We ran a Survival Training weekend in for Scout Leaders and Commissioners. These are their comments. ( The full text of their letter is available).
Had a great weekend. I enjoyed everything, I think that Hunter Training were brill, delivered so expertly & covered so many different aspects of survival in two days, I think I learnt something from everything! But really enjoyed the bivvy making & the same as others would like to learn a bit more about the larder in the forest! It was also good to see a contrast in sites, being on the beach too, even though I hope I don't ever have to make a stretcher or carry anyone up a hill again!!!!! "
I thought I would share my views of the weekend. The guys from Hunter Training were excellent and I loved the bivvy building and fire lighting etc. on Saturday ... would have liked to have spent some time on foraging and backwoods cooking. I liked the beach bit and church visit (St Peter's) though. Overall though I thought it was a great weekend. Thanks! "
Thought the weekend was brilliant; have picked up some useful navigation skills which the Scouts will no doubt put to the test on the backpack this weekend! "
Thought the fire lighting and bivvy building was excellent, and some great little tips and stories from the guys at Hunter. "
Just wanted to say a big thank you for organising such a wonderful weekend – Barry and Adam were absolutely superb and the company simply the best. What a really enjoyable way to spend a weekend getting to know people better in a relaxed atmosphere.
For me, the pitch at which we were taught was just right, in particular Saturday in the woods. I enjoyed the hike on the Saturday evening and to be honest the walk wasn’t a lot different from what I already do with the Scouts on a troop night just a little longer and absolutely no need to get anxious about! I did pick up some useful information re: pacing, timing, compass, buddy system that I can use to calculate distance, walking times, etc. I particularly liked the way Barry and Adam related the scenarios to young people and how we instruct them. Although it didn’t in anyway spoil the enjoyment of the weekend, I had envisaged more “static” skills training similar to that in the woods rather than lots of hiking with incidents thrown in.
The weekend gave me confidence to trust the skills I have and not be afraid to get hands on and have a go myself. I found much of what Barry and Adam said quite thought provoking; things like being open to new ideas from novices and not getting stuck in our ways just because we’ve always done things in a certain way in the past and not being afraid to make mistakes and learn from them. Listening to each other and planning is something the Scouts really need to learn and the weekend has given me ideas of how to encourage that.
One of my favourite moments was when Phil, Hazel and me were sitting in our bivvie, fire ablaze, big knives out whittling away at wood having a natter! Just so relaxed and a lovely moment.
I’d love to do another weekend."
Just a quick message to thank you for all your hard work in making this weekend a very enjoyable experience. The course was excellent with just the right mix of information and fun.
Thanks again. "
The Asheldham Centre
“This amazing building provided us with the perfect base for the course we ran, all our participants felt relaxed and calmed by it’s ambiance and the facilities and surroundings met all our needs. I would recommend the centre without hesitation.”
1st Rayleigh Scout Group
One unique project developed by St. Michael's School in Leigh on Sea was to get each of the Junior schools in the town to nominate half a dozen pupils to take part in a Gifted & Talented Day which we ran for them at The Asheldham Centre: "I wanted to write and thank you personally for organising such an excellent Gifted & Talented Day for Leigh pupils at 'The Asheldham Centre'. The programme that was organised by Barry Howard, the Chief Instructor was suitably challenging and thought provoking. It provided excellent opportunities for team-building between the pupils from the different schools and was sufficiently flexible to allow for quick changes due to speed of work and the vagaries of the weather. We felt the day was brilliant; thank you for your inspirational leadership. It was an excellent and worthwhile activity, inspirational and challenging for all, including the staff; the feedback from the pupils has been extremely positive. Martin Frampton Headteacher Leigh North Street Junior
One unique project developed by St. Michael's School in Leigh on Sea was to get each of the Junior schools in the town to nominate half a dozen pupils to take part in a Gifted & Talented Day which we ran for them at The Asheldham Centre:
"I wanted to write and thank you personally for organising such an excellent Gifted & Talented Day for Leigh pupils at 'The Asheldham Centre'.
The programme that was organised by Barry Howard, the Chief Instructor was suitably challenging and thought provoking. It provided excellent opportunities for team-building between the pupils from the different schools and was sufficiently flexible to allow for quick changes due to speed of work and the vagaries of the weather. We felt the day was brilliant; thank you for your inspirational leadership.
It was an excellent and worthwhile activity, inspirational and challenging for all, including the staff; the feedback from the pupils has been extremely positive.
Martin Frampton Headteacher Leigh North Street Junior
From the Staff of Merrylands Primary School Laindon:
The Outdoor Education Project delivered across the School by Hunter Outdoor Training.
The thoughts of the Staff in their words:
"Enriched learning with purposeful activities that sustain interest, fun, and develop and range of skills."
"Fantastic. Richly motivates the children. Enables everyone to see the whole-school-site as the learning environment. Education becomes more than just classroom based."
"Excellent. Motivational. Learning is not just what happens in class"
"Engrossing, challenging, stimulating, entertaining education, motivating."
"Uplifting. Empowering. Exciting. Engaging. Educational. Challenging. Rewarding. Fun."
"Fun. Exciting. Inspiring. Challenging. Cross-curricular. Reflective. Social.
© BJHoward Hunter Outdoor Training
From 1st Tillingham Scouts 14th June 2010
"Thank-you very much for the survival skills evening on Friday at Bradwell beach. The Scouts thoroughly enjoyed themselves and have not stopped talking about it. They were really excited by what they did and one has decided he is going to do this sort of 'stuff' when he grows up. The Leader was also inspired and hope to be able to follow this up with more outdoor activities.
Thank you once again
Lorraine, GSL 1st Tillingham"
From Paul Davis, Deputy Headteacher Boreham Primary School:
"Hi Barry - many thanks for a fantastic day today. The children, their teacher, and Gary the School Governor [who observed] were all buzzing with excitement as they left at the end of the day - wonderful weather we had as well!"
From Luke Frances, Year 5 Teacher Boreham Primary School
"Thank you ever so much Barry for the outdoor experience day you provided to my Year 5 class last Wednesday. The children had a fantastic day and seemed to really enjoy the activities in which they participated."
From Simon Horne, Lincewood Primary School
"Dear Barry - I just wanted to write and thank you for the time you gave to my Year 5 students this past week; the children took part in a survival themed week within the school grounds and I can honestly say they enjoyed every moment of it. The children watched and then took part in your practical demonstrations with so much enthusiasm, and their eagerness to continue was eveident from the way they 'buzzed' into the classroom the following day.
Here at Lincewood we are 100% behind the work you do with schools and have seen first hand the benefits of outdoor education both on our site and at your Asheldham Centre. I have no hesitation in recommending your services to anyone in the profession."
From Dr. Sarah Welch, Principal, Gosfield School
Dear Mr. Howard Re: Educational Visits Safety Training
Thank you again for your excellent presentation to staff last term. Given your expertise and fascinating experiences....on behalf of the Governing Council and all at Gosfield I look forward to welcoming you back to Gosfield in the near very future.