Watersports & Wales: Easter Camp 2017

Easter Eggs? Check. Excited Explorers? Check. Exhilarating experiences? Check. It must be Easter Camp!

On Thursday 13th April, several minibuses packed full of Explorers and their assorted kit headed up to St Brides on Wales’ Pembrokeshire coast for an unforgettable Easter Camp.

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How about that for a campsite?

Friday morning started early for our Explorers; the agenda today, a 20(ish)km hike. After a bustle of packing day bags we were set to go. Our group consisted of Amy, Ellie, Tilly, Max, Michal and me (Emily). Today’s incident hike consisted of a series of challenges at each checkpoint. At the first checkpoint we were challenged to lift an empty bucket with two ropes from a few metres away, a challenge for which we planned the technique out, but executed poorly! Sadly, at our first checkpoint we lost one of our members – and then there were 5. Our second checkpoint was slightly further away, and thanks to my observant nature (apparently) we spotted an arrow composed of rocks pointing ‘Wild Wolf’ in a direction down to the beach. This challenge was to cook a meal, so we made poached eggs using the tasty saltwater, beans, tomatoes, and buttered bread – a task we performed particularly well at, deciding to hide the remaining cans of beans to provide an extra challenge for the other teams passing by the checkpoint. [Whilst we were at this checkpoint nibbling at our lunch, the PL group had got to the same point. A couple of our cheeky team members decided to hide a lovely rock collection in one of their bags. After which we quickly scampered off, intrigued throughout the rest of the walk by if they had noticed or not.] Our third checkpoint tested us to put up a tent with some of our members blindfolded. Somehow whilst feeling the floor for a pole Michal managed to find some lovely excrement on the floor. On our journey to Checkpoint 4, we strolled along an abandoned airfield and attempted to gradually make spherical shaped rocks by throwing them continuously (a great time consumer!). At the beach we were greeted by Neall and Tom with a mini orienteering challenge and a quiz (involving a slight disagreement about a postbox). After that, on the final stretch back to camp we spotted many pinecones, a shoe, a bucket, and a bull in a field, which we tried to avoid. When we got back we were proud to have accomplished yet another hike.

– Emily

Full speed ahead!

On Saturday, we were given the chance to get stuck in with some watersports, either going surfing or canoeing on the River Cleddau.

After a nauseating ride down the twisting Welsh country lanes, we arrived at a bleak and empty car park by the sea. Many of us were grateful to be off the bus and as we were wearing swimming attire under our clothing (#beprepared!), there was no need to change in the cold. Fortunately there wasn’t much standing around and soon we were kitted out in full winter wetsuits from head to toe. Down at the beach, following some safety briefs, we were all in the water and despite the calm weather, everyone was throwing themselves into the surfing. Within just a few hours we were catching waves (ish) and some people even managed to stand on two feet… before collapsing spectacularly into the sea. However, if you have ever surfed, you’ll know it’s tiring work and some *cough Ned cough* decided to take a more relaxed approach and repurposed their boards into lilos. While not all of us became master surfers before lunchtime, we could not have embraced the surfer attitude with more enthusiasm and we definitely got ‘surfing hair’. Over the course of the day, I learnt that surfing is a lot harder than it looks, and to those leaders who claimed to have ‘not seen much surfing’, I can’t wait to see you try! It is safe to say we all had a great time and were reluctant to peel off our gear the end of the session. Thanks again, Dragon Activities!

– Esme

It was a beautiful day for some canoeing

Sunday saw us take to the seas in a fleet of kayaks, having a great time paddling through some amazing scenery.

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We explored some natural sea caves, and only had a few capsizes!

On Monday morning we had a disgustingly early start. We had to be, up, out and ready as normal for 8 am, but today we also had to pack down tents and the whole campsite before that time! However, we all managed fine and in typical Wild Wolf fashion we were ready for anything; and by anything, we mean jumping off 10 metre high cliffs into the sea! We drove to St Brides Bay and met up with our coasteering instructors. We quickly got kitted out in full gear (including wetsuit socks and hats!) and made our way down the ever-beautiful coastal paths to where we were to start. Coasteering isn’t just about jumping off of cliffs though, it involves traversing the cliffs; getting across gorges and gaps in the rocks; climbing up, down and around the rocks and swimming in the sea, as well as the cliff jumping. As you can imagine, however, the main highlights were of course hurling ourselves off cliffs into the freezing cold sea. We jumped off rocks that were everywhere between 1m and 9m above the sea, into calm sheltered pools and choppy bits of ocean, and it was absolutely brilliant. This was the first time Wild Wolf have done coasteering, but it definitely won’t be the last!

– Ben

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An experience not to be forgtten!

After going coasteering, we sadly had to head back to London, but we returned home with fond memories of an amazing weekend.

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