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Siblings turn into warriors at Rugged Earth Adventures

April 16, 2024

Donning camouflaged jackets, Shooting Star siblings turned into warriors for the day in woodland and meadow at Rugged Earth Adventures in Woking.

The first mission of the day for the 25 strong team of warriors was to tackle the outdoor Nerf blaster battlefield. Issued with tactical army gear, including goggles and a choice of blaster, the group was split into two teams. Each took up positions on opposing sides of the battlefield behind barricades, sandbags, tyres, camo nets and camps before the operation began. The warriors then successfully combatted the ogre’s (aka Shooting Star Staff and Volunteers) that had emerged from the bush.

After refuelling with a biscuit and drink, our warriors then headed into the woodland to learn the first rule for outdoor survival, how to build a shelter. Using natural materials gathered from the land, including branches, logs, and foliage, they constructed two epic mini shelters. To test their water resistance, a water gun was used to imitate rainfall in the wild. Each shelter stood up to the test, with our warriors remaining rather dry under their carefully designed structures to combat the elements.

To ensure the warriors took a break before the afternoon challenges, they sat around the campfire to have a sausage bap, crisps, and a doughnut.

The next task was to ensure the warriors knew how to start a fire in the wild for warmth and to provide a smoke signal in case they were lost in the bush. They were taught how to carry a steel striker and flint, as well as tinder, to ensure they had the necessary equipment to start a fire, as well as kindling. From there, each had a turn using the steel striker and flint to light a piece of cotton wool to ignite the tinder. Before their eyes, the fire grew as the warriors added the different sizes of wood as they learned about the fire triangle (heat, oxygen, and fuel).

The warriors then learned the skill of axe throwing. Using plastic foam safety axes, each took turns hurling it towards a plastic spiked target board before learning one of the oldest skills known to man, archery. Using plastic rubber darts, they took turns firing in target practice.

It was then time for the adventure-combat running course. In groups of four, warriors took their mark and launched into the field, climbing through tyres, jumping over a trench, crawling under a cargo net, tiptoeing over a plank, and throwing an axe at the target board, before running back to base.

The day was rounded up with roasting marshmallows and making s’mores by the campfire and one last battle of laser tag before heading back to base camp for the children to receive a certificate, congratulating them on completing the day. 

“I liked the Nerf’s,” one sibling said.

“Last time I came here, I did it and it was fun. I also liked doing the race on the adventure course. I liked the marshmallows too. I like coming to siblings days because there are lots of things that are fun, and I like being at Shooting Star.”

Another sibling said, “I enjoyed the Nerf blasters. I enjoy how you do it, how it’s all put together and it’s an adventure.

“I just like the general atmosphere and everything here”.

Reflecting on the activities, one sibling said, “My favourite thing was probably making the fires because that was my first time making a fire. It was very interesting, and I discovered a lot of new things. I learned how to build a base in the wilderness, what sort of twigs to use for a fire, and what instrument you use to make a fire.”

Shooting Star Children’s Hospices Event Assistant, Hannah Pickup, was at the event and said, “It was amazing to accompany 25 Shooting Star siblings to Rugged Earth for our siblings social.”

“We all had the best time- learning skills, getting muddy, making friends, and most importantly having FUN! It is so valuable for siblings to meet each other, share their experiences, and take part in activities that help them grow in confidence. A huge thank you to Alistair from Rugged Earth for creating such an exciting environment to discover, play, and connect with the outdoors.”

Siblings’ days are only possible thanks to your support. We need to raise £10 million a year to keep our service running, find out more about the ways you can help.