At New Forest School we make extensive use of Outdoor Education and Learning in the Outdoor Classroom. When details of the 2015 Save The Children Den Day were passed our way, we knew it was an ideal project for our students to get involved with.

Save the Children’s Den Day is about children being sponsored to transform their sofa, school desk or even a boring cardboard box into a magical super den. And the money they raise will help to save lives around the world. We decided to go a step further and took our Lower School and Year 7 offsite to get involved.

Our Outdoor Activities team organised for us to use Tile Barn Activities Centre and make use of their woodland area where students and staff were split into 4 teams to construct a den large enough to house the entire group. Each group was provided with a large tarpaulin and cord, the rest of the components they required had to be found within the woodland area. The staff and students were soon foraging for branches, bracken and moss which they used to construct the frame for the den, camouflage their structures and provide comfortable areas to sit/lay down.

Whilst they were hard at work our Lead Instructor Anthony worked with two students building a large communal fire which provided hot water for drinks and acted as a focal point for the lunch break.

After a wet start, the weather conditions changed dramatically and the groups enjoyed blazing sunshine for the majority of the day. Dropping in for a short visit at midday, I was incredibly impressed by the positive levels of team work, communication and industrious atmosphere around the site. It was also impressive to see such a diverse range of den designs starting to take shape.

Although a winning design was chosen at the end of the day, all students and staff are to be congratulated on their efforts throughout the day. It was wonderful to see how much pride and effort went into the event.