It was September, the start of a new school year. Alice was so excited; the whole year group was going to Cherry Down Outward Bounds Centre in Wales to “develop fantastic team building skills and challenge ourselves to do risky things we never thought we could do .... “ Well that was what Mr Simpson said! Alice’s teacher loved using Green Footprints to motivate the class and get everyone excited and enthusiastic about things.
Soon the day of the residential arrived. The parents were at the school gate waving off their children, all using different footprints.
“Tariq, your inhaler is in the front pocket of your rucksack. Take it every morning and keep it safe” said Tariq’s dad in a strong, firm voice.
Alice’s mum held her close and whispered something reassuring and supportive in her ear; this seemed to calm her worries.
Evie’s mum patted her on the back and in a confident and enthusiastic voice declared “Evie, you’re going to have an incredible time! Just think of all the things you’re going to learn; I can’t wait to hear all about it!” Evie hugged her mum, turned round to her friends and said,
“Come on everyone, follow me! Let’s go for the back seat of the coach and start the singing!”
And sure enough, Evie led the singing for almost an hour, only stopping when Mr Simpson said in a rather Blue Footprint tone of voice “I think we’ll watch a DVD now and have some peace and quiet.”
When they arrived, they were met by Jack, the centre director. Once he’d used his Blue Footprints to make sure everyone was clear about the rules and routines they would have to follow during their stay, he explained what would be happening the next day.
“Tomorrow, you will be orienteering in teams. Each group will need to find their way from Badger’s Creek to Craggy Point, with only their orienteering kit bag to help them. We trust you to do this on your own, without the support of an adult, although adults will be at check points. There will be a prize for the first team back, so challenge your selves to be the best team in the year group!” Jack’s Green Footprints got everyone really motivated and energised!
The children got into teams and decided what they would like to call their group. Alice’s group included Sam, Sophie, Tariq and Evie.
“What about Eco Warriors?” Alice suggested cautiously, not wanting to sound bossy.
“Brilliant, I love it!” shrieked Sam positively.
“Me too!” chipped in Tariq and Sophie almost at the same time. So Eco Warriors it was!
They set off, with Evie at the front chanting “Eco Warriors, striding for victory!” Tariq, Sophie, Sam and Alice followed behind, repeating the Eco Warrior’s chant and striding with great gusto.
The Eco Warriors worked well as a team and were first to arrive at the first two check points. Alice had been responsible for reading the map; her careful Yellow Footprints meant that she checked and checked the grid references to make sure they went in the right direction.
“The Eco Warriors are going to win and get the prize!” exclaimed Evie in excitement. “Come on, no time to lose!” She grabbed the map off Alice. “Right then, North North West is where we are headed. COME ON EVERYONE!”
“Evie, are you sure?” asked Sam.
“Absolutely; this isn’t the time to ask questions; we need to get going. We want to win don’t we? Eco Warriors, striding for victory!” Her four team mates looked questioningly at one another for a moment, then put their concern to one side and strode behind her, joining in with her victory chant.
But it wasn’t long before their strides had slowed down and their chanting had stopped completely. They had been marching for over twenty minutes with no check point in sight.
“Look everyone; do you think we might have taken a wrong turn?” asked Alice. She’d noticed Tariq puffing much more than usual; she was glad that she had reminded him to put his inhaler his bag. He needed to take several deep puffs from it to calm his wheezing.
Sam decided this was a time to use Blue Footprints. “We need to stop; find out where we are and then decide where we need to go.”
Evie felt awful; she knew she’d led her team in the wrong direction. In her excitement, she’d charged forwards with her own idea, which hadn’t been the right one. “I’m really sorry I didn’t stop to ask you what you all thought; I just wanted us to win.”
“The thing is Evie; Green Footprints are great footprints to use some of the time,” said Alice is a reassuring voice “but not all the time. Sometimes we need to spend a bit of time asking other people what they think before we march forward with our own idea.”
“You’re probably right,” replied Evie thoughtfully, “my mum said I’d learn all sort of things on this school trip; I didn’t think I would be learning more about Footprints though!”
Sam smiled, “Come on Evie, we need those Green Footprints to energise us, motivate us to keep going, and inspire us to win this challenge. Lead the way Evie!” Before long, their pace was quicker than ever and their voices rang out “Eco Warriors, striding for victory!”
It won’t surprise you that the Eco Warriors soon caught up with the other groups, overtook them and claimed their victory prize!