Posted by: STAR  /   Category: Group Activity / Positive Childhood Experiences   /   No Comments

If you go down to Hallr Wood today,
You’re sure of a big surprise.
If you go down to Hallr Wood today,
You could always go in disguise!

Based on ‘The Teddy Bears’ Picnic’, by Jimmy Kennedy, 1932.

On Saturday 7th October 2017, nine young people supported by volunteer mentors/Independent Visitors from Route1 and Promiseworks spent the day in Hallr Wood; a seven acre amenity woodland near Somerton run by the Central Somerset Outdoor Learning Partnership.  Most of the participants had never visited before, so when arriving in the car park at 10.30, there was an air of excitement and anticipation – we were not disappointed.

We all gathered around the fire pit for introductions and a briefing on the day’s activities by Deb Millar the Wood manager, nourished by drinks and doughnuts. We were also introduced to the instructors/facilitators; Martin and Dimitri.

The first activities were either fire lighting techniques with Martyn (essential skills as the fire pit was used to cook lunch), making ‘journey sticks’ with Dimitri (collecting interesting natural symbols such as leaves or twigs to record a journey), or self-exploration of the woods to find the swings, musical instruments, shelters and wonderful wooden animal carvings and structures.  Luckily, with Martyn’s knowledge, we were able to light the fire so that lunch could be prepared as we explored the woods and played on the swings, and with Dimitri’s guidance ‘dream catchers’ were made.  Lunch was prepared on the fire, and we all enjoyed burgers and sausages (vegetarian options available as well).

We then chose afternoon activities.  Most people went to the ‘workshop’ with Martyn for traditional woodworking to make swords, wands, and door name plates. Some others explored the woods and made broomsticks – some claimed to have visited Crewkerne on their broomsticks, but they must have travelled so fast we did not see them go and then return! Martyn then gave some archery lessons to adults and young people, using traditional bows that he had made.

At the end of the day we gathered to share our experiences and choose the best things about the day. These included; meeting so many nice people, making swords, going on the swings, and enjoying the wonders of nature.

All those who attended had a wonderful day and would like to thanks Deb, Martyn and Dimitri for facilitating the day’s activities, and Ali Hart for organising the day and her administration. Also STAR’ for funding such an enjoyable day that provided young people with the opportunity to socialise with others and to participate in new activities in a safe outdoor environment.

No Comments