It might be half term but for the Trailblazers at Whitstone Community Primary School, the Three Tors Challenge has been calling their name.
Students at the school have been preparing for a serious challenge over the past few weeks; a challenge that would test their physical abilities, test their emotional resilience, and test their mental fortitude: they were going to climb three of the tors on Bodmin Moor - Showery Tor, Brown Willy and Rough Tor.
During the weekly sessions leading up to the challenge, they prepared themselves for the moorland trek. Students established team leaders, deputy leaders, lead navigators and their deputies. They also learned to assess risks and how to remain safe – including what is appropriate clothing and sufficient, suitable rations – while pushing themselves to the limits of their physical and psychological resources.
Finally the big day arrived.
Accompanied by Mr Mould, Mr Worthington and Mr Lawrence, the group successfully ticked off their first challenge, summiting Showery Tor. The next stage of the trek was to reach the peak of Brown Willy, crossing the De Lank River using an ancient clapper bridge.
As they ascended to the summit of Brown Willy, the group were set a challenge, having to decrypt a coded message which gave them the location of a geocache, in this instance a plastic box containing a miscellany of objects. Seeking respite and shelter from the wind after a scramble to the top of the summit’s cairn, it was time for lunch.
Lunch now in bellies, it was time for their final challenge, Rough Tor, although the energy levels of some members of the expedition were beginning to dip towards reserve, with hard work and determination, everyone attained the summit of Rough Tor.
The gradual descent from Rough Tor back to the car park, with moorland ponies on either side of the track, as if they were spectators mutely encouraging the hikers on the last leg of their trek, was marked by happy feelings of achievement and satisfaction. There may have been many pairs of tired legs, but hearts were full of pride as the trekkers had accomplished their goal and completed the Three Tors Challenge. As the first school to undertake this challenge organised by Arena, they considered themselves honoured to be trailblazers.
Not only a sense of achievement was to be gained from the expedition, pupils also took the opportunity to raise funds for the Children in Need Appeal through the Countryfile Ramble 2023. To date, they have received donations and pledges that amount to over £470; and with donations still to be received, they are optimistic of reaching their fund-raising target of £500.
The pupils wish to give a very big thank-you to everyone who has generously contributed to their fundraising efforts.