Category Archives: Go Ape Locations

You have your badges but do you have your certificate?!

High Ropes for Kids
Are you one of almost half a million youngsters in the UK who’€™s a member of the Scout Association?

We’€™re huge fans of the SA, because it ties in nicely with what we do,€“ and what we believe in€“ here at Go Ape. Its aim is to provide €œfun, adventure and skills for life and give young people the opportunity to enjoy new adventures, experience outdoors and take part in a range of creative, community and international activities, interact with others, make new friends, gain confidence and have the opportunity to reach their full potential.€ Hear, hear!

The SA has a huge, positive impact on the lives of kids. In fact, a study from Edinburgh and Glasgow university researchers last year found that people who were in scouts or guides in childhood have better mental health in later life.

Among the 10,000 people studied, ex-members were 15% less likely to suffer anxiety or mood disorders at the age of 50. That’€™s the great outdoors and adventure working their magic!

Building those badges

Now we’€™re sure you have an impressive collection of badges, ranging from core badges to those you earn through certain activities. Perhaps you earned your Astronomer Activity Badge after making a model of the solar system; or maybe you planned, served and cleared away a two-course meal for at least two people, leading you to receive a Chef Activity Badge!

As you know, there are loads of badges to collect and impress your friends with, and that’€™s what makes scouting so exciting. It encourages you to keep on looking for adventures to embark on and activities to complete. It encourages you to live life adventurously, which as you know, is what we’€™re all about!

Get your certificate

So, your badge collection is pretty impressive and it’€™s growing all the time, but do you have a certificate? More specifically, a Go Ape certificate!?

Monkey around in the treetops at Go Ape and you’ll be awarded a special certificate with your name written across the front of it! It’™ll be something you can cherish forever and ever; a memento of your time spent with us!

Pin it to a noticeboard, stick it to your fridge, place it on your mantelpiece,“ that certificate is proof that you are full of adventurous spirit and that you conquered a sky-high obstacle course at Go Ape!

As you whoosh down that final zip wire and head back to the hut, your Go Ape certificate will be ready and waiting for you. Make sure you put it somewhere extra safe on the journey home so that it doesn’t crease and crinkle!

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 …

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