People often ask me, how do you become a real adventurer? And they are normally very surprised when I tell them, it’s easy and you can become one right now. Being an adventurer is simply a state of mind – it’s about being brave, motivated and determined in everything we do, it’s about supporting others and finding fun and action in all aspects of our lives. The best news I can give any young budding adventurers, is it doesn’t need to stop just because we’re staying at home during these challenging times with the global pandemic that is coronavirus. As long as we stick to the governments important advice and guidance, then there is no reason at all why we can’t maintain that ‘spirit of adventure’ in our bedrooms, our back gardens and around the house – I’m serious!
I have come up with 5 mini adventures and activities that you may wish to try whilst we are in this period of isolation. Remember though that attitude is absolutely everything when it comes to adventure. I hope you enjoy them, keep me posted and tag me in your pictures on social media and tell me how you found them.
It may sound a little crazy, but camping in your own back yard is a great way to embrace the spirit of adventure, right on your doorstep (literally). Many of you may have already done this, I know that I did when I was little adventurer. It is also a great way for parents to teach their children about other subjects that incorporate science, geography, maths and even history. See how many stars you can count at night in the clear sky, can you identify any patterns with them, you may even find them on the internet if you do a bit of research too the following day. See what animals, creatures or even creepy crawlies you can hear in the night. You may wish to cook your dinner outside and go for the full experience, its great fun trust me. You can tell each other adventure stories or even spooky ones as the darkness closes in, to add a bit more excitement to your evening. Don’t forget your torch, a sleeping bag and some midnight treats and snacks too!
2. Make A Den
If camping in the great outdoors doesn’t take your fancy or maybe the weather isn’t too favourable, then how about making an indoor den. This was another one of my favourite activities growing up. The great thing about making a den in your house is you can literally use anything (that your parents will let you use) to bring it to life. Maybe the arm of a sofa, a dining chair, a bed quilt or even one of your winter coats. You name it, if you can imagine it as a key component in your den, then you can use it. If its heavy or hard, please be careful though as I don’t want you to get injured. Chairs and tables are always a great way to build strong foundations and structure. Sheets, quilts, duvets and clothes normally make a very light make shift roof too. When you have the structure and roof, then you have your own adventure head quarters for planning where you want to go on your next mission! I used to love eating my dinner in my den and only those who knew the secret password were allowed to join me…
I’ve always loved the night sky, there is something quite magical about it I find. You can often see a lot more than you think with a bit of patience and attention to detail. Try and observe the sky each night for a few consecutive evenings at the same time, you will start to notice it appears to change every night. You will see different shapes, different lights and objects such as the moon, will often appear to be in a different place and in a different shape too. If you have a telescope or even a set of binoculars, this will really enhance your night-time adventure and bring the sky to life! You can even try and draw or sketch the sky or use some craft skills to make your own. Cotton wool makes for great clouds, a bit of glitter will sparkle like the stars in the sky and
4. Insect Hunting
Insects are everywhere but especially around our home gardens and the closer we look the more we will find, its great fun too. Insects are valuable friends to our gardens and vital to the natural world as a whole. They come in all different colours and are fascinating and very interesting creatures to learn about. Remember that little creatures like insects and bugs are much smaller than us so they don’t stand out very easily at all. They aren’t always on the ground either, you can find them on plants, in trees, near water or even in the air flying about. If you have a magnifying glass to take a closer look, you will see them in a way like never before. You can also use an old jam jar or plastic container with some ventilation holes in to collect them and take a closer look, just make sure you return them back to their home when you have finished making friends with them!
5. Make An Obstacle Course
As a former soldier, even today at the age of 36, I still love an obstacle course as much as I did when my Dad (a former Royal Marine) helped me build my first one as a little boy. What I love about obstacle courses is once again, the only limit really is your imagination. All you need to do is find a bit of space, ideally outdoors but they can be built anywhere in or around the house in reality. If you are in the garden you can even incorporate water features, climbing objects, duvets to crawl under and you may even like to dress up as a commando soldier yourself! The best obstacle courses encourage quick thinking, problem solving, balance and competition – maybe see how fast you can go and try and get other family members to try and beat your time.
‘Fill your life with adventures not things, have stories to tell not things to show’