With the film showcasing the excitement and adventure of dinghy sailing, could this be an opportunity for your club to capture people who have been inspired this summer?
Robbie Bell, RDO in the East shares his ideas. “Swallows and Amazons is all about a group of children sailing away to have the adventure of a lifetime and there are plenty of things clubs can do to market activities to appeal to those who have enjoyed the film.
“Your club could offer Stage 1 courses in September and advertise to people who want to ‘start their own Swallows and Amazons adventure’. Think about the images that you use and make the most of promoting your location especially if your club is in a beautiful setting. Let people know how family friendly your club is and what activities are on offer for people to take part in as a family.
“You could also celebrate with existing members by running Swallows and Amazons themed games and activities for the youngsters or organising a trip to see the film. If you offer cruising opportunities it could be that you could organise a sailing session or trip that welcomes families so people can create their own adventures-you could even offer camping if the weather is still warm enough!”
Creating their own adventures
For the past three years Brancaster Staithe SC on the Norfolk Coast have been running a Swallows and Amazons club every Thursday evening after school with the aim of encouraging the children into the club on a regular basis.
“We wanted the sessions to have a family friendly atmosphere with an emphasis on fun and adventure. We wanted the children to experience the freedom sailing has to offer and the chance to create their own adventures” explained Rosie Newport, Swallows and Amazons Fleet Captain.
“When the tide is in we sail out or go to the beach where we play games have mini treasure hunts or most commonly requested play pirates where the children sail toppers in pairs and have to try to avoid being capsized by invading pirate boats!
“The parents are all encouraged to join in and we have grandparents who regularly come along too. On the low water sessions we practice our rowing techniques, undertake marsh safaris which the children love. These involve walks along the muddier creeks in the harbour. Sometimes we practice knot tying and rigging techniques, however the children are much more interested in mud sliding!
“The children really look forward to the sessions and proudly sport their Swallows and Amazons hoodies around the club. We all have red fleece hats with our names embroidered on them in true Amazon fashion.”
Kielder Water Sailing Club
The spirit of Swallows and Amazons is also alive at Kielder Water Sailing Club where they are running a Swallows and Amazons open day offering free lake cruises in vintage sailing boats (walking the plank optional!)
Weather permitting the club hope people inspired by the movie will enjoy the experience of sailing across the lake to explore creeks and inlets among the trees or visiting one of the unusual art works located around the lake, which are normally only accessible by travelling for miles on foot or by bike.
If you would like some more ideas on how to make the most of Swallows and Amazons speak to your RDO