PES adventurers prepare for the Swedish Lakes in Norfolk
6 Nov 2018
Lewis Long (Year 11) shares his experience of the Summit 11 training expedition to Fritton Lake
Over half term, Summit 11 embarked on a training exercise on the banks of Fritton Lake in Norfolk. With around 80 students participating in the trip, it was set to be a rather busy but nonetheless enjoyable trip. The fire leaders were dispatched slightly earlier than the rest of the troop in order to complete their food shop. This gave time for the rest of the troop to arrive and settle in before the activities started. For the rest of that first day, the focus was on setting up the personal sleeping areas and the group tarps for each fire. With the help of all the staff, everyone managed to get their hammock up and work their way around problems such as tarps that were too small for the hammocks and lack of paracord.
Day two proved to be a much busier day with Group 1 setting off on their canoeing adventure for the day and Group 2 taking part in some outdoor baking, lessons in first aid and varied bushcraft skills. The canoeing served as excellent preparation for the trip to Sweden later this academic year.
We started with some lessons on how to control the canoe using specialist paddle strokes and communicating well with your partner. As the afternoon progressed, and much to the horror of the students, it was time for the capsize drills! The aim of this task was to make sure everyone knows exactly what to do in the event of a capsize in the middle of a Swedish lake. It involved two people capsizing and four people helping them out of the water and recovering their boat. After this, Group 1 headed towards the warm showers and dry land. The same exercises were repeated on day three with Group 2, however the weather was not quite as friendly with heavy rainfall throughout the day. However in the true Perse Exploration Society spirit of ‘the show must go on’ the capsizing drills continued and almost everyone managed to have their turn by the end of the day.
Meanwhile, on the bushcraft side, the students were working through their CTCS (cutting tools competency skills) assessments attempting to progress up to the white band of a cutting tools leader. They also took part in cooking some delicious cinnamon swirls and completed in-depth training for first aid eventualities that could occur during the Sweden expedition. Finally, with the main part of the expedition behind us, it was time to pack up camp and do the infamous PES litter sweep over the whole site in accordance with our ‘leave no trace’ guidelines. It was a very quiet coach trip home as the multiple fun yet tiring activities caught up with us. With little unpacking to do back at the Outdoor Pursuits Centre, the students were dismissed and there ended this year’s summit 11 training expedition in a raging success.