When Coronvirus arrived and we were forced to close in March 2020, like many, we were lost. The kids were at home for schooling, I took a job driving for a supermarket, and we crossed our fingers and toes that we would all get through this!
Fast-forward a few months and we were able to re-open to provide activity sessions. There were lots of changes to implement, and I have never cleaned so much, but we are managing to ride the storm and adapt to the 'new-normal'. Being a small Outdoor Activity Centre has given us flexibility to change our systems and tailor our offering to suit a varying cliental. Usually we would work with large groups including hen parties, stag groups, businesses and school trips. Under the new COVID-restrictions, we limited our offering to provide activities for local families and those on stay-cation, staying in the North Cumbria area. We are currently working to the 'rule of 6', providing activities for groups of up to 5 people with our instructor. We are also continuing to provide adventure courses for schools and youth groups, operating within their procedures for group bubbles and distancing.
It has been lovely, and we are very grateful to have been able to re-open. Working with fewer and smaller groups brings it's challenges, but it has also been very rewarding. The School Groups, Brownies and Scouts who have come to us at Talkin Tarn have been amazing.
As Residential Activity Centres have been unable to provide over-night packages, we have been well placed to deliver Outdoor Education Courses to young people. The Outdoor Adventure Activities that we offer these groups has temporarily been reduced to allow us to limit close contact and help keep visiting groups and our team safe. For organised groups, we have been able to deliver socially distanced Archery Experiences, Rafted Canoes, Woodland Skills/Bushcraft Sessions and Orienteering. Each of these activities has been adapted as we try our best to limit the spread of corona virus.
For family groups, we have been running Archery, Kayaking and Stand Up Paddle Boarding Experiences. These activities have been chosen as they work well with smaller groups and are easier to implement social distancing. The main challenge with water sports is rescuing a participant if they fall in - with Kayaking or SUP this becomes very easy as both are easy to climb back onto with very little involvement from our instructor. (who will always be there if needed).
As the local Outdoor Activity Centre to Brampton and Carlisle, our day adventure trips have proven popular. Working with Brampton Area Action Group and S.H.I.N.E., we have provided holiday club activity days for over 50 local young people, and hope to continue to have such a positive influence next year.
As a company focusing on large groups, we have very much enjoyed working with smaller groups. By adapting to offer only privately booked activity days we have been able to manage the uncertainty of 2020 better, and our visitors have felt safer.
Hopefully next year people will continue to visit Cumbria for a staycation and will spend more time in the outdoors. The trend for Learning Outside the Classroom will also hopefully see more school and educational visits to Talkin Tarn from Carlisle and local Schools.
So there we have it, 2020 has been unreal but we have managed to adapt our little Outdoor Activity Centre in Cumbria. Talkin Adventures are still here and running some fantastic activities for schools, youth groups and families - And we will continue to do so in 2021 and beyond.
To book an activity please take a look at our listing, or contact us if another date would suit you better. For Schools and Youth Groups, ask us for a copy of our latest brochure for non-residential adventure trips and we will be happy to help. We can even come to your school!
Stay Safe Everybody,
Darren at Talkin Adventures