I have recently spent 5 days working for Class Adventure as a Team Leader for an a canoe expedition on the River Wye which went very well indeed. The programme for the trip is outlined below along with a few thoughts on the process.
Met with group at Lucksall Campsite to prepare for a three day expedition on the River Wye. Menu planning, shopping and on the water for canoe familiarisation. Evening meal was a great success so well done team.
Day paddle between Lucksall Campsite and Hoarwithy a distance of approximately 13 kilometres. The intention had been to introduce further canoe skills training for this short trip but the proliferation of fishermen on this stretch of river and the high wind speeds in the latter half of the journey made this extremely difficult indeed. However, the group coped well but all agreed that paddling into the wind was very difficult indeed.
Thankfully, the high winds had receded and we were able to paddle to Ross (approximately 22 kilometres) with relative ease and even found the time to play a few games and introduce a few skills on the way. All in all a great day on the water topped off with a great chicken curry for dinner. Bliss!
Our next days paddle took us to the campsite at Symonds Yat (West), which wouldn’t be my campsite of choice on the River Wye. Along the way we rescued a few stranded canoeists who had capsized their boat and were treated to some great wildlife (kingfishers, herons and swans galore). As the weather had improved and the group were now paddling very efficiently indeed, it seemed appropriate to introduce the group to the real use of the paddle and a massive water fight erupted which caused much amusement on the river so much so that others decided to join in as well. To round off the trip we celebrated with a barbecue which just seemed an appropriate end to a great trip.
This was a general tidy up day to allow time for reflection on the trip and to review how what they had learnt on the trip could be incorporated into their every day life. Perhaps one of the most profound ones was to talk less and listen more so that everyone has a fair chance to express their opinion.