Family fun day for young explorers

Family fun day for young explorers

By: Michael Downes
Added: 16 August 2011

Budding explorers were given a great opportunity to enjoy a day of adventure, excitement and travellers’ tales as Environmental Education students from Bicton College held a free family event recently at Fairlynch Museum.

The event coincided with the theme of the museum’s 2011 exhibition about Budleigh’s own intrepid polar explorer George Murray Levick, and followed earlier exhibitions at Fairlynch based on the life of East Budleigh-born Elizabethan adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh.

Fairlynch Museum's Education Officer Amanda Murrell collaborated with Bicton College on the venture which included a fact-finding trail, potato planting and printing, boat making, crafts and much more.

Bicton Course Tutor Alex Turner said that this was the first time that students from the College had been involved with Fairlynch. "The students involved are studying for a foundation degree in Environmental Education, which is like an HND, consisting of the first two years of a degree course. It covers a lot of theory and practice of educating society - schools, young people, campaigns, interpretation - about environmental issues."

Gaining an insight into event management and learning about the importance of teamwork is a vital part of the Bicton experience.

"Every year, as part of their programme of studies, the first year students have to organise an environmental community event as part of a communities unit," explained Alex.

"For the last few years the students have done events in Otterton, and this was the first time they’ve done the project in Budleigh so it was quite good for them to be working here and making the links into this local community.

"The students learnt about how to put an event, publicity, planning, running activities, reviewing it and so on, and it formed part of an assessment. They did all of this themselves and a colleague Catherine Gough and I were involved in facilitating the process.

It's a fantastic opportunity for students to work with local people and to use their knowledge and enthusiasm to bring stories of explorers to life.”

Hannah Flett, one of student organisers, was pleased with the way things had gone. "It's been a fabulous event, a really good experience with excellent feedback," she said. "We've been encouraged to come up with our own ideas."

Pictured is Jo Woods, a mature student from West Hatch, near Taunton, who was in charge of the potato printing stall.