An active chilly morning at Junior Parkrun

Every Sunday at 9am a group of children and volunteers gather together in the park to participate in a free, timed 2k run. They are safe and easy to take part in, all you have to do is register online and then print out your bar code in order to receive a time. Winter or Summer, rain or shine, wind or snow this activity happens no matter what and it’s all thanks to the volunteers that give up their Sunday morning lay in. They are amazing!

It’s a struggle foe me to get the youngest up and out of the house during the week for school so when it comes to the weekend, he is not having none of it. On the odd occasion he IS up and moving around the house, we take the opportunity of having to be able to go the park and join in.

This morning was a good morning. We managed to be up, fed, dressed and out of the front door by 8.30. Good eh!

We arrived at the park a little early, which was convenient as I had noticed a few weeks back that their was a geocache located in the park. Using the Geocache app on my phone we navigated our way to the cache. We did cheat a little by reading the hint, which was to ‘take a pew on the left hand side and have feel about’ As we neared the cache we spotted a bench

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The boys ran off ahead to search for it, after a little feel about under the bench we found it

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Didn’t take us long so we had some time to try out the fabulous swing and rope frame to climb

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We only had a short play and it was time to head on over to the start ready for warm up before the race began. The youngest one doesn’t like to participate, not because he doesn’t enjoy it but he lacks confidence and is not happy when people show him attention. So I wasn’t going to push him into running, although I did dress him ready for it just in case he had a change of heart. As we was walking over to the Junior Parkrun Flag, he said that he would take part. He must have been in a good mood. I promised him a hot chocolate in the den at home if he ran and offered him a tic tac, which we said was a speed sweet and it would help him find the energy to run. With sweet in the mouth he was ready for the warm up. It took a lot for him to walk over to a bunch of strangers and join in, I didn’t want to give him too much attention otherwise it may have caused him to not join in. He had a big smile on his face when the countdown began and off he went along with his older brothers following the orange cones that was set out so that the children ran on the correct course. There were volunteers on every corner, supporting the children and pointing them in the right direction as they went past. They had to run round the course twice. It wasn’t long before the eldest passed by, with the middle boy following shortly behind. I waited by the start for the youngest to pass, as he neared he asked if I would join him. He told me that he was cold and needed my hand to warm him up. We ran the rest of the course hand in hand.

park run

As we neared the finish line i let go of his hand for him to finish by himself. His brothers came to join him, followed by other children that had already finished. They were running along side him, encouraging and cheering him on. The support that the children receive from the adults and other young children is immense, it really does help them along the way.

He finished the 2k run in 14:07. He done so well and was very proud of the token that he received at the end. You need to get your bar code scanned along with the token in order to get a time and place on the website.

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Urban Geocaching..Our first hunt

What is Geocaching I hear you ask?

Well it’s a bit like a treasure hunt using GPS co-ordinates to find the location of the cache (container). Only there is no real treasure at the end to find, but instead a container and inside you will find a log which you place your name and date you found it on and place it back in exactly the same place that you found it.

I had seen plenty of pictures on instagram and twitter of other people on their geocaching outings to the middle of nowhere, stunning locations or pretty little picnics areas but as we live on the outskirts of London, I thought I would have a look online and see if there was any little hides near where we live. I was expecting to travel a few miles out, further into Essex but was shocked to find that there are hundreds of geocaches hidden in and around London.

I signed up with Geocaching online and put in my postcode, up popped a few pages of cache locations, with one particularly on out doorstep!

I asked the boys if they wanted to go out on a treasure hunt, they were quickly running to the front door with shoes in hand. We got our bikes and with phone in hand, a pen and a few little snacks off we went on our first Geocache hunt.

The first one that was just a few hundred metres away from us, we couldn’t find! We searched and searched, we decoded the special hint that was given and even cheated by looking at some of the pictures that others had uploaded but still no luck. It was hidden on some green in the middle of a road, so it wasn’t very safe. I didn’t want the boys to run off and search as I was a bit worried that the youngest one would wonder into the road, so we gave up.

We went on to the next one on our list. I was using the Geocaching app on my phone and it shows all the local caches on a map, so easy to follow.

The next one was a disappointment too! Sadly after searching on quiet green area for 20 minutes we couldn’t find the homemade cache that was hidden there. The only thing we came away with was wet feet! The grass was over grown and it was obviously a local dog walkers paradise as it was full of mess. The children were having fun running around and searching for it, I sat down on the bench for a short while whilst the boys ran around on the pavement. I got out my phone and searched for the next cache.

Searching around
Searching around

The next one was in a park, so off we went….would this one be a disappointment too?

The park was quite big and from the clue that was given it said it was on a bench, as we entered the park and looked around we saw lots of benches…eeek! We followed the GPS to the coordinates given and was soon ontop of a metal bench, lucky for us no one was having a rest on it 🙂 We knew that it was a metallic micro containing only a logsheet so we got searching. It wasn’t long before Joseph was shouting out that he had found something that was stuck underneath the bench, he pulled it off and we all sat down to open it.

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The Cahche
The Cahche

The boys were so excited as wrote our name on the log sheet

“Is that all!???” Joseph said

“Yes! That’s what we have been searching for”

“Great! Can we look for more please?”

I was so glad that the disappointment of not finding the first two hadn’t put them off.

It was getting late and we had to get home for tea so I said that there was one more that we could search for on the way home, but not before having a little play first

The last cache was hidden by our local church, as soon as we arrived the boys beagan searching the church grounds. The clue was ‘It must be a sign’ so they looked around all the signs but didn’t find anything.

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The grounds had just been cut down and the hedges trimmed so it was easy to look around but it was looking like it may well be disappointment again, but as we was closing the gate to leave we noticed one more sign to look on. The road sign. Sure enough there it was hidden, crammed behind the sign up against the railing. This was bigger box than the last one so we left a little gift inside it.

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I think we had rather a successful day of geocaching and we are looking forward to finding more caches, maybe the next time we get the map out and look for some further out in the countryside.
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
 

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