Celebrating Ten Tors Success
This week I had the pleasure of leading an assembly to celebrate the success of our Ten Tors teams. The event is an event solely for young people, in which approximately 2,400 individuals in teams of six take on the challenge of navigating through ten given tors. Teams are expected to walk across Dartmoor for 35 miles, 45 miles or 55 miles carrying all the kit that is required to safely camp out overnight and walking for two days. Preparing for the event takes huge commitment not only on the part of the young people, but for the staff who volunteer for numerous weekends and evenings to plan and prepare making sure that each individual is well versed in first aid, navigation and camp craft.
The start line at Antony’s stile near Okehampton is quite a remarkable sight as 2,400 individuals line up on the hillside. The Ten Tors prayer is led by the Ten Tors Chaplain and the field gun is fired. As the smoke from the gun drifts a huge roar is heard from the participants and within minutes the vastness of Dartmoor has swallowed them up, not be seen again by nervously waiting team mangers and family members until Sunday afternoon.
To start our assembly we reflected on Psalm 121
1-2 I look up to the mountains;
does my strength come from mountains?
No, my strength comes from God,
who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.
3-4 He won’t let you stumble,
your Guardian God won’t fall asleep.
Not on your life! Your
Guardian will never doze or sleep.
5-6 God’s your Guardian,
right at your side to protect you—
Shielding you from sunstroke,
sheltering you from moonstroke.
7-8 God guards you from every evil,
He guards your very life.
He guards you when you leave and when you return,
He guards you now, He guards you always.
It seemed an appropriate Psalm as I stood at the start line looking up towards Yes Tor. I was thinking about the courage and strength of character that the individuals in our teams would require not only for themselves but also for each other as they battled with the terrain and those nagging voices as the pain and the blisters only became ever increasing.
The Ten Tors Prayer
“O God, who has made the earth of great beauty
and instilled in man a spirit for adventure,
we thank you for the beauty of nature
for the courage and vigour of youth
for companionship and
for the opportunity to enjoy these gifts.
Go, we pray, with all who are setting out
on this great venture among the tors
of a unique and ancient moorland.
Grant that, by meeting each challenge and difficulty
with honest endeavour and unselfish courage
they may find a spirit of determination
and true comradeship that will benefit themselves
and those about them both now and in the future.”
As we awaited the teams arrival there was such a sense of elation as each team popped up over the top of the hill and made their way towards us at the finish line. As the Kingsley flag unfurled, feelings of being immensely proud flowed from staff and parents alike, as we realised that the words of the Ten Tors prayer had begun to be fulfilled that for each individual, this truly would be a life changing experience that would affect them and those around them forever.
I would like to thank everyone involved in making Ten Tors happen for the Kingsley teams.