PES Field Weekend in the Norfolk Broads
22 Oct 2014
As part of last week’s ‘field weekend’, students from the Perse Exploration Society headed to the Norfolk Broads to begin their training for their summer expedition to the Swedish lakes. Fire leader, Ellie Harrison, wrote an account of her memorable trip.
“Last weekend, 61 students took part in the first stage of their training for the Summit 11 Sweden expedition next June. Split into 10 fires, or groups, camp was set up in darkness in a field next to Salhouse Broad in Norfolk. These fires will stay and work together for all training exercises, as well as the final trip.
Friday night was mild but windy, severely testing the pegging of the tarps under which students slept. Dawn on Saturday revealed the very pleasant location of the site. Group tarps were put up and the difficulties of lighting fires for breakfast with damp materials became evident.
Canoes were carried down to the broad where strokes and skills were honed, and we went on an expedition down river to Horning to check the quality of Norfolk ice-cream. The return trip finished with races to the shore.
The need to collect and dry firewood the day before had been learnt, so the lighting of Sunday morning fires was much more successful, and breakfast was completed in reasonable time. Bush-craft skills of first aid, hog -roasting and carving of much-needed tent pegs were taught on a beautiful autumn day.
Thai green curry, hog-roasts and toasted marshmallows provided excellent evening sustenance, preparing everyone for the final morning of canoe rescue training. All students went through drills for recovering people and canoes from water – the water was very cold, despite the sunshine!
The weekend was busy but great fun, and left students much more prepared and excited for the trip to Sweden.”