Written by Phil Brown, Badger Bushcraft Blog Saturday, 27 August 2011 11:20
Teaming up with our "Gourmet Bushcraft Events" partner Zoe Morley of The Angel Cookery Academy earlier this week we had the pleasure of delivering a bespoke team building event for key staff at Wesleyan Assurance Society at our farm site here in the heart of “The Darling Buds of May” countryside in Kent.
The programme of activities for the event were designed by liaising with Simon Rake, National Sales Manager for Wesleyan Assurance Society, to include a series of bushcraft puzzle solving challenges and gourmet backwoods cooking with an overnight experience for his team.
There were plenty of refreshments available for the participants as they arrived and were greeted by Zoe and Phil who had set up and established a base camp with a parachute covered fire site and cooking tent. Zoe had been baking since 04:30 having produced an amazing selection of delicious cakes and brownies that went down a treat.
As further members arrived Zoe prepared each of them a cordon bleu omelette cooked to their liking with a host of exceptionally fresh and locally sourced top quality ingredients, a lot of which were supplied by our friend Helen Baird at Pluckley Farm Shop.
Once the attendees were fed, watered and divided into their teams:-
- “Two And A Half Men”
- “Team Token”
Phil delivered an initial briefing and set the first challenge which was to construct their overnight shelters and bedding with some very basic materials.
The quality of construction was very high and the teams had obviously put a lot of thought and effort into the design of each of their bushcraft shelters. Points were scored for design, knots, functionality, comfort and artistic merit. Scores were close on this task but “Team Token” secured a sound win bolstered by an exceptional 10/10 score in the artistic merit category.
The teams moved on to an archery competition where yet again “Team Token” took first place with Tracy scoring top marks for an amazing grouping of arrows!
The next bushcraft activity was “Spark To Flame” which was won by “Two And A Half Men” with a blisteringly fast time!
We continued on the bushcraft theme with fire by friction. A few days before the event Phil had won the “2011 National Bowdrill Competition” at The Wilderness Gathering being timed from the start of bowing, creating an ember and then taking the ember to flame in a time of 1min 02.4sec. The Wesleyan teams managed to produce several embers but in this challenge flame was not achieved and no points were awarded.
With evening approaching it was time for the teams to build a platform with some very basic materials and metalwork and to then establish their fires for cooking their evening meals, both their fire and cooking skills were to be judged and scored. Zoe had provided each team with the same high quality ingredients, cooking kit and tableware to cook their own interpretation of a venison stroganoff. Zoe had sourced the meat from a local farm that has been providing top quality game for over 30 years.
The “Cooking Fire” competition was won by “RADAR” with an exceptional score of 42/50 points.
The quality of each teams culinary skills were extraordinarily high but “Team Token” scored the highest points for their cooking and presentation skills, they had put a tremendous amount of effort into their table layout and design which included a stunning bouquet of wild flowers in beer bottle vase!
After the teams had eaten their gourmet food it was time for the Wine Tasting section of the event which was complimented by Zoe’s stunning cheese board with crackers, fresh breads, figs, grapes, walnuts, green salad and iced cherries.
Zoe enthusiastically led the wine tasting which was great fun and caused much hilarity. We had sourced a selection of champagnes, local sparkling, classic white, local white, classic and local red wines for the groups to taste and write notes on which were judged and scored.
Between the wine tasting sessions Phil delivered sections of a three round general knowledge quiz which was well received. “Team Token” won the wine tasting competition and “Two And A Half Men” won the general knowledge quiz with 24/30 scored.
With the days activities concluded it was time to bank up the fire and leave the teams in the outdoor meeting facility of the parachute.
The morning started with a hot cooked breakfast provided by Zoe whilst the heavens opened and gave our little corner of the Kent countryside a heavy soaking. All the groups shelters stood up to this harsh test by Mother Nature and proved to be fit for task!
The day was concluded, after the cloud burst, with some more range and accuracy sports which included the atlatl (spear thrower) and a revisit to the archery range.
Final scores on all activities were:-
- “Two And A Half Men” with 390 points
- “RADAR” with 411 points
- “Team Token” with 413 points
Before leaving the delegates convened for another meeting under the parachute and Zoe provided fresh coffee and her wonderful iced carrot cakes.
Zoe and Phil would like to thank all the folks of Wesleyan for taking part and making our work such fun and so rewarding! It was a pleasure to have met everyone and big “well done” to you all for embracing the activities with such passion and conviction. Thank you also for the kind feedback and praise which included this email:-
“Hi Phil & Zoe,
Just wanted to drop you a quick line to say thanks for a great experience, huge fun, and truly delicious food!
Tracy (aka Zena! Seriously considering taking up archery!)
Business Development Manager UK”
A full selection of photographs of the event are available on the Badger Bushcraft’s photobucket for Wesleyan Assurance Society
Further information about Badger Bushcraft and The Angel Cookery AcademyÂÂ series of Corporate Events And Team Building “Gourmet Bushcraft” can be found here. Please contact us to discuss your requirements and how we can help you to host an event for your team that will be remembered and spoken about for years to come!