Friday, 4 November 2016

Autumn fun day

Groups from across Bristol awoke bright and early to catch the coach down to Escot, where we spent the day exploring park, with it's maze, playgrounds and Saxon village.

For the Bristol Venturers, our 13 – 16 year olds, the adventure started the day before with a train journey and overnight bivy before joining the fun day. While fun it was a very wet evening, some boots are not as waterproof as others!

We were also joined by our youngest members, the Woochips and our mascot Woodcraft Bear, who enjoyed the day out.
Playing skittles in the Saxon village

Oh dear, perhaps he shouldn’t have done that

Grinding flour, the Saxon way

Picnic lunch round the campfire

Meeting the wild boar

Fun on the drop slide

The famous Escot swamp walk.

Perhaps this one’s a bit deep for bears

A nice warm cup of tea sounds much better

Sunday, 25 September 2016

A Weekend in the woods

Our activities over the last few group nights have been building up to this, our weekend out in the woods. One of the highlights of the woodcraft year.

As well as the fun of sleeping out, and cooking over the campfire it's also fantastic to join up with the Bristol venturers (13 - 16 year olds) and see some familiar faces.

Something we haven't tried before was cooking a chocolate cake inside an orange. Although I think we might need a bit more practice, or more embers. Quite a few did need to go back in the fire for a second round of cooking.

Lots of time to chill out and of course do a bit of whittling.

Night time brought out the local wildlife

In the morning it's time for everyone's favorite breakfast in a bag.


Lots of work went into making these little lanterns. Sewing a bag and using rope making techniques to twist our own cord for hanging them up.

You don't quite get the full effect until dark though.

End of the summer term

Summer evenings mean lots of time for playing games outside, and tonight we also found time to practice setting up our shelters, ready for our Autumn night under the stars.

This one makes a great winter shelter, nice and low to the ground to keep the warm air inside, and steep sides to shed the rain.

This one works best as a summer shelter Higher off the ground makes it easy to stand p and work underneath when you need a bit of shade and means there should be a nice breeze through to stop it getting too hot.

A night in miniture

The challenge was for each group to design a pan support, strong enough to hold a pan of food over the fire too cook. The catch was to do the whole thing on a small scale.

Each group was given some straws (wooden poles), plastercine (earth), String (rope) and a plastic cup of jelly (pan of baked beans). Some designs are perhaps more likely to work "in the wild" than others.

And how else would we round of a cooking in minutre evening, but toasting mini marshmallows. Yummy.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Our new group banner is complete

The circus is here

We had a great time out on the field tonight practicing our circus skills.

The children made their own spinning poi, and worked hard practicing with them. We also had some spinning plates, juggling balls, and other circus bits to experiment with.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Spring camp and caving.

Preparations for camp started early, in our group we've made welly pegs to keep our boots together, made signs to hang on our beds and made a new group banner to take along to decorate the marquee.

Each year there are also a few bits of equipment which need replacing and this year was no different. A new colander made draining the potatoes so much easier.

This years Spring Camp was a little different to the previous couple of years. The site was mendip canvas village, where the tents are all ready set up, we slept in bunk beds and there was a fantastic central "hub" tent. With lots of room and space to play. As it turned out that was very handy as the first night and most of the second day were quite wet!.

We still had our bushcraft space with some fire lighting, whittling and the odd toasted marshmallow, along with a wide game and of course everyone still had their clans to help out with all the jobs to keep the camp running.

The site is also close to a number of caves, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to go and explore.

The banoffee pie was mentioned by quite a few children as one of th best bits of camp. 70 people eat quite a lot of pie.

As the rain finally started to clear on Saturday evening we were treated to a lovely rainbow.

The giant bubbles worked really well, so much fun.

A busy term

It's been a very bust term with lots of different things going on. Warm weather and lighter evenings mean we've been able to make the most of the outdoors.

We've decorated posts and planted sunflowers, which are growing well. I wonder how tall they will get this year.

Paper marbling was great fun too, all the swirling patterns were lovely to look at.

Clay is always popular and the children made some lovely creations.

It also lead to our big hit of the term, lots of the children wanted to splatter paint their clay creations, a bit too much mess for the hall. However, old clothes and a warm evening made for a very messy but fun evening. We had to leave the paint to dry before we could peel off the tape and revel the pictures, so sadly there aren't very many pictures of the finished items.

We were also getting ready for our Spring camp, everyone needs a welly peg to keep their boots together, and with bunk beds this year the children got creative making signs for their beds.