This month saw my sons 8th birthday. To celebrate, he had a Bushcraft Adventures archery party.
Being the younger of two boys, he wanted to do something different to the parties his older brother had already had. Between them they had already had lazer quest parties, a reptile party (where we actually had live snakes in the house), a cinema party and a trampoline party. Not to mention the house parties covering pirates, star wars and dinosaur themes. So no pressure on us as parents to find something new. We were at a bit of a loss as to what to do but then we remembered a friend’s son had had a party with Bushcraft Adventures.
On looking at their website, we now saw that they offered archery parties as well as bushcraft parties. As my son had recently had a go at archery at Margam Park, and had really enjoyed it, he was all for the archery party. So we went ahead and booked. The booking process was easy; we just rang up and booked it all over the phone.
What to expect from an Bushcraft Adventures archery party:
Bushcraft Adventures is pretty straightforward to get to, but the end part of the journey does take you down some winding and bumpy country lanes. It is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Once you start to feel like you’ve got lost you come across the entrance.
It is all set in beautiful woodland, which was awash with bluebells. I’m pretty sure the beauty of it was lost on the boys who just wanted to get stuck in.
Steph, the organiser, was waiting for us in the hut, with the camp fire already roaring and a pot hovering above the flames. We had some coffee in enamel mugs. I felt like I was back in the girl guides.
There were 12 boys taking part and these were divided into 3 teams of four. Each team came up with their own name. We had team Jeff (even with no Jeff there), Death Arrow and Winner Winner Chicken Dinner. The last was my favourite name, even though they didn’t live up to their promise of winning.
With all the boys very excited and boisterous, Steph was great at keeping them in check. Whilst safety was always the main focus, she also ensured that they had fun through-out the party. They were all taken through the basics of archery and were given some key safety rules which they had to abide to.
For a bunch of eight year olds, they were really good. One even hit the bullseye. During the party they first started hitting at the targets, then they had pictures of zombies added. Extra points for hitting the head or the heart – Nice! Then the final round so the addition of balloons. I really didn’t think any of them would have had a hope in aiming so well that they would pop a balloon, but I was wrong. In fact there were a few who actually made it look easy.
In addition to the archery, the kids also had a go at lighting a fire. Despite the fun of the archery, starting their own fires was hands down their favourite part of the party. I think they would have been happy to just light little balls of cotton wool for the full three hours.
The Party Food
Half way through the archery party we had a break for food. Steph cooked ‘proper’ sausages on a grill above the open camp fire. She even checked each sausage with a food thermometer to ensure they were all ok. I’m sure you wouldn’t see Bear Grylls with a food thermometer, but we felt safer with Steph.
The hot dogs were really good, and just what we needed after such an active morning. There were also plenty of cookies, crisps and fruit to keep the sugar levels high.
After all the archery had finished and the winning team announced, it was back into the hut to toast the marshmallows. Steph then turned them into delicious s’mores. Just in case you didn’t know, a s’more is fire roasted marshmallow put in-between two pieces of biscuit or crackers. Apparently they are very popular campfire treats in the US. They certainly seemed to go down well.
If you have outdoorsy kids, I would 100% recommend the party. It was really good fun and everyone that came enjoyed it. Steph was brilliant. She was stern when she needed to be with the boys but also fun and supportive to. She was on hand with her expert tuition throughout, and if she saw any one of the boys struggling she gave them extra help.
Apart from remembering to take the cake and party favours, we didn’t have to worry about any of the party organisation. Which for us was a huge bonus. I was only gutted we didn’t get to have a go. Apparently they will be running some family sessions in the summer, so I’m hoping to go back then.
By the time the parents came to pick up their kids, all the boys were suitably mucky and smelt of smoke. But they all had big grins on their faces too. My eldest son has now already said that he wants exactly the same party for his 11th birthday later this year, so you can’t get a better testament to a good party than that!
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