Into the wild for Loughborough College students

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Wading through freezing water, running cross country in darkness and returning to only a plastic sheet for shelter were just some of the challenges facing Loughborough College Public Services students when they went wild in the country recently.

More than 170 students went way beyond their comfort zone as they were taught vital skills and taken through a range of activities over three days in Walesby Forest, Nottinghamshire.

“There was a dead of night mile and a half cross country navigation, a chest-high wade through a river for 400 metres, tents to be built in driving, cold rain using a plastic sheet, rabbits to be skinned and gutted and there was only the chance to rest for a couple of hours at night,” said Tim Turner, Programme Area Lead for Public Services at Loughborough College.

“Students became sleep deprived, got colder and colder and survived on basic rations but they had to find a way to cope with all that stress to work as teams, to lead and to solve problems.

“Many of the students actually enjoyed it while we were there but once we got back and they’d had a night’s sleep and warmed up all of them said they had loved it.
“Every one of them found something in themselves to win through and that left them with a massive sense of achievement.”

Amongst experts passing on their skills and knowledge during the three-day camp were the fire service.

Nigel Wright, a Loughborough College lecturer and former commando who spent 26 years in the fire service, explained: “The crew from Edwinstowe fire station demonstrated, and let students get hands on with, a range of equipment including breathing apparatus.

“They were also given the chance to take part in a search and rescue exercise, while blindfolded.

“The students got a great insight into fire service training and careers and were given useful advice on the application process.

“There is no doubt it will be of enormous benefit to as they move through their courses.”

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