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Friday rewards took an adventurous turn-taking learners out of the city, into the wild (well, Chopwell Woods - not too far).

The aim of the 2 rewards days put on for our learners was to introduce learners (and reintroduce for those who have enjoyed the adventure before), to back-to-basics camping.

For many of the learners, they were given the opportunity to start a fire, using traditional wild-camping techniques that include using a flint and steel, and a bow drill.

Flint and steel is a simple process once the learners mastered the creation of a spark that ignited a small piece of cotton wool. Add in some kindling, called ‘fire sticks’ that were created by the learners, and we had fire!

Onelearner took on the challenge of using the bow and drill - a skill that takes practice, but also tests perseverance and patience. The bow drives the drill into wood to create an ember from friction. The ember is then blown through some waxed hair that starts a fire.

Even though we were unsuccessful, trying was the fun part.

We cooked pasta and sauce on the first trip, and on the second we managed corned beef hash and banana smores - bananas sliced, stuffed with chocolate buttons and marshmallows, wrapped in foil and placed in the fire embers.

2 fantastic days out, it was great to see the learners learning some ‘survival’ skills and working well together.