We have some wonderful signs of spring around the OAC.  We have snowdrops, daffodils are starting to bud and there is some green on the trees.  What a great time of year this is with all the new life around us.  It wont be long before the lambs are in the field across the road from our entrance.

Have you booked your visit to the OAC?  We still have some availability in the buildings and campsites.  It will be lovely to see you.  If you are not planning a stay with us this year why not visit for a day or evening.  Activities can be booked, with or without instructors.  We have a brilliant environment box with activities and equipment a tree trail, which was set up by SAGGA a couple of years ago. Last year we purchased some new games, (skipping ropes, rounders, circus skills equipment) and sorted through the existing activities.  These can all be hired for use at the OAC.  You can also visit the OAC and do your own thing.

I am hoping to give you a bit of an insight in to who is who at the OAC and what activities can be done up here so will start of with the on-site staff.  Myself and Alan.  We have lived and worked at the OAC since Christmas 2011.  A real culture shock from the busy life Alan led as Plain Clothes Security at Meadowhall, but we now love the peace and quiet.  Busy weekends are great when the site seems to buzz with everyone having a good time,  Sunday afternoon is so lovely and the whole place seems to relax.

So a little bit about us.  I have been involved in Guiding in Sheffield since my birth.  My Mum was a Brown Owl in Firvale, then District Commissioner.  I became Brown Owl when my daughter was a Brownie and also District Commissioner.  I have so many memories and have made so many friends in Guiding.  I learned a number of life skills which have stayed with me and have always tried to live by the Guide Law, which I have always thought are a great basis for life.  Alan has never had any involvement with Guiding, or Scouting for that matter, but was a member of the Air Cadets for many years, taking part in the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Celebrations.

When we are not working we love being outdoors and living here there are so many opportunities to walk and enjoy nature.  We love the coast and like nothing better than a day walking along a quiet beach.  We have previously spent many happy hours suba diving, in this country.  Very cold at times but so much to see.  Our coldest dive being at Stoney Cove on 2nd of January when the temperature was -2 and the water froze around our fins as we got out of the water.

We have a number of activities here and I thought I would start with one that I think will appeal to all age ranges and one which I have mentioned earlier.

Environment Games and Activities Box

This box is brimming with resources and ideas to engage participants in the environment and nature around them. There is a file full of games and instructions for activities to suit all ages and abilities; from observation skills to problem solving and getting creative. Everything you need is either in the box or can be found in nature around the site. Great for a summer evening or it could form the basis of an environment themed residential. Speak to the Warden for more information.

In future months I will try and get some background on some of the other people involved with the OAC and give information about our activities.  If any of you would like to contribute to the website or to the Facebook page, Whiteley Wood OAC, please contact me on oac@girlguidingsheffield.org.uk.  We would love to see pictures and hear about your visit to us.