This weekend ‘The Bournemouth Collegiate School United Learning ICE Adventure Challenge’ teams came together for a testing weekend of endurance, teamwork, fitness, agility, drive and determination. Excited participants were joined by TV presenter and patron of the Adventure Challenge, Ben Fogle, and the Royal Marines.
Hosted by Bournemouth Collegiate School (BCS), the Adventure Challenge also involved Accrington Academy, Bournemouth University, a team of scouts who are the first scouts group to attempt trekking to the North Pole and a team of Osprey Pack young adventurers which included Arctic Adventurer Olly Milroy and mountaineer, Alex Staniforth.
Starting at historic Corfe Castle in the Purbecks, the two-day event included a series of exciting challenges; mountain biking, orienteering, trekking through sand dunes in Studland and thrilling high rope challenges tested the participants to their limits. Day one finished with a kayaking challenge when the adventurers paddled from Cleavel Point in the Purbecks across to Brownsea Island.
The Royal Marines, who had earlier in the day set up a field kitchen, fed the exhausted adventurers with a delicious menu of chicken breast stuffed with green pesto and salami wrapped in Parma ham. The Royal Marines Chef said:
‘I’m used to cooking for 6,000 out in Afghanistan with a team of 15. It’s really good to be able to showcase our culinary skills in a different environment at a civilian event.’
A culinary challenge set by the Marines then followed after a demonstration on how to make Spaghetti Carbonara using Marine rations. Ben Fogle and BCS Principal, Stephen Duckitt, were delighted to judge the resulting dishes, with Accrington Academy eventually announced as winners.
Jack Gaskill from Accrington Academy said:
‘We were thrilled to win the cooking challenge. We loved trying out so many new experiences. We worked really well as a team and particularly enjoyed the kayaking, despite having capsized at one point!’
The teams then sat around the camp fire and listened to Ben talk about his fascinating adventures. Ben told them:
’Adventure has changed me. I am happy to share my stories in order to help other people aspire to their own dreams. Work hard and you will be able to achieve your goals and dreams. You can pursue and achieve anything you want and believe in if you put your mind to it.
‘It’s been really great to be a part of this fantastic Adventure Challenge, where intellectual initiatives balance the physical demands of adventure. I have been very impressed with the hard work and determination that all the teams have shown today.’
The following morning, the adventure teams started on their final challenges, kayaking from Brownsea Island to Studland Bay. Teams then ran to Knoll beach where the National Trust had set them the task of answering questions about the local area and the Challenge finished with a circular bike ride.
BCS Team member, Ana Mojasevic enthused:
‘The event has shown us all just how important it is to work together as a team, to recognise others’ strengths and weaknesses and to support each other accordingly. We have really enjoyed this new experience and really bonded with each other.’
Paul Bateman, Duke of Edinburgh Co-ordinator at Accrington Academy, said:
'This weekend has been a fantastic experience for our students. They have given it their all and fully thrown themselves into all of the challenges. The students have thoroughly enjoyed themselves and are already looking for other opportunities to take part in all the activities they experienced this weekend.
'Many thanks to Bournemouth Collegiate School for organising the event – we’ll definitely be back next year!'
Olly Milroy, from the Osprey Packs Team said:
‘I enjoyed all the challenges but in particular the orienteering task. In the North Pole maps are not used and compasses do not work so the orienteering was a whole new experience for me. I used to be a Scout and I enjoyed getting away from electronics and technologies and using basic navigational skills.’
Scout Leader Wes Swain added:
‘We camped under the stars last night. It was amazing! We loved the fact that we were camping in such an historic location!’
Bournemouth Collegiate School Principal, Stephen Duckitt, explained:
‘When we first began to plan the Adventure Challenge we wanted to create an exciting and innovative programme which would help students develop new skills relevant for the 21st century workplace. The Challenge has engaged students in intellectual, physical and teamwork activities which, we hope, will equip them with business leadership and strategic planning skills. A huge thank you must be given to Bernie Shrosbree and Paul White whose expert knowledge, skills and organisation allowed this event to be such a success.’
Jon Coles agreed:
‘A good education is multi-faceted and we want every student across our academies and independent schools to have the opportunity to test themselves in all manner of situations.
’All teams are to be congratulated for completing this series of adventure challenges. The resilience, determination and inner and outer strength needed for such a gruelling couple of days is tremendous and every participant can be proud of their endurance.’