Outdoor Dads

Outdoor Dads, part of the Dangerous Dads Network, is a group for dads and male carers to have an adventurous day in the woods with their kids. The group meets at the arboretum once a month, and light fire, cook lunch, explore the woodland and play games, build dens, use hand tools and much more.

We hear from one of our Outdoor Dads who attended the first group in March.


Max and I didn’t really know what to expect before we arrived on Saturday. I had heard about the Dangerous Dads network through another Facebook friend but didn’t think there was a local group until I stumbled across the arboretum site following the fundraising for the goats.

Thankfully the weather during last week was kind so we didn’t need wellies, but I made sure we wrapped up warm as the wind was pretty chilly – and I’m so glad we did as the site was quite open following previous bramble clearance.

We arrived on site and were shown where to park and then got stuck in straight away collecting wood to start the fire – another way to keep the chill at bay – which was lit in no time at all, I think Lisa has done that before !

After the usual introductions we split up into groups, and while I wanted to go and climb trees Max decided he wanted to build a den using the tarpaulin and ropes supplied. Teaming up with another dad and his two young children we set about constructing something that could withstand “a hurricane”…it later transpired that it could hold 8 children comfortably and they didn’t get overly wet when it was tested.

After that we helped Bec gather wild garlic for the lunchtime pancakes (although I never did manage to try one) and had a useful lesson on what to look for and what to avoid.

After a lunch sitting around the fire and the den tests, Max covered his face in mud and stood in the small stream running through the bottom of the wood as they played camouflage games which he thoroughly enjoyed.

Before we knew it, it was time to head home already and we soon booked up to return next month. Max is hoping to use some tools and build some artwork from deadwood – and I’d like to climb the trees !