The Holiday Clubs Are BACK (But With A Difference)

One thing’s for sure – it’s been a very strange and downright worrying few months for everyone! But as life slowly starts to return to something resembling normality and people go back to work, here at We Are Adventurers we want to help give your children the adventures they’ve been missing out on during lockdown this summer.

That’s why we are so happy to announce that from 6th July until the start of September at Trafford Ecology Park woods and from 20th July until the start of September at Brookburn Primary School we will be running two holiday clubs – reintroducing little adventurers to the excitement of being outdoors.

Say goodbye to days cooped up inside. Instead there will be plenty of fun in the forest with tree climbing, zip wires, den building, game playing and fire lighting. All designed to grow your child’s confidence and enhance their wellbeing through developing woodland skills and good old fashion fun – with absolutely no screens allowed!

But while we want to keep the experience for all the little adventurers involved as normal as possible, as you would expect we have had to make some changes to keep everyone safe:

  • Rather than large groups, we are now operating on a bubble system, where each bubble has ten children and one instructor who stay together at all times.
  • We are running on reduced numbers to give everyone plenty of room to play.
  • Additional facilities have been created so we can increase the frequency of handwashing. 
  • Children must be booked in for a week to keep the bubble small.
  • Children must be sent to us with a packed lunch and water bottle.
  • Each bubble will have a staggered start and finish time so that lots of parents don’t arrive at the same time.
  • If you use the early or late drop off facility, please maintain a safe distance from others.


We can’t wait to get back out there and we know the children are eager to get out there and have some fun too!

Video: Daily Challenge Introduction

We know that not everyone will find it easy to keep their kids active whilst carefully following the guidelines issued to keep you, you family and others safe throughout this period. To help, we’ll be publishing daily challenges for you and your little ones to undertake over on our Facebook to keep enjoying the great outdoors. Watch the video below for some words from Paul, our Lead Adventurer, explaining how this will work and why we’re so passionate about doing it!

We will post a new daily challenge on our facebook page at 2pm – we hope you and your little adventurers will be able to join us.

Simple Tips For A Nature Inspired School Run

A National Trust report recently revealed that 83 per cent of children and 79 per cent of adults never or have rarely smelt wildflowers. And three quarters of children around the UK have rarely or NEVER listened to birdsong. 

With so much nature around us, taking a moment to appreciate it is proved to improve our wellbeing and mindfulness. People who do find the time to notice the sound of the first birds tweeting in the morning – and not immediately tapping into social media – are proven to be happier overall.

But it doesn’t have to mean a big adventure. Get your little ones (and yourself) interested in nature on the school run with these simple tips:

  • Stop – If you have an extra few minutes, take a detour through a green space – but if not, just look at some colourful gardens on your walk in. Ask your kids which ones are best for bees? See if you can spot any insects on the flowers.
  • Look – When the leaves have fallen from the trees bird nests are easy to spot. Keep a running tally on each school run for a week so that you have time to spot the more challenging ones as well as the easy ones.
  • Listen – Birds are all around us. The most common city birds are Starlings, Sparrows and Pigeons. Where there is a food source they’re never too far away. See if you can spot the different type of birds (don’t worry if you don’t know their names – just point out their similarities and differences).
  • If you live near a park, make a point of passing through on the way home from school. Take a bug hunting guide with you and tick off the list each time they spot one. Do it seasonally and they’ll quickly learn differences.
  • Celebrate the new flowers as they come into season, by challenging them to be the first to spot the new snowdrops, a yellow daffodil or a red tulip. Friendly competition is a great way to get them engaged in nature.
  • During the summer months gardens are a hive of activity. Bees swarm flowers and butterflies flit. But there has been a decline in recent years – blamed mainly on environmental damage. Get your children interested in insect extinction. Download an app or print off a sheet so they can start a butterfly or bee count. With many different species out there – get them to compete to find the most types by the end of the week.
  • Play tree detectives – challenge your little ones to see the similarities and differences between two trees on your way to school. See if they can put their arms all the way around the trunk and compare the difference in size. Pick up a leaf that’s fallen from each tree and compare it. Use body parts as a measuring guide…Is it the same size as your thumb? Or as big as your forearm?
  • This one requires some extra prep – but it’s worth it! Head out with a roll of sellotape and encourage your child to find a stick on the way to school. Look for natural leaf fall, feathers, grasses and fallen blossom petals and stick them onto the stick to help tell the story of their walk to school. By the time they get there – it’ll be worthy of a class show and tell!
  • Make a plan to draw a map of their way to school that involves natural markers as well as buildings and roads. Encourage your children to find the natural markers on their way to and from school. Making the map is a great rainy day activity – but just talking about is enough to get them looking.
  • Hedgehogs can travel between one and two kilometers every night, but there are many blockages that we humans put in their way to stop their natural route. Encourage your little ones to spot a Hedgehog route or barrier to help them to think about making greenspaces safe spaces for our spikey friends.

What Could You Do In 2.5 Hours?

According to research, we now spend more than 2.5 hours a day looking at our smartphones. The team at WAA did the maths and worked out that this equates to 38 days of the year – which got us thinking about what you could do with all that extra time if you just switched off.

The link between spending too much time online being harmful to our mental and physical health is well documented. In Manchester, teachers and families have raised concerns about what feels like a growing epidemic of school children suffering from mental health issues as a result of social media.

Whatever your age, stepping away from smartphones and screens gives us an endless amount of benefits to our physical and mental health. A recent study found that spending just two hours a day in nature is just as important as getting your five a day.

So, it’s time to put down the tablets, get outside and test your abilities. Here’s some inspiration of what you can achieve in 2.5 hours.

(ALMOST) FREE TO DO

A Family Walk

No matter where you live, there is never a path, woodland or piece of countryside too far away – So why not enjoy the fresh air with a tech-free family walk for a couple of hours? The views of the Yorkshire Dales from Pen-y-ghent never fail to inspire, or maybe take in the Rivington Pike Walk, which is perfect if you have younger children! 

Kite flying

Keep it simple and show your youngsters how to fly a kite. 2.5 hours is more than enough time to head outdoors and create some great memories. Manchester’s very own Heaton Park was recently named the best place in the UK to fly a kite, so there’s really no reason not to give it a try!

Nature scavenger hunt

Another favourite for little ones, a scavenger hunt is the perfect way to turn a dull afternoon into an exciting one. Hunting for treasure and collecting items along the way, a scavenger hunt is one of the best ways to get your children engaged with nature. A 5 senses hunt is also a great way to get your children intuned with their senses, using sight, sound, touch, smell and taste to explore their surroundings. Plan your own or get in touch with us for some inspiration. 

EXPLORING WITH THE ADVENTURERS TEAM

An outdoor adventure birthday party

Rather than being cooped up inside, an outdoor adventure birthday party would allow your little ones the freedom to explore and discover new terrain. From pirates and princesses to a superhero adventure, tailor a party to your child’s interests and get their imaginations thriving. 2 and a half hours is a perfect amount of time for your little ones to spend their special day enjoying mother nature, whilst still enjoying all the things you would expect from any birthday party.

Babes in the wood

They’re never never too young to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, and we run special sessions for younger children to enjoy an hour of exploration and discovery. Bring your little ones along to one of our sessions and let them learn to enjoy the great outdoors. Studies have suggested time outdoors from a young age helps children build confidence and self esteem whilst developing emotionally, intellectually and physically. 

FOR BIGGER KIDS / GROWN UPS

As you’ll be all-too aware, it’s not just children who are spending excessive amounts of time on their digital devices. Whether it’s in the workplace, out and about, or at home, it’s easy to get lost in the digital world. So, what do we recommend for you adults wanting to get away from the screen?

Take to the waters

Challenge yourself and learn to canoe! Canoeing is a brilliant way to improve fitness, strength and flexibility, not to mention a great way to lower stress levels (which, let’s face it, we all need every now and then!). Whether you’re a beginner, an expert or maybe somewhere in between, a couple of hours on the water is sure to be an exciting way to spend some time away from your devices and amongst nature.

Venture into the unknown 

Step out of your comfort zone and discover the depths of the underground. Explore caverns and chambers filled with rock formations on a caving trip. As these kinds of courses are specially designed with groups in mind, it’s also a fantastic way to get your friends out there with you and enjoying the great outdoors. Fancy giving it a go? Get in touch with us and we can recommend the perfect excursion for you and your friends, family or colleagues.

The sky is the limit

Another exciting activity perfect for adults which is not just good for your body, but also your mind. Climbing combines complex decision making with physical activity, and is proven to improve memory, concentration and even creativity. With beginner and advanced options available, our climbing excursions are designed to challenge and test your skills in a way that suits your needs, and are all led by a team of trained instructors. 

A 24-hour detox

Okay, so sometimes 2.5 hours just isn’t *quite* enough. For a fully immersive experience, trying coming along to our new introduction to bushcraft course. Learn techniques and skills to thrive in a natural environment, with so much to learn you’ll forget all about your Facebook inbox and Instagram likes. After a day away from your screens and devices, you’ll be well set for taking more time out in the future and finding other ways to enjoy nature, be it in the local area or further afield.

 

Talking All Things Duke of Edinburgh

Following a successful Silver open award last weekend, Dave Nolan at We are Adventurers talks all things Duke of Edinburgh (DofE)

In case you don’t know what the awards are, the DofE is for everyone aged 14-24, from any background, circumstance, culture or religion. In fact over 68,000 young people across the UK from a disadvantaged background did their DofE in 2018/19.

There are four different sections to complete at Bronze and Silver Award level and five at Gold Award level. The four sections for Bronze, Silver and Gold awards are: Volunteering, Skills, Physical and the Expedition. Meanwhile those that take the Gold award also have to complete a Residential section. 

With the Duke of Edinburgh season running from March until October – this will likely have been the last expedition for the year – and what a finale it was!

Five DofE participants put themselves forward for the expedition in the Peak District to complete their open Silver award.

Having already completed the Volunteering, Skills and Physical side of their Silver DofE award – they had just one more to complete – and pass – a three day expedition in order to receive their awards. 

During this part of the award the entrants had to take part in a trek or a walk, and then camp overnight for at least one night. The expeditions are all about camp craft, communication, working together, confidence and navigation. If an individual fails, the whole team fails. The point being that the group – whether they know each other or not – is to work together to navigate themselves through the walk, set up camp and complete the expedition. 

The Silver award requires participants to be out for a minimum of seven hours – four hours of walking and the rest setting up camp or cooking their food – this is where We Are Adventurers came in. 

This weekend’s group of three girls and two boys came up to the Peak District from Birmingham, Surrey and Lincolnshire. Two of them knew each other from school but the rest had only met over social media in preparation for the weekend.

They all came from different backgrounds – one was a farmer’s son, another has parents in the RAF, and another has just three other pupils in his class at school. So they were a really diverse group thrown together by the Duke of Edinburgh to sink or swim. 

They ended up being a great team – and did brilliantly well getting to know one another, bonding and working their way through the challenge together. 

Despite being the weekend my wife was due to have our baby – I set off for the Peak District hoping for the best – and with my mobile phone to hand!  

We met at Bamford train station on the Friday morning where we gave the guys their equipment before sitting them down with the assessor. He gave them a quick run through of the route and off they went to tackle the first section of the trek. 

The level of observation or assistance depends on the award. For the silver award at the weekend the assessor and myself kept a good distance away from the team, catching them at various points of the trek – and sometimes just observing through binoculars. 

They were an amazing group and found their way to the first campsite to set up for the Friday night. 

We were all up early the next day (still no baby thankfully) and off the group headed for the second day trek. Travelling around Edale the group navigated themselves to the next campsite leaving them ready to tackle the third and final days’ trek. 

The team bring their own food, having been introduced over social media beforehand so they are able to work out together how best to keep weight down with the items they choose. 

I’m pleased to say that this group passed. We haven’t yet received feedback from the assessor but they have been told they are now Silver Duke of Edinburgh award holders. 

Following a successful weekend it’s always good to hear from the parents as to how their sons or daughters enjoyed the day.

One parent summed it up perfectly…she said: “My daughter really enjoyed the DofE silver expedition weekend. Challenging but highly rewarding. Thanks again for arranging and also pickup and drop-off.”

Another said: “Our daughter had an amazing time and didn’t even mind the rain too much. Thank you very much for organizing it all so smoothly and for overseeing everything throughout the weekend.”

And the baby still hasn’t arrived… watch this space!

MUD GLORIOUS MUD

American scientists have identified a healthy fat that hides in muck that has the power to fend off anxiety disorders and bringing us one step closer to a “stress vaccine.” 

In May 2019, researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder revealed that they had discovered that mycobacterium vaccae, a nonpathogenic species of bacteria that lives in mud, has an inflammatory fat liquid that is released through exposure that actually blocks stress receptors that may become inflamed in stressful situations.

The research team, led by Professor Lowry, stressed that this is just the start of us beginning to understand the health and wellbeing benefits of exposure to the beneficial microbes that exist within soil and the environment that we have long lived alongside.

It is over 30 years since it was first suggested that exposure to germs could in fact bolster our immune systems. The theory, called the “hygiene hypothesis” is similar to the theory behind vaccinations – our bodies need practise in helping to develop ways to fight off germs or infections. 

That theory has been refined over the years – but the simple fact is that children need to be exposed to microorganisms throughout their childhood so that they build up stronger immune systems. 

The lack of exposure has been shown to be a reason behind a rise in immune related conditions such as allergies and asthma.

At We Are Adventurers, we champion the benefits that children get emotionally, intellectually and physically by time spent outdoors and it is an important aspect of our work that we get parents involved in this theory too. 

  Studies have long-since shown us that outdoor play gives our children the feel good factor and releases endorphins that can lie dormant when sat in front of a TV screen or computer. 

But this latest research goes deeper than just watching how children behave – and takes a look at the science behind it. 

Whichever way you look at it, it screams to us – MUD IS GOOD. 

As well as helping to support our immune system it can also help fend off mental illness. So let your kids make mud pies, encourage them to jump in muddy puddles… and if you can’t beat them .. Join them! (With a little help from us at We Are Adventurers)

 

Target Archery

Learn Archery

Inspired to take up the bow and arrow from Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games or Legolas in Lord of the Rings?

This summer, junior adventurers will be the first to try their hand with a bow and arrow in our brand new target archery adventure.

Archery is part of our new programme developed especially for children aged 8 upward and includes animal tracking, advanced survival skills and bushcraft skills.

Children new to archery will learn how to shoot safely as they develop basic skills, improve coordination and grow in confidence. Experienced archers will have an opportunity to refine their skill set, take on challenging trick shots and play archery games such as archery bingo!

Archery sessions run on Tuesday and Friday during the school holiday club in May, August and October. The sessions last two hours and form part of the wider We Are Adventurers holiday programme.

Archery sessions are run by our qualified lead adventurers.

Archery helps children:

  • Develop physical stamina
  • Emotional strength
  • Self motivation
  • Self confidence
  • Self worth

Want to book a space? Archery runs on Tuesday and Friday and dates in May, Summer and October are still available. BOOK NOW.

Scouts need their great Bear

Young people can choose some misguided idols – just think of Joey Essex, Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus.

So when someone comes along who captures the imagination of today’s youth AND is setting the right example, he should be praised to the heavens.

That’s why it was brilliant to see Bear Grylls appointed head of the UK Scouting movement – the chief scout – for another three years.

Every week, our adventurers, especially those in Years 5 and 6, mention Bear as their ultimate outdoors hero and are keen to copy things they’ve seen him do on his reality show, The Island.

Bear’s passion for the outdoors and the survival skills he demonstrates on screen in his TV shows are completely in tune with the message behind We Are Adventurers. There is no fun like the fun you have in the wild.

At a time when the numbers of children allowed to play outside is in steep decline and the numbers spending hours online is rising all the time, we need heroes like Bear to spark a new enthusiasm for the great outdoors.

If your kids haven’t seen him yet, make a point of sitting them down to show them the man in action – it may be the last time they’re indoors for a while!