We have done a few of the Forestry Commission trails based on Julia Donaldson books, The Gruffalo Child Trail being one of my favourites, so I knew the moo's were keen to try out the Superworm. Shunning our normal Moors Valley trip we decided to go and try Bolderwood, in the New Forest. We have been before as there is a deer sanctuary there and of course an ice cream van! It's perfect for dog walking so we went with Nanny C and Molly dog.
Megan read everyone parts of the Superworm book which I picked up from Scholastic Books for £2.99 when I ran a campaign in July at pre-school, and everyone was keen to get going.
Parking is free at Bolderwood however they do have a machine where you can leave donations. We paid £3.50 for the Superworm pack and started following the green band. Unlike other trails you could actually forgo the pack. There are ten stops each one had 3 activities based on different ages. These activities asked you to do or find things. Unlike the Gruffalo Child's trail where you had to answer questions in your booklet or find the hidden letters, these activities could be done without the pack. The only saving grace for the pack itself was the stickers and mini Superworm book.
Having not walked the green trail before the children were keen to explore what was around them. I loved all the little dens dotted about and there were plenty of trees on their sides to clamber on. We pretended one was a sleeping stegosaurus.
The trail ends at the deer viewing platform. They were hiding in the bushes, I think they may have been camera shy.
I do love these trails. I love the concept of bringing books that children love and adore to life in the forest. There is so much opportunity for them to explore and run free. After we finished the trail Nanny C treated us to an ice cream – New Forest of course and this gave me the opportunity to assess the outcome of our Scholastic Book Campaign.
Although only myself and one other ordered books we did make £10 nearly in free books. Which for a charity run pre-school is a very welcomed amount. I and the pre-school can see the benefit in running these campaigns. However I think this time round it was all in the timing and execution.
Timing : Far to close to the end of term, people weren't thinking about buying books but what costumes were needed for the school play and what day sports day was etc. Key buying times would be better ie. Christmas and Easter I usually forgo Easter eggs in favour of books.
Execution : It's definitely not a handout a few flyers kinda of thing. It needs a bit of work. Next time I'd look at having a display in the playground of books and take orders directly whilst people are engaged and I have their attention.
Posters : a large poster detailing end date and maybe a promo for one of the books. For example, Superworm book and doing the trail, bringing the story to life. I'd also have a countdown of how many order days are left.
A short time span works well to encourage people to order straight away but from the parents I chatted to some of them just forgot before the deadline. Reminder slips might have produced a few more orders.
Electronic Messages : I'm not on the Committee so I don't have access to parents details but if you did it might be useful to tweet/text/email/Facebook message them with the order link.
Building up a rappour : I've ordered from Scholastic before and knew I'd have a fast service and excellent quality. If the Pre-School was to do regular campaigns I'm sure they would increase their orders easily as the parents became more aware of the brand and ordering at certain points in the year became routine.
I wouldn't rule out running another Scholastic Book campaign and we will be visting Bolderwood again soon for another adventure.