Wales’ Year of Adventure continues with the Great Weekend of Adventure and more rain. I pack two Scouts off to a timely activity day, during which they are going to attempt to gain Sniper badges. A Scout mum on Facebook has seen the rain and assumes all activities will be cancelled. Not so fast, I think; my two will definitely be spending the day in a field in the middle of nowhere. Supervised or not.
In the hallway there’s an argument about waterproof trousers, which are, like, totes embarrassing and Will Not Be Worn. I say it will be even more embarrassing to be the only Scouts soaked through to their pants and squash the waterproofs on top of the packed lunches, before cheerily waving them off and settling down with the papers.
I read an article calling for walkers to know their limits, following a threefold rise in fatalities in 2015 amongst hikers in the Lake District. It follows a story earlier in the week about a woman attempting to climb Ben Nevis dressed in shorts and armed only with a selfie stick. It sounds almost unbelievable, yet it’s a scenario hikers up and down the country recognise all too vividly.
I’ve seen a family halfway up Snowdon, clutching long-empty bottles of water and desperately hoping the cafe on top was open (it wasn’t). I’ve spoken to a small boy, just below the peak, whose parents were a good 40 minutes behind him and wondering where he’d got to. For my latest children’s trails book, we climbed Pen y Fan on an October day so inhospitable that the best view was gained by looking at the OS map. Yet as we made our descent we saw … yep, a guy in flip flops and his partner, shod in heeled boots and carrying a leather handbag.
The Year of Adventure is already a resounding success and there are still eight months to go. Wales is on the global map, finally, for reasons more relevant than daffodils and sheep. But, alongside celebrating the scenery, zipwires, white water centres and mountains, now is probably the time to drop in a few messages to the next generation of adventurers about safety and suitable equipment.
I finish the papers and check Facebook to see a troop of Scouts, fully waterproofed and lying on their tummies in a field. No one seems totes embarrassed; in fact they are, without exception, having, like, tons of fun. There are so many weekends of great adventure to be had in our beautiful country. Just, please, Be Prepared.