Last week saw testament to the busiest, loudest, most energetic holiday club we've ever run here at Free Rangers. Despite being an extremely tiring week, it was ultimately incredibly rewarding as well. Read all about what we go up to below...
I get a lot of fulfilment during the holidays as it provides a nice change of pace. My day to day Forest School sessions, although lots of fun too, can be quite demanding, and the older children contrast this by offering more mature interaction and abilities that the younger children don't yet have the awareness for. This time round especially we have had a returning flock of our latest Free Rangers alumni. I for one can say that it was amazing to catch up with them to see how they had been getting on in their first few months at their new schools. Furthermore, I feel it incredibly important that the children continue the link with us, strengthening their relationships and friendships with each other (especially as for many would have been in different Forest School groups and wouldn't have necessarily played with other in this part of Free Rangers), but so that we can continue that love of the outdoors that we have already help to instil in them during their time with us.
We had the usual fair on offer for our Forest Schoolers. Their creativity featured heavily this time round and many of our children wanted to "make something", not necessarily to take home with them, but to just experience the use of the tool or the medium. In fact one group alone got through 12kg of clay in one day. That's a lot of clay. Countless sticks were peeled and sharpened with expert precision, trees were climbed with deftness, bows and arrows were mastered and fired and dens skilfully built and hidden away in the nooks and crannies of the site. We also had a healthy appeal in the fire lighting department, and (thankfully) my Free Rangers didn't disappoint me by doing an excellent job of portraying their adeptness with the fire steels! We also ventured to the pond on a few occasions to witness what lay in the cold murky depths, much to the squeamishness of some and the delight and intrigue of others.
Lunches were once again a huge success and there were plenty of clean plates! Some even came back for seconds of our calzone style pizza deliciousnesses! Can't be too bad I guess. All in all, a good four days of Forest School fun, and I hope your children have been full of stories on there return home!
And then Halloween happened...
The morning saw our little ghosts and ghouls head down to the woods to make witches brooms, warlock staffs, to climb the trees, pull each other up in the rope swing, explore the brook and have their faces painted into fiendish abominations! Then it was back to the main camp for their homemade pizza lunches and Halloween cakes, followed swiftly by a "who can make the scariest clay face" competition, trying to eat doughnuts off string, and apple bobbing, all topped off with the obligatory hot chocolate, biscuits and marshmallows.
PHEW! An excellent week, and we're already thinking ahead to our next installment for our Christmas Special (a provisional date being Friday 19th December). Thanks so much if you came to see us and for making it such a success. We look forward to welcoming you all back, or if you're thinking of coming for your first instalment, then we look forward to making your acquaintance! :)
Words can only say so much, so feast your eyes on this lot of pictures on the link below. And do please leave a comment, either on this blog post or on our Free Rangers Facebook Page!
As always, many thanks for reading.