Why don’t you allow personal mobile phones or iPods/MP3 players on the trip?
There are a few reasons for this rule: a) these items are often expensive, and very easily lost or damaged; b) in the rare case that there are any problems to deal with on the trip, the Leader team are in the best position to sort things out, as they’re aware of all the factors surrounding the situation; calls to home can often make things worse! And c) our trips are a brilliant chance to get away from screens, televisions, Facebook, Instagram filters, and instead spend time outdoors interacting with friends in a non-virtual way!
In the case of an emergency, you will be able to contact your child via the Instructors’ phones and vice versa. If someone is really homesick and we think a quick call will help them settle, then of course we’ll let them do that.
We’ll post updates and (where signal allows) pictures on our blog. We aim to do this on at least the first night and the third night but please try and assume that no news is good news! Sometimes we are so busy running the expedition and looking after the group that we don’t have time to organise blog posts too. Once we get back we’ll post a full de-brief with lots of photographs.
This is my child’s first trip away from home, will they be alright?
Of course everyone reacts differently, but in the vast majority of cases there will be absolutely no problems – they’ll be too busy having fun! The Leaders on the trip all have lots of experience of being with children when they’re away from home. In fact, we often find that the parents are the ones who find it hardest, and the children have a brilliant time and don’t give it a second’s thought.
Which adults will be on the trip?
There will be a number of Exploration Society Instructors. The camp will be led by one of the senior members of the ESOC team whose profiles and qualifications you can see here. Overall we aim for a staff/pupil ratio of about 1:6
My child is a fussy eater, will they go hungry?
No one has ever starved on an ESOC Expedition. The children are involved in planning and cooking the meals every day, and this engagement really helps eliminate food fussiness. They’ll be encouraged to Try New Things, as stated in our Ethos, but won’t be force fed anything they find disgusting! They’ll pick up loads of new skills, and may even cook a banquet for you once they’re home. We’ve taken note of any dietary requirements you filled out on the registration form.
Are your Leaders DBS and First Aid trained?
Our Leaders are DBS checked and have First Aid training. Many of our Leaders also have more advanced medical wilderness training. In a medical emergency we will be able to use our vehicle to get to the nearest hospital A&E department. We pride ourselves on employing enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and engaging staff, who go above and beyond to make our trips memorable.
Does my child really need a waterproof jacket AND over trousers?
Yes, they really do. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on them, but they need a waterproof top layer to put on over their clothes: sogginess is a fast route to unhappiness.
Where can I go if I need to buy any clothing or equipment?
You can get a 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor, either online or in the shops by using the code AF-EXSOCM-4U. Let us know if you need any advice.
Do I really have to label everything with my child’s name?
Yes please! Unsurprisingly, more than one person buys a head torch from Cotswold Outdoor, or a black waterproof, or a pair of wellies, and these things are often left lying about… The kit pile we’re left with at the end of the trip is much easier to sort out if you’ve named everything.