Category Archives: Top Tips

Adventure stories competition winners revealed!

KIds Writing Competition
Little monkeys€, we asked you to inspire us and others with stories of your adventures and you certainly didn’t disappoint!

The Tribe here at Banana HQ smiled, laughed and sometimes even shed a tear or two whilst reading tales of your awesome adventures! We had the best time reading every single story and felt well and truly inspired which made picking our faves even harder.

But we knew we had to narrow them down. And so, after much deliberation, we have finally chosen our winners!

In the 8-12 years category, 10-year-old Max Onslow of Southampton won a party in the treetops for his touching, non-fictional account of his parents’€™ experience with the Thailand tsunami. The end reads: €˜When we are older we are going to visit Thailand to see the island with the giant wave and see how nature and people have mended the island and have made it a happy place again.

Rosie Levene, also 10, got our vote for best fiction, winning a party for penning a story about three orangutans called Ting, Tang and baby Tong, and their escape to ‘The Wild’€™. The award for best use of language went to another Rosie,€“ Rosie James of Chelmsford for her depiction of a mysterious place known as The Cave.

A heap of adventure books are making their way to Rosie as well as to 10-year-old Thomas Horner for his story, which won best character. Or we should say, characters, with the story including lots of fun animals and creatures, like Ringo the Beetle, Oliver the Owl and Barry the Belchwarbler!

Winners in the 4-7 category include 6-year-old Ellen Grace from Hereford, who won a school trip by writing about an exciting adventure she embarked on in the forest, where she hunted for the Gruffalo!

Tobias Richardson, 7, from Bracknell won a trip for his school tribe for his story about a puzzling crash that took place outside of a bat cave; and fellow 7-year-old Max Count won books for best character, which was none other than King Kong himself!

Wow. What can we say? We’€™re well and truly amazed by your efforts, little monkeys! Your exciting stories are not only brilliant, but they will help us€“ Go Ape to succeed at our mission, which is to encourage others to live life adventurously!

You can read all the winning entries here!

Writing Competition

Did you get involved in The Big Canopy Campout?

The Big Canopy Campout
Last weekend, thousands of revellers descended on Somerset to attend one of the world’€™s biggest and best festivals: Glastonbury. At the same time, thousands of others were pitching their tents for an entirely different reason: to save the rainforest!

On the 24th of June, The Big Canopy Campout (TBCC) saw canopy and climbing communities from across the world unite to spend the night in the treetops and under the stars. The event aimed to raise funds to help the World Land Trust purchase and protect critically threatened rainforest in Borneo.

That night, Twitter went wild with people sharing pictures and videos of the campouts using #TheBigCanopyCampout hashtag. Some set up in the canopy (mainly the pros), while others chose to camp on the ground surrounded by wonderful woodland.

Our fave story came from none other than the Planet Earth filmmakers, who spent the night in tents suspended from the roof of the Eden Project in Cornwall!

The crew’€™s illuminated tents were suspended over the tropical canopy, with rope access professionals joining them for the night. Before dusk set in, the team spent some time chatting with visitors about their work, helping to spread awareness of TBCC.

Speaking of the Eden campout, TBCC founder John Pike said: Having spent years climbing in the world’€™s rainforests we’€™re all very excited to have the incredible opportunity to sleep high above the canopy of the world’€™s largest enclosed rainforest at Eden.

The Big Canopy Campout is about exciting, educating and inspiring people about rainforests so we thought Eden was the perfect place to coordinate this global event,€ he added.

The funds raised from the event will help to safeguard Borneo’s precious rainforests through the Saving Kinabatangan appeal. This initiative aims to purchase and protect a key stretch of rainforest adjacent to the Pangi Virgin Jungle Reserve. These areas offer vital connectivity to the Kinabatangan River for highly threatened species such as the Bornean orangutan, pygmy elephant, proboscis monkey, helmeted hornbill and Sunda pangolin.

John finished by saying: €œRainforests are under threat, partly because people aren’t able to experience them for themselves. The canopy environment is an amazing place and climbing in the canopy can change people’€™s lives, giving them a completely different view of what rainforests are and why they’€™re important.

We’€™re glad to hear that the event was a resounding success, and if you have any pics or vids of your weekend campout, then please share them with us (and don’€™t forget to use #TheBigCanopyCampout hashtag!).

Here are some photos from our sites!

See what else we are getting up to this summer here.

Three cheers for the Crawley tribe!

Crawley Kangaroos
Here at Go Ape, we take pride in giving something back – we want to do our bit.

That’s why 30 of our Go Ape tribes (including Banana HQ) have joined forces with a local, dedicated charity. Throughout this year, each tribe will be raising awareness and cash for their chosen charity by planning and partaking in fun, adventure-filled activities (plus the occasional bake sale).

In the spotlight this week is the furry tribe at Go Ape Crawley, who recently embarked on a mammoth 36.9 mile walk for a truly great cause.

From gorillas to kangaroos

Crawley’s charity of choice this year is Kangaroos. Based in Sussex, Kangaroos provides a range of fun, inclusive trips in and around the local area for children and young adults with complex medical needs and learning difficulties.

When we read the following on the Kangaroos website, we knew it was a fantastic cause and that we had to support it in any way we could:

‘We strive to enrich the lives of our members and their families. We do not let their disabilities hold them back and enable them, in a safe and supporting way, to participate in the majority of activities that we all take for granted.’

Blisters and bruised heels

Now, we’re sure you’ll agree, a 37-mile trek is a mighty undertaking. Nevertheless, the Crawley tribe turned up to the forest on the morning of the fundraiser feeling mega excited and raring to go! Backpacks packed, walking boots were on, enthusiasm was sky high – so after a quick ‘before’ team selfie with the on-site gorilla, they got on their way…

Luckily enough, the weather was on the tribe’s side during the day (for the most part) – not too hot, with a pleasant breeze. Which made it easier for the members who decided to rock a banana costume or monkey around by dressing as a gorilla.

The tribe’s trek took a whopping 15 hours, from 6am to 9pm. Their journey mainly took them through lush green, peaceful countryside, providing the tribe with many picture-perfect stop-off points along the way.

Just over a week on from the fundraiser, the tribe are still nursing some aches and pains, but they enjoyed the challenge and would do it again in a heartbeat. “Please help make these sore legs and blistered feet feel worth it by donating anything you can to this charity,” they said!

So, think you have a few pounds to donate? As the Kangaroos website explains, £10 could buy a toy or craft materials, £25 could pay for an additional child to attend one of the charity’s clubs, and £50 could pay entrance to a venue for a group of members. You can donate via the charity’s JustGiving page.

A huge “thank you” to anyone who has some spare cash to give to this incredibly worthy cause. And finally, three cheers for the awesome Crawley tribe who conquered this challenge…Hip hip, hooray! Hip, hip, hooray! Hip hip, hooray!

Here are some photos from the day …

Time for a digital detox

Macro Photography
A couple of years ago, a handpicked group of 35 CEOs, entrepreneurs and other influencers were whisked away to Morocco, where they had their tech taken away from them and their behaviour studied by undercover neuroscientists.

They had access to their smartphones on the first day of meeting one another, before undergoing a digital detox. Everything from their facial expressions to their physical movements and relationships were analysed as Fast Company reports, here’s what the neuroscientists uncovered:

Better posture, deeper connections

People’s posture changed dramatically during the digital detox. Rather than looking down at their screens, they looked up at one another. Their bodies opened up with shoulders back, which made their energy open up and helped them to appear more approachable. Better eye contact led to friendships blossoming, and the group felt more at ease with one another.

Conversation flowed

When we don’€™t know the answer to a burning question, we Google it which the study found is quite the conversation killer. Unable to rely on search engines, when a question arose, the group would keep talking as if they were searching for the answer, which often resulted in creative storytelling, guessing games and cracking jokes. These are the conversations that really form bonds with people,€ said the study’€™s leader, Kate Unsworth.

Improved memory

After just several days of switching off from tech, the group could remember random details about each other better, like the names of distant relatives that cropped up in conversation. The neuroscientists said this was because people were more €˜present€™ in conversations, with their brains able to process and store information more easily. As the article quite rightly explains: €˜With the distractions of technology, our brains have been trained not to register seemingly insignificant details. These minor facts are actually very important in the process of bonding and learning about other people.

Better sleep

During the digital detox, the group said they didn’€™t have to sleep as long as they normally did, but felt more rested and revitalised. This was attributed to the blue light emitted from screens which suppress melatonin in our bodies, making us more alert as we drift off. There’s lots of research to suggest that people who check their phones just before hitting the pillow don’€™t get a very good rest.

Fresh perspectives

One of the most significant findings from the study was that the group were more inclined to make big changes to their lives when they were switched off from tech. Some members made the decision to change jobs, while others decided to recommit to their health and fitness. €˜The lack of constant distraction appeared to free people’s minds to contemplate more important issues in their lives, and it also made them believe they had the willpower to sustain a transformation,€™ the article explains.


Go Ape Snappy Rainbow

Your turn to detox!

It€™s clear to see that there are loads of benefits to disconnecting with tech and reconnecting with what’€™s real with one another and with the world around us.

So, why not enjoy some of these benefits yourself by planning a digital detox this summer? Whether it’s tonight, this weekend or next week; whether it’s for a few hours, an evening or a week or two. Get your tribe involved, enforce a ‘€˜no tech’€™ policy in your house between certain hours. Instead of staring down at screens, head outdoors and look up and all around you. Rather than scrolling aimlessly through social media, catch up with friends and family,€“ find out what they’ve been up to and engage in conversations that actually mean something.

We all need to step back from technology from time to time. To slow things down. To reconnect with ourselves. To just breathe. To feel free. To reclaim your spare time. To find that healthy balance.

The heart of the forest is the perfect place to head if you’re enjoying a digital detox. There’€™ll be no beeping or pinging to distract you; just the sound of birds chirping and bees buzzing, oh, and Go Ape-rs hollering like Tarzan in the treetops! Ditch the wi-fi and try a different connection by embarking on a Tree Top Adventure with your tribe. Catch you in the canopy soon!

Page 5 of 36« First...34567...102030...Last »