The 2017 Bader Braves season came to a close in spectacular style with its two Adventure Weekends in November at The Calvert Trust’s Kielder and Exmoor Centres.
Having staged a number of similar events at both centres in the past we can come to expect and acknowledge the high levels of service and expertise provided by the teams employed and this year they certainly pulled out all of the stops yet again.
Our Exmoor group were welcomed to the Centre on a rather damp Friday evening where, after settling into their accommodation and enjoying dinner, they were split into activity groups and briefed as to what was on offer throughout Saturday and Sunday. Amongst these archery, bike riding, rock wall climbing, zip wire and forest skills proved very popular. Saturday was a pretty “full on” day with activities running from early morning right up until it was too dark to see outdoors; apart from a lunch break when a plentiful supply of satisfying food was provided, the activity groups rotated around the various activities each of which was watched over by an experienced and very good humoured instructor. At the end of the afternoon dinner was waiting followed by the evening Disco for those who still had the energy to cut some moves!!
Sadly Sunday dawned to the same poor weather as that of Saturday but unlike the ground on which the rain fell, Braves’ spirits remained un-dampened and it was straight back into the activity merry-go-round; sure, the bikers came back rather muddy from their circuit of the Wistlandpound Reservoir as too did the Braves returning from the forest skills experience where trying to get a campfire going with foraged kindling, a spark stick and minimal ignition material had proved a somewhat difficult task in the strong wind and, often, driving rain!!
A couple of weekends later at completely the other end of the country our Kielder group of Braves gathered. Despite desperately cold weather it was, thankfully, bright and sunny with barely a breath of a breeze. Kielder Water itself, where all the groups took their turn in a canoeing expedition, was magnificent in the early winter sunshine and still displaying a few late autumn colours on the trees. Once the Braves had been boarded and the essential hot drink/snack bag provided they cast off and paddled away towards distant shores with much giggling, singing and laughter.
Meanwhile back at base the remaining Braves had been split into groups and were enjoying their activities. Wherever you looked there were groups either laser clay shooting, on the archery range, being
strapped into the giant king-swing apparatus or half way up a rock wall. Parents, siblings and instructors were offering advice and encouragement or even joining in for Bader Braves Adventure Weekends are very much about enjoyment for Braves and all of their family members; certainly competition between Braves and dads was pretty hot at the laser clay range!!!
Each break time the groups rotated so by the time Sunday lunch time arrived and everyone prepared to leave for home each of the Braves had tried everything on offer just like our Exmoor group two weeks back.
Once again our friends at both Calvert Trust venues had pulled out all the stops to ensure that we all had the very best of times and once again they have succeeded. Braves left for home having had a great weekend, enjoyed some great activities and a few new experiences and, most importantly, made a lot of new friends.
(Keith Delderfield – December 2017)Adventure Weekend, Bader Braves, Calvert Trust