In small teams of 10 to 12, young people are introduced to a series of challenges. Each challenge is presented by the Hindleap instructor, with the rules and boundaries clearly explained.
The group must first discuss how they will approach the task, which highlights the importance of good communication and understanding differing opinions and perspectives. The group will then attempt the challenge utilising both physical and mental skills. The task will expose and develop varying team dynamics and leadership styles: who are the activists, theorists, reflectors and pragmatists within the group?
This activity is at the core of what Hindleap delivers and illustrates what good outdoor education should look like. It’s fun, engaging, rewarding and developmental.
In teams of three, young people work together to climb a series of horizontally-hung wooden beams. The higher the group climbs, the further apart the beams are hung, making the ascent increasingly challenging.
The group must work together, supporting one another both physically and psychologically. Safety is always maintained as the group will all be wearing helmets, harnesses and connected to a safety rope. The ropes are kept tight at all times by the rest of the team on the ground, encouraging them to remain involved. The young people not climbing are pulling the ropes through an automatically locking device (Rig), with the Hindleap instructor behind the group maintaining safety. This is a fantastic activity that promotes communication, participation, empathy and confidence.
Crate Stack Challenge
In three small groups, young people take it in turn to either ascend a tower of crates, help the instructor stack the crates, or keep the ropes tight for those climbing. Each young person climbing wears a helmet, harness and is connected to a safety rope.
Those that are climbing the crate stack must work together, physically supporting each other to move from one crate to the next. The instructor – with the help of the other young people – lift the tower of crates to allow another crate to be placed underneath. This means the crate stack increases in height and with it, increases the need for balance, control and good communication from the young people.
Once the young people can no longer keep their balance, the crates topple over and the young people are slowly lowered to the ground by the instructor. This activity engages all of the young people all of the time, is exciting, promotes support and helps build strong relationships.
The benefit of having 300 acres of woodland is that you have space to roam. Hindleap’s orienteering activity makes full use of this and following a map reading lesson, young people are sent out in to the forest to find the orienteering markers. Once found, numbers and letters are written down (proving where they have been) and a question in asked about the local environment. The winning team is the group back at the centre on time, with the most correctly answered questions and orienteering markers discovered.
This activity is fast paced, requires a strong team understanding of differing abilities and fitness and highlights natural leadership skills. It’s also fun, a recognised sport, immerses young people into the natural environment and helps develop a useful life skill.