Call to Adventure: outdoor mentoring programme for boys 11-13


The Call to Adventure is an outdoor mentoring programme for a tribe of 11-13 year old boys.

It comprises 3 episodes between May and October: an energetic springtime camp in the woods, a 3 day summer hiking expedition in the summer, and then welcoming in the dark months back in the woods in October.

The Call to Adventure is a classic mythological concept. The young protagonist reaches a point where something adventurous has been activated. He feels the need to travel away from the civilised village and the close protection it provides, into the wild lands and the unexpected challenges that they offer. Crazy antics ensue. A mentor is there to give the helping hand they need, in the moment and in the way that they best need it. For the protagonist, it’s not about being happy and safe, it’s about seeing what happens when they pull themselves from the comfort they have experienced so far, and it initiates the process of exploring what they are capable of, and what kind of person they want to be. The universe celebrates this kind of risk! It certainly worked for Katniss Everdeen, Luke Skywalker and Bilbo Baggins.

On the Call to Adventure, Chris Packe meets each young adventurer where they are at: providing support where it’s needed, and removing the support when it’s needed, allowing a meaningful experience to play out in the innately rich and challenging medium of hearty outdoor pursuits.

This isn’t School – far from it in fact – but we will inevitably learn lots of skills along the way, including bushcraft and survival skills, campcraft, navigation, foraging, nature awareness – but the beauty of getting out purposefully into nature is that it tends to offer up exactly the lesson a person needs at the time… but often does not expect.

This programme is well placed to support and inspire a young lad’s unfolding adventurous life. It is useful in and of itself, and it also provides an excellent foundation for the Wolf Pack programme for 13-15 year olds, which takes things to the next stage, befitting an intrepid young man. Get in touch with me or see the Wolf Pack section here to find out more, or find the official listing here.

THE 3 CAMPS (7 days in total):
May 21-22 (Sat-Sun) – Woodland camp, Sussex: Establish the tribe, bushcraft, firecraft, expedition skills including navigation, night games
August 3-5 (Wed-Fri) – Expedition: An expedition to Dartmoor or Peak District (tbc), to properly feel the wind in our faces and learn how to look after ourselves and our companions
October 17-18 (Mon-Tue) – Woodland camp, Sussex: Return to the woods, but different to how we were 6 months before

– £625 (payable in one go or as £325 deposit and £300 balance by 31 March)
– FUNDED PLACES: If this programme appeals to you, but feels out of reach financially, then please do not turn away. I have a patron, the Spayne Lindsay Foundation, who supports my work, and we can have a conversation about how we might be able to help. Get in touch with me and we can talk about it
– What’s included: food (12 hearty meals!), accommodation, mentoring, tuition, activities, materials, group equipment
– Not included: Personal kit and travel. For the expedition, an efficient option is to hire a minibus and drive the whole group. I would expect this to cost c.£50 per person. Note that this travel time is not included in the indicated times for this trip; we would be leaving early and arriving late on the indicated days, or you can meet us there at the 4pm start time

1. Get in touch with me (use the ‘Message Mentor’ button)
2. Conversation between parent / guardian and me
3. I meet / Skype / speak with the young man in question (to break the ice, allow him to find out for himself from me what its about, and to allow me to understand that he himself actually does want to do it – a critical factor)
4. Then we go ahead with the booking

– This programme requires the commitment of each participant. In the bonded group we shall have, an amount of synergy is lost by an individual missing one event, and the whole group is affected, not just the absentee; each member carries a responsibility for the wider group. Participants will be able to meet or speak with Chris before committing, in order to be fully informed to make the decision
– A degree of physical fitness is required, and a mindset to take on the various challenges. Sometimes we will be carrying our equipment on consecutive days, often over rough terrain. By design, there is some struggle
– Similarly, this programme requires a degree of social / emotional skill, and an agreed willingness to engage in such challenges, as they come hand in hand with the physical endeavour. Just as it’s OK to find physical endeavour difficult, it’s also OK to find the social side difficult; we tackle all confronted challenges together


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