Children get their hands dirty in Bushcraft event

Scout leader Jane Bassett with, front from left, Jamie Mason, Alex Lether, Brooke West, Chloe Newton, Edward Bowen-Thomas and Oliver Lucas 

Picture: Sarah Standing (170601-7748)
Scout leader Jane Bassett with, front from left, Jamie Mason, Alex Lether, Brooke West, Chloe Newton, Edward Bowen-Thomas and Oliver Lucas Picture: Sarah Standing (170601-7748)

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YOUNGSTERS channelled their inner Bear Grylls at a Bushcraft Day.

The event at Crofton Hammond Junior School, which was set up in association with local Scout leaders, offered the 250 pupils an activity-packed day, where they tried their hands at a variety of survival skills.

I think this day will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Clare Brown, English manager at Crofton Hammond Junior School

The children were split into teams named after some of the world’s greatest explorers and survivalists – Scott, Hillary, Stark and Johnson.

Activities included shelter-building, lighting fires and cooking.

English manager Clare Brown said: ‘In the past we have dedicated a day to things such as the First World War and to a Mars landing, where we redecorated the whole school to create an off-worldly atmosphere.

‘Because of people like Ray Mears, there was a real inspiration behind doing this.

‘Having the Scouts come along and help out was absolutely brilliant – they showed the children how to work effectively as a team, with some great team-building exercises, teaching them how to light fires safely, how to cook something outdoors and other key survival skills.

Clare said that these practical days brought out the best in some of the students.

She explained: ‘We have seen some natural leaders come out from our pupils – I think a few of them may have come as a surprise to some, which is fantastic to see.’

The students will now go on to write poetry, short stories and instruction guides based on the Bushcraft Day.

Clare added: ‘The children have the freedom to write about whatever they want, however they want.

‘But it’s not just about that. It is really important that children get the chance to spend time outdoors and be proper kids – exploring the world with each other and having fun.

‘I think this day will stay with them for the rest of their lives.’

The exhibition for parents to see their children’s work will be held next week.

The Bushcraft Day is the most recent of the school’s annual events, where they come up with a practical activity for students to take part in, which they then write about for a school exhibition.

Crofton Hammond host these events not only so that students can take some time outside the classroom, but so that they can explore different creative writing techniques, with firsthand experience behind them.