Ilkeston Boot Camp 2010

The Date: 22nd May 2010
The Location: Bennerley Fields School, Cotmanhay, Ilkeston.
The Challenge: To Build a 45m Wooden Bridge and lay a 200m Path in 1 DAY! from Scratch.

Ilkeston & District No. 285 successfully completed the challenge during “Boot Camp” 2010. With the help of fellow tabler’s from within Area 14 and even Area Executives, as well as volunteers from Derby College, Bennerley Fields School and other local community groups, the bridge was built! On a red hot Saturday in May, the combined forces of all those involved managed to lay the final plank in the wooden walkway at 9.45pm and the guys finally got to go home!

Bennerley Fields School provides day education for pupils between 2 and 16 years old. Pupils can have moderate and severe learning difficulties. Needs met include: Autism, speech and language difficulties, visual and/or hearing impairment and associated behavioural difficulties.

In conjunction with Derby College (Broomfield) and Ilkeston & District Round Table a plan was formed to utilise a field within the school premises to build a sensory garden and outdoor classroom, due to the location of the field (close proximity to canal) the lower part of the field is prone to heavy flooding! Using this as inspiration rather than a hindrance the idea of a raised walkway (bridge) and bog garden was born, this is where the “Boot camp” came in.
The sensory garden build will be an ongoing project with planting etc. taking place over the coming months, however the challenge was set to create the paved walkway and build the bridge in one day so that the school could start using it immediately.

The day itself was not all about hard work, there was entertainment on hand with a street dance demonstration, the local army and air cadets, kickboxing lessons and at the end of the day, Ilkeston’s most valued member Mark Vardy! and his group performed a Chinese Lion Dance for the weary workers. There was also controversy with Hucknall Round Table somehow winning the Geoff Hine Challenge Trophy off the Holders Ilkeston during a Nailing challenge that took place under some dubious refereeing circumstances!

The Bootcamp did exactly what it said on the tin! It was a day of fun, fellowship, family and friends and showed the very essence of Round Table by putting something back into the local community.

Rob Severn.

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