Cold, dark nights and pelting rain have done nothing to dampen the soaring spirits of the Renegades youth group.Renegades logo

Whatever the weather, the activities on offer to the youngsters just keep going and growing but the current hands-down favourite is the night hike.

“So far we have managed four night walks covering increasing lengths, but the most recent was by far the longest and the best,” says Youth Leader Gareth Miller. “We walked Roundstreet Common to Loxwood – more than four long and sometimes difficult miles – but the youngsters never stopped talking and the absolute joy of the evening was a surprise bonfire, BBQ and impromptu open air disco under the inky black sky.”

While the hike was happening, three wonderful mums Francesca Marshall, Sophie D’aoust and Becci Coombes sneaked to a field in Loxwood that the Renegades can use and set the whole thing up.

“Imagine walking down a field toward the sight of a roaring fire, the smell of steaks and toasted bread and the sound of Bob Marley…and above your head you can see Mars Jupiter Saturn and the full constellation in our wonderful dark skies. The youngsters could not believe it – they just loved it.”

A new activity has also been added to the weekly offer of archery, carpentry, drama, art, bushcraft. The youngsters now have the option to start learning how to make flint arrows, axes, knives and hammers – whatever they express an interest in, Gareth and fellow Group Leader Damian Dixon will make happen…if it’s humanly possible!

The other big news of the month is that The Renegades has been formally registered as a charity, which will hopefully now open more funding doors and allow us to claim gift aid. We have applied for a number of grants to enable us to buy more equipment for the kids, particularly event tents so that we can continue to defeat the weather and keep everyone Covid safe and canoes and a trailer.

“We are always on the hunt for equipment for the young people, so if anyone is having a pre-Christmas clear out please, please think of us,” says Gareth.

The Renegades is a local youth group for all children in The Weald catchment area aged 10-16, costs £10 a month and can be joined by contacting Gareth Miller on 07801 862550