By: Blonde Two
As you guys must know by now, the Two Blondes (particularly Blonde One) spend a lot of time writing route cards for various youngster oriented Dartmoor expeditions. This is a time consuming task but, when time is available, a very enjoyable one. What could be better than sitting at the kitchen table, Explorer OL28 spread out in front of you alongside a cup of tea, a nice sharp pencil (there is a lot of rubbing out involved) and a whole pile of blank route cards.
Blonde One got pretty slick at it by the end of last year but at the same time, she pulled of a trick that was, to my mind, even slicker. She made sure that the kids learned to write the route cards themselves. For Duke of Edinburgh, route card writing is part of their expedition planning. I am not sure to what extent other organisations stick to this but us Blondes love a list of rules and regulations and stuck religiously to that one (well except for when the kids got it really wrong).
This year, I need some new Ten Tors training routes writing in order to accommodate one particularly experienced older group. This is of course because we want to challenge them and has nothing at all to do with the fact that we can’t keep up with them, no matter how much we make them carry. Blonde One’s excellent trick is going to pay off for me here. I am going to give the oldies the newbies route and then ask them (actually tell them) to come up with their own, much more challenging route around the same area. They will have check in points with us and places that they must visit. They will also have places that they must avoid – the M5 would be one example and also the Plume of Feathers public house. Foxtor Mires is on my first list of avoidance along with anything related to stepping stones – I will have to find a big brave bloke to do that with them or else send Blonde One.
In my head, these lovely new routes will look like lacy loops on the map. The time coordination will be excellent and all concerned will all arrive at the appointed check points at the same time. There will be no “Have they gone or haven’t they arrived yet?” conversations necessary and definitely no standing around shivering in the mist.
It remains to be seen whether or not this great plan will work. These are good kids and should be up to the challenge. I will have to spend some time checking what they have done but hopefully, they will enjoy themselves more if they have had some input into their own level of challenge. What we need at the end of it is a strong team, all six of them early across the finish line on Ten Tors Sunday. Time to start planning!