Location - Luton Hoo Hotel
Mission - Complete the Bear Grylls Survival Academy
Result - Mission completed!
Set with the mission of the Bear Grylls Survival Academy, we (Sara and Tanya from the Events team at Ashdown Park) were fully prepared for anything! We met the Bear Grylls Survival Academy team to hear about Bear Grylls, the survival courses they can offer, and how they could work for Elite Hotels, as well as a full health and safety briefing.
We were then taken out onto the vast Luton Hoo estate to have a great taster of survival experiencing. We started by learning several useful survival knots, before we, as a group of 17 team members from across the 4 hotels, had to work together to tie a reef knot in a giant rope without any of us letting go of the rope!
This was then followed by a demonstration of how to start a fire with everyday items such as a battery and wire wool. Once the demonstration was over, we were split into three groups and the scene was set - we were stranded in a remote location and each team was tasked with building a fire, a shelter and an SOS sign that could be seen by a passing helicopter/plane. All within 30 minutes!
Around the area that was being used, the Bear Grylls Survival Academy team had left three piles of 'essentials' (a tarpaulin with poles, some fire wood, and a Bear Grylls knife) to get us going, but we also had to utilise what we could find in the area to compliment this, such as more wood for the fire, larger items for the SOS sign and something to enhance the tarpaulin for the shelter, so the entire team could fit in!
Working in smaller sub-groups each team set to task, as it started to drizzle with rain. The results after half an hour were fantastic - all three groups managed to start a fire and it was interesting how the three groups had used the tarpaulin in three completely different ways to erect a shelter, and used the resources to hand to build the SOS sign.
We were then shown how to build the fire up and add wet foliage to it to get the most smoke for creating smoke signals - as a fire is more effective than anything at getting seen from above.
The Mission was completed, we then headed back inside the hotel where we were all offered the chance to eat a live meal worm - NOT for the faint hearted!
We think it would work really well on the estate here at Ashdown Park Hotel within our 186 acre estate. The Academy offer several variations on courses, including some with High Ropes options and delegates could even do an overnight survival mission, staying overnight in the grounds or within the Ashdown Forest. We look forward to working with the team as one of the few chosen venues for their Survival Courses.
Sara Tweddle & Tanya Clark - Events Team at Ashdown Park Hotel