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Our Autumn Adventure!

Seven children and six adult volunteers took part in our pilot Autumn Adventure project, with children split into a boys' group, The Hedgehogs and a girls' group, The Owls. Each group had two dedicated volunteers working with them throughout the project as their ‘go to’ adults. We were based in a purpose-built building at an activity centre in the New Forest, amidst beautiful scenery and open space. Meals took place in a family setting, with children and adults sitting round the table together. Our activity programme was designed to include a mixture of adventurous and challenging activities to build confidence and resilience, opportunities for team work and group bonding to support social skills and caring activities with animals to encourage empathy and explore emotional literacy.


The children all took part in:


  • A ‘get to know each other’ campfire on the first night, with marshmallows to toast

  • A visit to a farm, where the children bottle fed calves, held baby chicks and guinea pigs and collected eggs

  • An adventure walk in the forest, which included balancing along logs and swinging on rope swings over streams

  • An archery session

  • Pumpkin carving and baking as a group (with apples picked by the children earlier in the day)

  • A bushcraft session, where children were challenged to work independently and in small groups  to erect shelters and light fires with a flint and steel

  • Rockpooling on the beach

  • Swimming

  • Working in teams to guide each other through an underground tunnel maze

  • Meeting and holding a range of animals (including a barn owl, a bearded dragon, a corn snake and a millipede) in a special ‘Animal Encounter’ session

All of the children on the project worked collaboratively throughout their stay to earn 'Pumpkin Points'. At our celebratory breakfast on the last morning, the Pumpkin Points total was announced and the children all won a prize for their amazing efforts! Each child also received an individual ‘Star Award’ to highlight their own particular skills and talents, with lots of drum rolls and applause for each person!

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