The Perse School

PES Wilderness Group holds inaugural Forest Camp

12 May 2015

Over the Bank Holiday weekend, the new Perse Exploration Society Wilderness Group went on their inaugural ‘Forest Camp’ to Norfolk, for a weekend of camping and putting the skills they have been learning throughout the year into practice. Year 10 pupil and Chief Elder Ailis Halligan has written an account of this action-packed weekend.

“The 1st of May dawned bright and sunny and by 9am Wilderness Group’s first ever Forest Camp was officially under way. Two vans full of equipment, six canoes and a coach full of 40 students were headed for Norfolk to enjoy a weekend of fun-filled activities. The aim of our camp was based more on survival skills than the more off-site activities you might find in Ascent Group.

On arrival, the three clans – Forest, River and Plains – were given the task of building the shelters they would sleep in over the weekend plus one communal shelter for each clan. This was done very well and next year we are aiming for students to build their shelters only out of natural materials. A special mention goes to Angus Heaphy and Sean Clubb who managed to build an entirely natural shelter from leaf litter and dead wood. The next task was to light fires which would later cook huge chicken kebabs for dinner.

Saturday and Sunday brought rotational activities such as camouflage and concealment, candle making, trapping and skinning rabbits and carving. Students were able to try their hand at canoeing with a few people ending up in the lake! Meals including pheasant, whole butterfly salmon and handmade pizzas were cooked over fires and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.

The weather stayed nice over the whole of camp except for a bit of rain on Saturday night. However, due to our excellent shelter building skills, everyone stayed dry. During the rain, we played a fast-paced wide game with the theme of ‘zombie apocalypse’, and plans are under way to produce Wilderness Group’s very own epic wide game for Forest Camp 2016.

Camp closed on Sunday night with a group campfire and a prize-giving ceremony, where the ‘Beaver’ awards (hardest worker) were won by Masaki Hattori, Mark Fernandes, Seth King and Anna Loudon. After a very quick and efficient pack up on Monday morning, Wilderness Group headed back to school; tired after an action-packed weekend.”

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