By: Blonde One
Being involved with the Ten Tors challenge means that I see teenagers out of their comfort zone on a regular basis. They often are shocked by the size of the challenge because they have never done anything like it before. Teenagers experience a wealth of ‘firsts’ when they embark on this journey. It could be a first pair of walking boots, a first Dartmoor bog or a first lesson in compass use.
The ‘first’ camp is perhaps the hardest though. Youngsters carry a huge rucksack full of their gear, to a location (usually in the dark) that could be surrounded by livestock (or other animals!), gorse bushes and bogs. They accept the challenge without making a fuss and I think that I am guilty of sometimes underestimating how hard this must be. A first camp is quite tricky even if it’s in a well maintained campsite with great facilities, but to wild camp as a first experience of sleeping under canvas is entirely different. Teenagers at Trinity are no stranger to courage and resilience, and my recent Ten Tors camp out demonstrated it well.
One of our team hopefuls casually mentioned to me as we arrived at our secluded spot for the night that this was to be his very first night camping. He didn’t seem to be nervous but wanted me to know to give him some reassurance I think. I was happy to do just that and even happier to see him get stuck into pitching his tent, organising his equipment and discussing dinner.
He enjoyed his night and is looking forward to the next!