The 2009 Guardian Challenge took place at the Adrenalin Jungle Adventure Centre, near Sherwood Forest, Nottingham on Sunday 21st June.
The centre is professionally run and has several adventure courses available. Our challenge was an assault course, archery and a fun challenge called ‘The Duck Rescue’.
18 people joined the challenge from as far away as Harrogate, York and Birmingham, including guardians, instructors, students and parents of students. Once we’d all arrived and checked in we were given coveralls to wear, and copious amounts of tea and coffee.
Then a member of staff led us to the first challenge, the assault course. We were shown all the obstacles and how to get over them safely and help each other when it was necessary. The course included grapple nets, a 7ft wall, crawl nets, rope swings, walk boards, a large suspended tyre and a very dark tunnel about 2ft high. The course was spread out along several hundred metres of pathways through a large pine forest.
At the end of the instruction we came back to the start of the course, where we were shown the other part of the challenge, a cannon made up of a wooden barrel, a metal chassis, 2 metal wheels and 2 pins, to hold the whole lot together.
The challenge was to pull the cannon to the obstacle, while a member of staff would say how many pieces of the cannon had to be taken over each obstacle – 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6. Then the cannon was reassembled on the other side and everyone in the team had to shout “3, 2, 1 bang!” Our group was split into two. Half the group, ‘Delta Force’, average age 25, raced round the course anti-clockwise with their cannon, whilst the other group ‘The Grasshoppers’, average age 45, went round clockwise with their cannon. Although ‘Delta Force’ was faster, the team was given far more penalty points for breaking safety rules than ‘The Grasshoppers’.
After the assault course and a short break ‘Delta Force’ went to the archery field to be given a beginners lesson in shooting at targets over 20 metres away. They warmed up with a few practice shots, developing eye/hand co-ordination, hitting the target – or not. Joe Bowes scored the highest on the day and Steve Hogan scored a bull’s-eye!
Meanwhile ‘the Grasshoppers’ did the jungle challenge called ‘The Duck Rescue’. This challenge involved the group balancing on a pole one foot off the ground, passing buckets of water from one end to the other. Once enough water had been collected in a bucket, the group had to hold guttering up to a pipe which contained a plastic duck and pour the water down into the pipe to float the duck to the top. This may sound easy enough but there were several challenges and obstacles which made it more difficult, which should not be mentioned here as it would spoil the fun of the challenge for those in the future. This challenge had to be seen to be believed. It was so much fun.
The teams then swapped over. The final result was ‘Delta Force’ won the archery challenge and rescued the duck.
Everyone said what a good time they had. Some have suggested they’d do it again.
Sponsorships were taken on the challenge and people have been very generous. The total sum made was £1,160 for the Lau Gar trust fund. Many thanks to all those who took part.
Report by Clive Thompson