 2017 Outstanding Contribution to Learning Outside the Classroom Awards by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC). 

These awards “recognise individuals and teams of people who are committed to ensuring that young people have inspiring experiences outside the classroom” in the very shorttime that he has worked in Outdoor Education we know that there are countless examples of Aiden delivering just that to a wide range of Adventure Activities Isle of Wight’s clientelle. Whether he is working with school groups, NCS programmes, corporate groups, tourists, or on a one-to-one basis, Aiden is an outstanding Instructor and Outdoor Educator, and a pleasure to be around. He is passionate and dedicated to sharing unforgettable Adventures with everyone he is lucky enough to be working with, and his positive and happy demeanor is both infectious and inspiring to clients and colleagues.

Just to be shortlisted for this award is an honour, but we would LOVE IT if he won!

Here is where you lovely people come in… the winner will be decided by public vote. If you have had the pleasure of meeting Aiden you will know that how much he deserves this award. We would be so grateful if you would follow this link and please vote for Aiden Clark – voting closes on the 23rd October 2017.

If you want to know more about why we decided to nominate Aiden for this award, read on…

Aiden started working at Adventure Activities UK in April 2016 as an Apprentice Instructor. He was chosen from a large number of applicants for many reasons, but mainly for his enthusiasm, positive attitude and ebullient personality. Over the past year these traits have allowed him to grow into a very confident and competent outdoor educationalist.

Aiden is a skilled practitioner in many land and water based activities. He is the lead instructor in our Opportunities programme, which works with disaffected young people. Aiden’s versatility allows him to adapt his teaching style with ease between working with our NCS Residential programmes, ‘Young Adventurers’ Holiday club, school groups, additional needs groups, and also family and adult tourism bookings. Aiden has shown that he has the skills and abilities to inspire and encourage people of all ages to achieve the very best they can during their time in his sessions.

A stand out case on Aiden’s influence and positive affect is his continued work with  a child with Pathological Demand Avoidance and Sensory Processing Disorder. This child was very keen to have a go at archery and climbing, but his mother was very concerned about his ability to listen to others and follow instructions. After just one session with Aiden they were so impressed that they have been coming on a weekly basis for the past few months. The child’s mother wrote to AAUK to express her thanks to Aiden and mention how much the sessions have developed her sons cognitive abilities, confidence and social skills

A further example comes from one of the disaffected young people attending our Opportunities Programme, who felt like Aiden was more like a ‘big brother’ due to his positive and inspirational approach. This impact has been huge for the young person’s social, emotional and personal development.

At the other end of the scale, Aiden has developed and leads both the ‘welcome’ speech and final sessions with our NCS residential groups (135 teenagers). These ‘final note’ sessions may by a Mr Motivator style morning dance-workout, a wide game, or a final brief of how the week’s activities have fulfilled the NCS criteria. Aiden is always one of the staff mentioned on the feedback forms from both the staff and young people. He is said to be inspirational, caring and fun.

At the end of this summer season Aiden will be taking up his place at Brighton University to undertake a Sports Coaching Degree with the view to becoming a teacher. This will be a great loss to AAUK, but a great gain for the teaching profession and all the young people he will come in to contact with.

Throughout his short time at AAUK Aiden has had a very positive affect on the lives of a great many young people. His hard work and positive attitude combined with his outgoing personality have impacted on the social, emotional and personal development of many. We feel that he is very worthy to be nominated for the LOtC Educator Award.

We all have our fingers firmly crossed!!

Awards for Outstanding Contribution to LOtC

 

Bushcraft is something everyone can gain skills in and have fun learning. Our Isle of Wight Bushcraft introductions are run by a Bushcraft specialist who has years of experience in outdoor living and teaching bushcraft. We utalise the best locations on the Isle of Wight for our Bushcraft courses. We provide all the equipment you need, and even the food and drink for you to experiment with on the fires that you will make using traditional methods – no matches here!
This is an ideal family activity whatever the weather. You’ll build a shelter together and then learn to make fires. You can relax together enjoying some food and drink that you have made. All the time you’ll have an experienced bushcraft instructor there to show you what to do and to give you loads of advice on tips and techniques. Great fun for everyone no matter what age!
Climbing on the Isle of Wight. Do you want to try rock climbing in a safe atmosphere with friendly instructors?
Our introduction to Climbing will introduce you to challenge of climbing, but as slowly and as gently as you want. If you feel like you want to do some harder climbing, or you are in a mixed group, don’t worry our experienced instructors will find plenty to challenge you.
For your Climbing Adventure, you will meet us at our base at our Tapnell adventure centre. Your instructor will greet you, explain what is going to happen and then get you kitted out for the 30 minute adventure.
You will be given a top quality climbing equipment.
These climbing adventures are aimed at those who have never climbed before and for family groups who want to stay together.