Wolf Pack 2020: mentoring programme for boys 13-16 years

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About this experience

Following a successful year in 2019, Wolf Pack returns in 2020 for a new group of adventurous young men.

**Dates and payment options listed further below**

Wolf Pack is a year's journey for a tribe of boys becoming men, aged 13-16 years. They take place during half terms and school holidays through the seasons, in local woodland and in some of England's finest wild environments.

Risk, challenges and adventure in the warm company of strong role models and fellow adventurers are vitally important for young people, to discover their huge capabilities, what they might stand for, and to develop a deep-seated self-reliance. Security is important for boys but its layers must be carefully removed in order for the young men to emerge. Yet the availability and encouragement of such experiences may often be limited, or crowded out by digital influences. Wolf Pack exists to facilitate deep encounters, learning through experiences in the natural world at the edge of comfort and ability, where the magic happens.

The adventure begins in the woods, travels nomadically through Dartmoor and the Peak District and culminates with a final Fire Quest.

Skills learned include bushcraft and survival skills (in particular advanced firemaking, regardless of initial experience level), campcraft, navigation, foraging, nature awareness - but the beauty of an expedition is that it tends to offer up exactly the lesson a person needs at the time... but often does not expect.

We invite you to come and discover the vast resources already inside you, learn new skills, make new friends, discover new possibilities and perhaps take an important step or two in the journey of manhood.

THE JOURNEYS (14 days in total) [OCTOBER DATE TO BE CONFIRMED SHORTLY]:
April 17-19 - The Woods, Sussex: Establish the tribe, bushcraft, firecraft, expedition skills including navigation, night games
May 29-31 - The Moor, Devon: An expedition into wild Dartmoor, travelling and sleeping light, putting our skills to work
July 30-1 Aug - The Hills, Peak District: A more challenging itinerary, stepping it up a bit after Dartmoor
Sep 12-13 - Survival night, Sussex: an overnighter, making and sleeping in a survival shelter, but not before having a big rowdy fireside feast
Oct 30-1 Nov - The Forest, Sussex: Culmination event including a Fire Quest

COST
- £1,050 (equivalent to £80 per day) if paid up front
- £1,100 if paid in 4 fixed stages (£400 deposit on booking, £250 at end of March three weeks before first event, £225 at end of April following first event, and £225 at end of May before second event)
- Early bird discount of £75 if booked before 31 December 2019
- FUNDED PLACES: If this programme appeals to you, but feels out of reach financially, then please do not turn away. I have a patron, the Spayne Lindsay Foundation, who supports my work, and we can have a conversation about how we might be able to help. Get in touch with me and we can talk about it
- Whats included: food (25 hearty meals!), accommodation, tuition, activities, materials, group equipment
- Not included: Personal kit and travel. For the Devon and Peak District events, an efficient option is to hire a minibus and drive the whole group. I would expect this to cost £40 per person on each occasion

OTHER IMPORTANT INFO
- In order to be able to offer a programme like this, I require the full commitment of the participating young men (and their families). In a bonded group like Wolf Pack, an amount of synergy is lost by an individual missing one trip, and the whole group is affected, not just the absentee; each member carries a responsibility for the wider group. Participants will be able to meet or speak with Chris before committing, in order to be fully informed to make the decision.
- A degree of physical fitness is required, and a mindset to take on the various challenges. Sometimes we will be carrying our equipment on consecutive days, often over rough terrain. By design, there is some struggle
- Similarly, this programme requires a degree of social / emotional skill, and an agreed willingness to engage in such challenges, as they come hand in hand with the physical endeavour

If you are interested in this programme, do please contact me to discuss further, using the purple Contact Mentor button at the top of the page.

This course is the little brother to Chris Packe's Odyssey programme for 16-19 year olds, details of which will be available shortly.
This Wolf Pack has grown out of a long-running programme by WildWise in Devon; Chris is also a WildWise instructor and ran the Wolf Pack in Devon from 2016-19.

See my blog 'Insights from the Outdoors' at www.chrispacke.com for writings and observations pertinent to the matters the Wolf Pack course addresses.

RECENT TESTIMONIALS:
"It has positively affected his self-esteem; hes faced some challenges and become acquainted with his internal fire. When we picked him up he was literally radiant... I can still see that change in him... He already has a calmer, more centred and purposeful air about him... Chris has inspired [my son] and made a deep impression on him... The programme was pitched perfectly." Sarah, Wildwise Wolf Pack 2018

"The course has taught him new learning points in his self both in terms of his own body image and in terms of learning what he is physically capable of. He has flourished as a young man under the wing of Chris. Feeling that he could share his innermost thoughts with the leaders and safely within the group is a new experience." Shelley, Wildwise Wolf Pack 2018

"The exceptional holding and challenge created by Chris and the team will get your son through stronger and more balanced... The exceptionally high skill base and depth of experience was breathtaking and highly valuable to both me and [my son]." Cat, Wildwise Wolf Pack 2018

"The whole experience has been brilliant. [My son] has certainly been challenged and faced his fears. Hes learned skills, had adventures and been wonderfully supported through the whole thing. Hes grown in many ways... This is one of the few opportunities for boys to experience real challenge and adventure." Janet, Wildwise Wolf Pack 2018

"A challenging and uplifting journey into the natural world that triggers significant inner growth in a young person, resulting in a noticeable step up in self-awareness, self-confidence and a tremendous feeling of well-being after each event. I am hugely grateful for the mentoring and support my son received during these events, a special rapport that encouraged the best from the boys. They all have some very special experiences and memories to carry with them." Tania, Wildwise Wolf Pack 2017

About your mentor

At the heart of this project is my desire for young people to experience freedom and the transformation that comes from it: the freedom that comes from a young man discovering his own power, shaking off imagined or unchallenged restraints, and making up his own rules about who he is and how he chooses to face the world as a man.
I have been a bushcraft instructor for 5 years now (for 15 years I was an investment banker in London), and I am a qualified hillwalking guide. I am also engaged in mentoring (through the charity A Band of Brothers and with individuals locally), as well as coaching and guiding, both adults and children. I have convened a consistent men's fire circle in the woods for over 4 years, I own a wood where I carry out small woodland management projects, I'm part of a sketch comedy troupe, and I often write, cartoon... even make rap songs. I have hiked all my life and spent many years mountaineering before having children and shifting my time in nature to the more easily accessible woods. Whatever the landscape, I have built up a massive respect for the powerful medicine contained in expedition-type journeys, and the glorious, valiant struggle they often serve up.

Wolf Pack allows me to blend all of these influences into this deep, sustained offering.

Strengths

Ages

Min 13 years old

Max 16 years old

Learning Aims

Wolf Pack does not seek to prescribe any learning outcomes; there are broad aims which meet each individual differently, and these are usually best approached sideways

Such broad aims include the development of self-reliance, a young man's expanded awareness of his capabilities, and a sense of what might be his most pressing current themes in his journey of manhood

By the very nature of the programme, a wide range of physical, mental, emotional and social skills will be called upon and inevitably refined. These will be discovered and explored along the way

By the end of Wolf Pack, these young men will have equipped themselves with confidence and willpower, life skills, practical skills, broader horizons and many tales of their heroic deeds

Group size

Maximum 11

Minimum 7

I’ll provide

Drinks

Meal

Equipment

Safety

Basic DBS  Basic DBS

Enhanced DBS  Enhanced DBS

Risk Assessment  Risk Assessment

Public Liability Insurance  Public Liability Insurance

Smoke detector  Smoke detector

First aid training  First aid training

First aid kit  First aid kit

Safeguarding training  Safeguarding training

Please note it is the responsibility of the parent to satisfy themselves about the adequacy of the safety measures. This platform is merely an introducer and does not verify the items listed here.

Cancellations

My experience consists of a leisure activity, on a specific date(s), and therefore the 14-day ‘cooling off period’ under the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 does not apply.

Wolf Pack demands a high level of commitment from the organisers, and therefore a reciprocal level of commitment from families sending their son to join. We form a tribe and journey through the 5 experiences as a cohesive group. Absences or mid-programme cancellations are highly disruptive to the group, due to the strong bonds formed. Once the programme starts, no new participants are able to join, and so the ability to provide refunds for cancellations is limited. The £400 deposit on booking is not refundable. But if a participant decides after the first camp that, for good reason, he does not want to continue, then any money paid except the deposit will be refunded. Beyond this, there can be no further refunds. In order to avert this situation, I will meet / speak / Skype with parents and son, to ensure that the time is indeed right, and the intention strong and clear, to participate in this programme. After booking, I will send you additional documents including terms of participation (various acknowledgements and understandings around how we will operate), along with brief questionnaires around health and intention. Detailed event information will be circulated in good time ahead of each event.

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Your Mentor

Chris

Chris

Forest Row

Chris used to climb mountains and work in the City until he had children, took off the tie, stopped travelling so far away and promptly fell in love with the woods and its associated crafts. As a result, he found himself in Forest Row. As well as sharing the love of bushcraft and adventure in Sussex and Devon, Chris also finds himself owning a piece of woodland, which is now a rather exciting biodiversity project for him. He also does work that would probably be described as coaching, mentoring and guiding. Sketch comedy, writing, cartooning, songwriting and storytelling spring up quite a lot too. And there seems to be a forest garden sprouting in his backyard.