Team PDMS winners of the 2013 Adventure Team Challenge

The annual Adventure Team Challenge is organised by the Children's Centre and is the Isle of Man's ultimate team adventure event with all proceeds generated by the entry fees going to help children, young people and families on the Island.

The challenges are always a closely guarded secret until the day, apart from the omnipresent orienteering and mountain-biking events, and there is usually something that involves getting wet! We were rather cryptically told to bring camouflage gear and a power drill, in addition to the usual towel and change of clothes, so it was with great interest that we examined our challenge rota at the start of the day.

Our day started with the "Storm the Castle" challenge, which involved building a fully-functional "torsion catapult" from materials provided, which included some wood, string, elastic, screws and an empty cola bottle: this was why we needed the drill! Fortunately we had a detailed plan to follow, but we still managed to break the elastic in our testing process. We finally built a working model, and used it to fire rubber balls at a series of toy castles occupied by knights and dragons. We got points for the number of enemy slain!

The second challenge of the day saw us bussed off to the nearby South Barrule plantation where we took part in Laser Mayhem: this was what the camouflage gear was for. We played 4 games of "capture the flag" against 3 other teams, rotating through roles on the battlefield. Our camouflage gear didn't really help, as we lost the first game, but regained some honour by capturing the flag in the third. However, we lost to arch rivals Dandara in the "30 second show-down" at the end, where they annihilated us!

The third challenge, back at the Cringle plantation, was the wet one. Two of us had to paddle across the reservoir to collect "tickets" to buy materials for an aqueduct, which we were to use to transport water from one side of the embankment to the other. Once we had collected enough water we had to fill a "leaky pipe" to bring the "prize ping pong ball" to the top to the pipe: this marked the completion of the challenge. Unfortunately, those of us who had avoided getting wet on the reservoir, now got wet as water spewed from the pipe as we desperately tried to block the holes with our fingers, in a tangle akin to a wet game of Twister.

The afternoon found us back on familiar ground with the orienteering and mountain biking challenges. The former led us on a trail around the Cringle plantation, collecting "punches" on our card as we found each of the grid references we have previously earned by solving a Sudoku puzzle. Then the mountain bike challenge involved pedalling round a choice of a long or a short course to earn points for each completed circuit. While this was going on, other team members had to construct increasingly complicated Origami models from small sheets of paper: not easy when you are covered in mud and dripping with sweat! 

The day finished off with an excellent hot meal from the Pavilion Restaurant (Port St Mary) at the prize presentation in the event HQ marquee: we were delighted to  reclaim the trophy having last won it in 2010.

The PDMS team members pictured are: Tim Loton, Alistair Elliot, Chris Gledhill, Jan Gledhill  and Lewis Veale