What fantastic weather again. Another fabulous group of children today at Woodland Adventurers holiday club - many familiar faces and many new ones. We fed the pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks and geese including finding some very small eggs from our bantam hens and an extraordinarily large egg from one of our geese. We played games. We built dens. We dragged a post out of the ground with the Land Rover. We ran and played. We climbed, bounced and slid. We fell over! We made popcorn. We hiked. We had our picnic lunch. We explored caves. We had a Nerf gun battle.
PHEW! We hopefully all went home tired and ready to sleep...zzzz...zzz...zz - ready to spring awake at some crazy hour of the morning for the next day of exciting children's life adventures!
Children adventuring, exploring and developing their own mythical Woodland Adventure
A fun, exciting, spooky and somewhat mysterious day where our Woodland Adventurers followed the clues that got us closer to the truth behind the myth of The Ghost of the Dead Miner. Is it really a myth or is it true? We decided to find out...
Our Woodland Adventure started when we were told a tale by a wise young Woodland Adventurer who explained to us all in a cunning manner, full of mystery, that there was a miner who once quarried the nearby caves until the day he was accidentally locked underground by his work colleagues. From that time he was trapped in the caves and even after his attempts to escape, after many years, he finally laid to rest, but through his determination, anger and frustration he still remains in the caves to this day as The Ghost of the Dead Miner.
Our Woodland Adventurers decided to follow the clues to find out more.
On our quest through the deep dark forest and into one of the cave entrances we discovered that the miner was apparently born in 1914 and his rather cool name was Paul K. L. Clutterbug. He lived for 60 years and based on our assumptions lived in the caves alone for more than half his years, always trying to escape, but never succeeding, presumably eating bugs and rats and drinking water that dripped through the caves forming stalactites before reaching his lips. Going by cave markings, Paul Clutterbug lived until 1974.
It was deduced by another wise young Woodland Adventurer that 1914 & 1974 could be converted through code to become AIAD & AIGD by transcribing numbers for equivalent order letters of the alphabet. Putting them together forms AIADAIGD and when scrambled they could become DIAGAIDA. And since Paul Clutterbug had been trapped in the caves for so long his mind became confused and it is believed that finally, as a ghost he used these important dates to try to send a letter or message to his loved one, his wife who was still sat at home waiting unaware of his fate. What he meant to say was Dear Gaydor (Gaydor was his wife's name) but instead due to his perhaps, confused mind he wrote Dia Gaida - he was never very good at spelling. Or was he deliberately sending a code to his wife so that she could understand the dates? We may never know for sure. A confusing and somewhat intriguing deduction that added to the story and to the picture that we were building about his life in the caves.
This was as far as the young Woodland Adventurers had got towards deciphering the clues. Next time they planned to explore new cave openings to connect more dots to piecing together and understanding this fearful tale.
A wonderful day of pre-school children running and playing in the wood, feeding farm animals, playing tag, den building, camp fire and toasting marshmallows. We also had a bear hunt - story and real search for bears (...the teddy bear variety!). Woodland Adventurers hosted two preschool parties today, one 4 year old boys birthday party and one 3 year old boys birthday party at the Quarry Hill site in Box, Wiltshire (near Corsham - between Bath and Chippenham).
It was amazing to see the children's confidence grow during their visit. Some arrived looking timid, reserved and hugging their parent. But in no time, they were running free across the wood with all the freedom and confidence in the world - just as they should do - just as any child should do - a magical experience and amazing to see.
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