Following on from the River Wye Expedition, I continued my work with Class Adventure as team leader for a Campcraft programme in Buxton. This was a three day programme in which groups set up camp, buy their own food and cook it and undertake a number of activities which in this case was to be a low ropes course, raft building and rock climbing.
After formal introductions, it was soon time to begin the menu planning before heading off to the low ropes course and a well known supermarket in Buxton. It never ceases to amaze me how difficult a task this can be particularly if you allow the group to make their own decisions. his group were now different but I had to hide my laughter when one lad said he didn’t like pasta but would eat spaghetti. The time at the supermarket proved much amusement, particularly as one or two group members added things to the basket without telling the nominated accountant, which seemed to cause him a fair amount of stress. However, he did a great job and his estimated trolley total was within a few pounds of the actual total and certainly well within the allocated budget.
This was undertaken on Errwood Reservoir in relatively good weather. After a very productive design stage the group were eager to start building their raft. However, the implementation stage proved to be challenging as the group initially struggled with team work, delegation and tying even the most basic of knots. However, after much encouragement and seemingly endless demonstrations of knot tying they did build a raft which they successfully paddled until the final challenge which was all to stand up. As expected, this resulted in the raft over turning depositing all the group in the water.
During the trek between Errwood Reservoir and Windgather Rocks the weather gods decided to turn on the rain and made for a miserable journey despite but the group arrived safe and sound albeit a little damp. This proved to be a great sucess and was enjoyed by all and everone was involved in the activity either through belaying or climbing. One aspect that surprised me was how much the group liked the responsibility for tying their own knots (italian hitch and a retreaded figure of eight) and I will probably incorporate this into my own group climbing sessions.
Overall a great three days and one which upon reflection I leant a great deal about group management and dynamics although at times it did seem a bit of an upward struggle.