My eldest can at times be a bit of an over thinker, he loves the outdoors but occasionally feels unsure and while of course we want to instil personal responsibility and love that he takes well calculated risks, equally we don't want him to miss out on amazing experiences because he doesn't have the confidence to take part. I think facing and conquering things that make us feel a little nervous or gets our adrenaline pumping is a good thing for building your self esteem.
He has done a fair bit of low level bouldering at a local bouldering centre but has never gone very high so we were really happy to see he was so keen to take on the tree climb at Camp Smokey at Bluestone National Resort. We booked this activity early on during our midweek stay and he couldn't wait for the morning to come and was up and ready to go as soon as the sun came up.
It was a very fresh morning with the winter sunshine flowing through the tall trees of Camp Smokey. Once we arrived his instructor took him through the safety checks and explained all the equipment to him, there had been a big group booked into his session but they never turned up which in a way was great because he got some one to one time with the instructor who was vert positive and encouraging and it meant that our eldest could go at his own pace.
He made quick work of the training tree, going right to the top twice and decided to move onto the higher and slightly harder tree. He made it about three quarters of the way although by this point he was starting to get a little tired and had completely exceeded our expectations and abseiled down with the hugest smile and a real sense of pride in himself.
After his tree climbing session we decided a treat was in order and a light bite at camp smokey, they have a simple but very flavoursome menu and I can highly recommend the veggie chilli which is perfect for warming you up on a cold brisk day. Our light bite was followed by the two boys favourite forest past time of roasting marshmallows over the fire, it's these simple pleasures that make breaks away like this so special and provide the perfect way to connect as a family and create long-lasting memories.
After our action packed morning we opted for a slow forest stroll and exploring the natural trails that run behind Camp Smokey before heading back to our Skomer lodge for a late lunch. It's this slower pace that we really enjoyed, no rushing and just taking our time which was especially welcomed by John who works in the heart of the city and has a manic daily commute. We came to Bluestone with no real plans of what we wanted to do but found free range fun and adventure every day of our stay.