Columb Thompson, co-leader of Wolf Pack 2020, shares his reflections and some of his highlights with us:
For me as an Outdoors Leader the opportunity to take young people outside into nature, and through this to help them to understand themselves more fully, is so important.
This year we started with a five-day camp which allowed the boys time to really get to know one another and form a tight pack. Our journey over our months together took us out onto the moor, trekking over the ancient tors of Dartmoor and sleeping out in hammocks next to the River Dart, then down that same river on canoes to explore the estuary and forage for seafood. Our next camp took us to the seashore where we spent two days walking the Devon coast and adventuring bleak yet beautiful rocky outcrops.
I love the process that happens as the camps go on where the boys really drop into our pack, they formed a close nit friendship and supported one another through the challenges that they faced. We also engage them in conversations that are relevant to this time of change in their lives, the transition from boy to man. And this is part of our journey together as a pack to explore these questions.
This year's Wolf Pack has been quite a journey, especially in these uncertain times we find ourselves in. There have been many moments that stand out to me this season.
Sleeping out under the stars on the beach has to be a highlight; hearing the waves gently lap on the shore metres away and the flickers of the fire gently die as the night wears on and the hushed whispers of the boys slowly peeter out to silence.
Another would be rampaging around the woods playing games, trying to be as quiet as possible to not be seen and when spotted the chase is on! Straight through bogs and bramble patches until muddy, tired but happy we all head back to camp to eat a warming dinner round the fire.
And finally, sitting round the fire together in the evenings hearing all about these boys lives.
CHECK OUT EARLIER NATURE NOTES IN THE SERIES:
Nature Notes 1: in praise of nothing by Chris Packe
Nature Notes 2: Finding space for deeper connection as well as activism by Mark Sears
Nature Notes 3: from our Seasonal Assistants Columb & Dotty
Nature Notes 4: Happy Birthday WildWise! by Chris Salisbury