The Dreamsnatcher Expedition Uncovered…

By abielphinstone, May 7 2015 03:09PM

I’m a huge fan of adventures (my last blog post detailed me finding trolls and dragons in Norway) but my most recent adventure - The Dreamsnatcher Expedition - was something very, very special indeed… Because for three days and nights my book came alive in the Berkshire woodland thanks to 46 incredible kids and 6 brilliant leaders from The Exploration Society.

We slept in Romany wagons (in wooden box beds just as Moll would have done) and bell tents; we collected fallen branches and twigs to build a campfire in the middle of the wagons (like Oak’s camp would have built in the Ancientwood); we carved bows, arrows, walking sticks and catapults to fend off any witchdoctors who came close; we told stories and played the violin round the campfire (as Mooshie would have done on feast nights).

Expedition highlights included:

• Carving oracle bone script into rabbit bones found in the woods

• Running through the forest at night while dressed as a witchdoctor as we re-enacted a Shadowmask raid (Skull would have liked this, I fear)

• Trading bows and arrows, amulets, peg dolls and walking sticks at our gypsy hawking fair

• Cooking home-made burgers on a campfire amongst the trees

• Reading The Dreamsnatcher in a gypsy wagon

• Creating magical kingdoms in a gamekeepers hut

• Climbing so high up trees even Moll would have been impressed

Expedition lowlights included:

• Face-planting into a tent that I didn’t see in the dark (the kind of thing Siddy might do…)

Things we learnt in the forest:

• If you rub flint and steel together you can create fire

• Hazel is the strongest wood to make catapults with

• How to skin and cook a pigeon

• It is extremely hard (and annoying) to pack up a big tent

• Fir cones, snail shells and bark bound together with string works well as a talisman against evil spirits (Cinderella Bull would have been proud of us)

The next Dreamsnatcher Expedition is taking place at the end of August. We’ll be sleeping in Romany wagons, carving catapults, foraging for food and tending to rescued gypsy cobs. For more details, visit: http://explorationsociety.co.uk/dreamsnatcher/

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