UAE- Don Fletcher writes; “After a cold, rainy winter spent in the UK and Germany I jetted off for a short trip to the UAE in order to launch our first ever Desert Survival Course based in Dibba on the East Coast of the Emirates.
On my first ever visit to the region I was hit initially by the unbelievable heat (even in January) but then also by the vast expanse of desert that covers the majority of the country. On arrival in Dibba I had a short time to catch up on sleep after a restless night on the plane, and before I knew it I was off into the mountains and Wadi’s with our knowledgeable local experts for a recce.
4 hours later, after losing around 6 litres of sweat, drinking 4 litres of water and after seeing about 300 goats we returned to base to what promised to be a truly amazing course. The majority of BGSA’s around the world, if not all, have some sort of water element-whether that is purification, river runs, lake crossings or having to keep the rain out of a shelter! In the mountains of the Musandam peninsular the issue is that there isn’t any water…..anywhere. Dried up river beds and reservoirs replace lakes and rivers, drought and scorching heat replaces mild temperatures and drizzle!
As the course begun, we could sense the excitement amongst the families to be part of the first ever BGSA in the region. This excitement was well placed, however we did hit a bit of a road block with half of the participants having issues with their mountain boots- the soles just melted off in the heat! After a short stop for some running repairs, we were off up into the Wadi learning about navigation, how to move safely in the mountains and how to protect yourself from dangerous creatures.
After a hearty dinner and a night sleeping under the stars, the team were ready to move early on the second morning and soon got stuck into the challenges ahead. This was followed by the group climbing, crawling, abseiling, running and traversing over obstacles to reach civilisation and more importantly- a nice cold shower!
The course was truly a success with big smiles all round, and we are now looking forward to running the courses over the next few months, or until the weather gets too hot!
The next day was spent recceing for potential corporate event venues, and more information about that will be coming in the next few weeks. On one such recce I did fall in love with a Mark 1 Land Rover Defender (see above) – a thing of real beauty!
The UAE is an amazingly varied country and I look forward to helping BGSA run successful courses here in the future”
The 24 hour adult and 24 hour family courses in Dibba are available now- click HERE for more information.
Don Fletcher writes; “As we come to the end of 2014, here at BGSA we thought that we would have a quick round up on our busiest year yet!
At the beginning of the year we were running only a handful of courses in only 2 locations in the UK. Now, in December, we have 10 locations in 3 countries around the world running successful for children, families and adults too. Over the past year we have built upon the strong foundations that Scott and the team spent so long putting together and really started to refine what we truly believe are the most exciting courses of their kind on the planet.
So what does 2015 have in store? Well! In January members of the BGSA head office are heading all over the world to launch courses in China, the UAE, South Africa and Australia to develop our 24 hour family and adult courses in different locations across the world. This is a cause of great excitement here in the office, with the team looking forward to a bit of sunshine to get rid of some of the January blues!
Closer to home we are looking forward to rolling out the Young Survivor Level 2, along with the 24 hour adult course at our location in the Brecon Beacons with several new locations being scouted in the north of England.
Here’s to a great year, here at BGSA we wish you all a Merry Christmas and an adventurous and exciting 2015!”
Don Fletcher writes “Big News- the dates are now live for the Young Survivor Courses in 2015! After the success of the initial course run in the Forest of Dean we are pleased to announce two new course dates, along with a slight restructuring of the Award. The Level 1 Course will now be run over 2 days and will involve sleeping outside in your own shelter (weather dependant) along with all of the usual BGSA challenges along the way!
Due to this restructuring, the Level 2 Award will now be run over 3 days with full details and dates to be announced shortly in the Easter Holidays.
The Young Survivor Level 1 Award will run in the Forest of Dean on the 16th/17th February (Half Term) and also on the 7th/8th/9th of April (Easter Holidays). The price for the YSL1 Award is now reduced to £199 and is open to Young Survivors aged between 13 and 15 years old.
To reserve your spot BOOK NOW! The initial Young Survivor Course was the quickest selling course in BGSA history, to reserve your spot now to avoid disappointment!
For more information call the office on 01483 424438, email email@example.com or visit our web page here.
BGSA Top Ten…..
Reasons to take your company on an Ultimate Team Building Course!
1- Fun. What could be more fun than a day out in the woods with your team with our amazing instructors?
2- Teamwork. Teamwork is essential in the outdoor world, without it you would get nowhere-fast.
3- Communication. What good is someone doing a job and fulfilling a role if nobody else knows about it? Companies run on efficiency of communications.
4- Relationship Building. The modern workplace can be a stressful environment, outdoor activities are the perfect way to get out of the confines of the office and re-boot the relationship between co-workers.
5- Thinking clearly under pressure. This is one of the hardest managerial traits to master, ignoring all the noise and distractions around you to come to the correct decision every time.
6- Characteristics of team members. There is always one team member who is usually timid and shy in the office who will really come out of their shell and surprise everyone with their leadership skills. Is this you?
7- Confidence building. After you have abseiled face first down a one hundred feet high sheer rock face you would feel like you are able to conquer anything that either work or life can throw at you.
8- Encourages ‘out the box’ thinking. Our courses include challenges that would be completely outside of everyone’s area of expertise, so improvisation is vital.
9- Challenge. Our courses, no matter how big, will challenge you in ways that you never thought possible. Who would have thought something as ‘easy’ as making a cup of tea would take a couple of hours and include how to light a fire, purify water and forage for something tasty?
10- Risk. The real challenge of any business is weighing up the risk: reward ratio. Nothing teaches this better than outdoor challenges, where taking a risk could be potentially lifesaving or life ending. Would you have what it takes to survive?
BGSA can run any team building event in any location, to suit any budget. For more information see our website or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Don writes- “BGSA is pleased to announce probably our most exciting offering ever- kid’s birthday parties!
With our ever growing popularity amongst our younger fans, we decided that our next logical step would be to start to offer a few hours of fun-BGSA style- to help kids to celebrate their big day in style.
We recently ran a launch event in Acton, West London, for Dolcie and 19 of her classmates in an ideal location full of long grass, trees and undergrowth. Excitement levels were high amongst the kids when they arrived at the venue and saw one of our giant silver Land Rovers, camo nets strewn around the area and even a parachute to use as a shelter for lunch.
They party started with a bang, with the kids going straight into a quick lesson in camouflage and concealment which meant covering their faces and arms in mud-much to the delight of the kids but left a few of the parents a bit shell-shocked!! This was followed by a quick lesson in flinch response/self defence training, no Kung-Fo here-purely honing their innate reactions to any danger and learning how to deal with any surprises when in the wild.
From there the kids went straight into the undergrowth, putting their new skills in camouflage and concealment to the ultimate test- hiding from their friends! After a lot of fun and laughter the kids were all found- a few bright pink waterproof tops were soon found to be of little help!
The day continued with shelter building, fire lighting, a classic BGSA gross eat and finally lunch under the parachute- eating military ration packs and flameless heaters- before finishing off with a big team photo on the Land Rover to finish. It was a great day and all of the kids had an action packed party and even came away with a few new survival skills and great big smiles on their faces!”
BGSA birthday parties have just been launched, and for any more information please contact the office on 01483 424438 or email email@example.com. Parties start from £1,000 and can be personalised to suit your child and their specific needs/interests and can be run anywhere with a bit of woodland!
This November sees the launch of BGSA’s latest course – Survival in the Lowlands! Run over a period of four days on Dartmoor in the South West of the UK, this is one of our toughest and most intense courses yet. Learning all of Bear’s survival tips from our expert instructors, you will make use of all of the natural features to navigate, climb, crawl, abseil, walk and run your way back to civilisation.
Dartmoor has to be one of the toughest environments in the UK, so tough in fact that the world renowned Royal Marine Commandos use this area as their extensive training area. It can be wet, cold, cloudy and miserable…and that’s just in the summer!
The Survival in the Lowlands course is really action packed from the word go, with an Alpine style dinner cooked by the participants using only the most fresh ingredients, followed by an intensive survival skills day where you will learn how to use a knife effectively and safely, start a fire (with no matches!), purify water and how to use snares and traps to catch your own dinner. With a little time to catch your breath, the third morning kicks straight off with a field PT session, then the team will move straight into an extreme mountain training day-learning how to climb, abseil and cross difficult ground in a safe environment.
The final survival challenge is something that we are really proud of here at BGSA, starting immediately after the mountain training day and finishing……well when you reach safety!! A helicopter pick up on top of one of Dartmoor’s most famous tors is a dramatic way to start (weather dependant), and is followed by an overnight stay at a wilderness location. No sleeping bags, no tents, no creature comforts – you will need to put all of your survival skills to the test to ensure the team gets through the night in one piece. Without wanting to give too much away, the final morning is fast paced, action packed and high adrenaline-everything that you would expect from Bear Grylls Survival Academy!
Click here to apply
Over the past few weeks we had the pleasure of having Harry with us to learn all about our company and to help out with any of the courses that we had running. With a full calendar for the fortnight that he was here, Harry really was a busy chap!
Helping out on recces, courses, corporate events and even spending a bit of time with Bear (see above) were on the agenda, with a few hidden surprises in there too (you never can tell when you are going to be chased by a herd of cows!!).
Harry said that his highlight was “The day that we recced a site for another course. This course was happening near a lake and to make sure there wasn’t anything dangerous in the lake, Don and I put our bodies on the line and jumped (pretty much fully clothed…) into this stinking, green, fish filled lake. We stepped into mud that came up to our thighs and really stunk. Nevertheless we waded/swam through triumphantly and took a victory picture once we had completed the treacherous crossing. The lake was safe to use…just!”
Bear Grylls Survival Academy is proud to announce that it has been nominated for the World Travel Awards 2014! In recognition of all the hard work that the team (seen above with Bear) have put in over the past 12 months, BGSA are up for selection in the ‘World’s Leading Extreme Adventure’ category alongside some other truly amazing experiences. You can vote for us by clicking the logo below…
Our Sales and Marketing manager Rach says, “This nomination is a fantastic achievement by all of the team for their hard work over the past year. Everyone from our instructors to the sales and bookings team has done a great job and it is always nice to be up for an award! The hard work never stops though; we are busy working away on making BGSA bigger and better for next year-so keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for all of the latest developments”
The award winners will not be announced until November, but we will keep you updated!
The time has come for our initial intake on the Level 1 instructor Academy to their all-important assessments to see if they have what it takes to lead. After the three day instructor training course, the intake have had a few months to go away and hone their practical, teaching and interpersonal skills before coming back to attempt to get their accreditation.
The day entails a series of both practical and theoretical tests, beginning in the classroom with a multiple choice survival exam. This covers all of the topics they are taught by Bear Grylls Survival Academy such as fire lighting, shelter building and traps and snares. After a brief pause for some lunch, the candidates will be straight out into the woods to see if they can put their theoretical knowledge into practice and actually perform these tasks themselves! Lighting a fire in the cold and wet of the English countryside isn’t as easy as you may think…
Do you think this sounds easy? Think again! With lead instructor Scott Heffield running the day with his usual strict approach, only those candidates who meet the required standard will be given the Level 1 Instructor Award. For those successful candidates, a career in the outdoor industry awaits as the BGSA Level 1 Instructor Award is accredited by the Institute for Outdoor Learning. For the very top candidates work with the Academy itself could await.
For more information about our instructor awards, see here
One of our partners, Jetlev-Flyer UK, met up with Bear recently and he tested out a few of their goodies. Here’s what they had to say about it! “When Jetlev-Flyer UK were asked by Boat International magazine to fly Bear Grylls we jumped at the chance. With only a few months after opening our doors we could not wait to fly our first celebrity.
As we drove north to meet Bear near his home we were slightly apprehensive as we passed the white horses of the North Wales coastline but were delighted to drop into Abersoch, a beautiful seaside town protected by the land to give us an uninterrupted piece of flat water with a shallow sloped sandy beach, perfect conditions for flying the jetlev.
Whilst setting up on the beach we were met by Bear who made a pretty cool entrance as he drove his 30ft rib up onto the beach and parked next to us. After a brief instruction from the Jetlev-Flyer Team BG strapped into the Jetpack and took to Jetlev like a duck to water. We always control the power via a remote control for our first time flyers but within minutes Bear was using the throttle on the jetpack and flying around with 260hp at his disposal.
After a short break we jumped on our Jetski whilst BG’s team along with the Boat International photographer jumped into Bears boat and ‘drove’ back into the sea. A few tips more for Bear on what to do whilst airborne proved all that was necessary to take the Jetlev-flyer to its limits. As we roared down the coast of Abersoch I saw an impressive 36mph on the Jet ski speedo as BG was next to me 3 meters in the air.
The Jetlev-Flyer is a real crowd puller and today was no exception. Pulling doughnuts, reaching 10 metres high and planing through the water at speed are what the Jetlev does best and with a pilot like Bear onboard, we were delighted to show what our water jetpacks can do.
If you want to experience flying one of these amazing £86,000 Jetlev-Flyers then we offer twin seat and solo flights in Bedford and London. Twin Flights start at £49 and solo flights are from £145. With a solo flight, we teach you how to take off and control the machine and fly like your favourite superhero. If you want to experience the Jetlev without the challenge of going solo, then strap in with a Jetlev Pilot and fly across the water and soar to 10m high”
If you would like to know more about Jetlev-Flyer then please give them a call on 0333 300 34023 or visit www.jetlevflyeruk.com.