Another successful 30 hour Challenge

Updated: Jan 17, 2019

Students on 30 hr challenge with Skern Lodge
Plymouth Uni Students prepare for their swim in the River Torridge

58 Students from the tourism, hospitality and events programmes at Plymouth University joined us again for another 30 hour challenge.

The two day event put the students through a variety of team tasks and activities that push their limits and took everyone outside their comfort zone. Navigating in the dark, traversing at heights and swimming in cold water were just a few of the challenges thrown at this year’s cohort. Oh yes and of course Storm Callum raged on during the event, just to add a bit more drama to the mix.

There is of course a purpose to all this pain and hardship, the students are completing an elective on leadership and following the course a team presentation and individual assignments are submitted for assessment. So we at Skern tried to make the situations the students found themselves in as difficult as possible, so that when the current leader made that decision it had real consequences and the learning gained had lasting benefits.

This wasn't just a walk in the park, students carried their kit with them everywhere they went, including all their spare clothes, sleeping bag and cooking equipment. Depending how well they navigated they travelled on foot between 15 – 20 miles over the 30 hours. Along with a lot of team exercises, no I mean a lot of team exercise thrown in throughout the whole event. We’re talking many planks, bamboo canes, ropes and blindfolds being deployed here!

It wasn't all doom and gloom, actually for many it was a lot of fun. With lots of opportunities to do some exciting outdoor activities including high ropes, abseiling, assault course, tunnels and archery.

The Skern Lodge tutors were on hand to help guide and facilitate the learning. Reminding students of the theories and models that had been introduced in the lecture room, and how these theories applied to the practical situations they found themselves in.

Students finish the event with huge smiles, maybe a blister or two, but mainly with an experience that enables real reflection and tangible evidence to evaluate, both as a team and for their own personal development.

The weather had a big impact this year and student's safety was paramount as ever, but next year we plan to see the rafts back in action and the obligatory jump from Appledore quay or Bideford Bridge.

A big thank you to Andy Webb (Skern Lodge), Richard Parkman and Catherine Hime (Plymouth University) for their organisation of the event and of course all the students who took part and put everything into the two days.

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