Exmoor - 20/22 April 2018
our inaugural expedition
This event consisted of three challenging routes suitable for primary school children accompanied by a parent/guardian.
The Expedition started on the Friday evening when the tents were pitched and the children were let loose in the woods, streams and rope swings of Pool Bridge campsite in Porlock. The campsite was for the exclusive use of The Children’s Challenge promoting a real community feel to the event. Team T-shirts as well as marshmallows being shared and toasted over campfires enhanced the sense of togetherness. After a pasta meal, the campsite soon quietened as the children headed to their sleeping bags, in preparation of what was to come.
Saturday morning heralded a cloudless sky and after a filling bowl of porridge and a bacon and egg sandwich the teams were soon on their way. Each course was fully way-marked so all the teams had to initially think about was the continuous 6km climb up to Dunkery Beacon, the highest point on Exmoor. From here the routes split, with the 12km route undertaking a rocky descent to the North, whilst the 17km and 21km routes initially headed East to Webbers Post and Horner respectively. The 21km route had the benefit of passing Horner tea rooms at the 14km mark and many a cream tea was gratefully ordered in preparation for the final climb up Ley Hill.
All teams successfully completed the circular routes, taking approximately 8 hours to do so. What the children achieved, should not be underestimated. A concerted 8 hour effort over rocky and hilly terrain in often blustery conditions is a considerable test of both endurance and will power. There was no easy route.
The purpose of The Children’s Challenge is to organise extremely challenging events for children to facilitate the raising of sponsorship for a charity of each teams choice. Any child that is seen wearing a bright green T-shirt with a pair of footprints emblazoned on the rear, undertook and passed a serious physical test. Nobody quit. They were part of a body of children that raised over £45,000 for charity. Their effort was outstanding.