Day 3 - Team Swing, Skyline, Team Games and Heading Home
And so we come to the final day, and it is always with a tinge of sadness.
On the plus-side, the children seem to have found that little extra spark of teamwork, and are really pulling together to get things done. In the case of Group 2, this is in a very literal sense as we were on the Team Swing.
The regular chant of ‘To The Top’ could be heard ringing out as the rope was pulled and the children rose steadily off the floor.
In all of the years I have been going (and echoing Mrs Roddis’s earlier comment), I have not known so many people in one group be so brave. Six of the seven pairs went to the very top and the pair that didn’t were, in my opinion, braver than the others. This pair didn’t bow to the peer pressure or get carried away with the others – they pushed themselves to their very limit and made sure that it was an enjoyable experience. They knew that any further than the halfway, would have spoilt it, and they didn’t want this to happen. This takes braver, guts and a healthy dose of self-awareness. My hat (and helmet) is doffed to Jack and Sophie for this amazing decision.
Other notable mentions are to:
Lydia – hands over her eyes for that extra hit of adrenaline.
The Silent Ones – Never before have pairs been on the swing and done so without an uttered scream or shout. This was VERY odd.
The Greengrocers – Not 100% sure why, but several children were yelling the names of fruit as they went!
Group 1 all did themselves proud too, with some excellent cooperation on the Skyline and some creative poses on the zip-wire.
The final activity was some indoor games in the sports hall. Mat Surfing, Corners and Pac Man all gave a nice finish to the trip.
The sense of adventure from the children was threatened at times, to be overcome by the lack of self-care in making sure that we have all the correct kit, with nothing left in the rooms or boot room. As always though, the majority of the children were switched-on and this filtered through by the end of the time.
Of all the groups, I can honestly say that these have been the bravest, and on my tables – had the best table manners.
Thank you to all parents for lending us your children for the three days. I hope that we have returned them to you in one piece, with tales to tell and a sense of achievement.
I would also like to thank Mrs Roddis for her time and counsel, and Miss Furniss, who I hope had a great first trip. A thank you also to Ruby’s Mum for her kind words.
Day 2 - Bell-boating and Paddle-Boarding
It took a while to get everyone in the right place, with the right kit, in the right place, with the right kit, at the right time, with the right kit, but eventually we set off.
Coach one needed to turn back quite soon due to a technical fault, but soon after, we arrived. To more building work and the narrowest of narrow gaps through which to get a coach. Hats-off to the drives for getting through the gate without too any scratches.
Bell-boating was a nice, gentle, paddle up the river. Taking in the scenery, watching the dragonflies, avoiding the buzzards, and keeping an eye out for kingfishers. In my boat, Lacey and Ellie were expert sailors, keeping everyone in check. Once we arrived at the shallow-bit, Green and Red boats were ordered to jump-ship and have a paddle around the boat.
By thunder, it was cold!
Luckily, the sun came out, and with some vigorous toe-wiggling, we all got warm again.
Lunch was lovely, with a samidge, crisps, and a SAUSAGE ROLL (the capitals are for Noah's benefit).
After lunch, it was paddle-boarding.
The children paired up, kneeled up and headed off on to the river. Lefts, rights, forwards, backwards, horizontals and verticals all got a bit confusing at times, but all had a great time.
Loads of falling in, with Ruby and William having the dubious honour of being the first ones to experience the full effect of the October water. Fair play to both of them - excellent attitude from them both.
After that, it really was a free-for-all. Everyone falling in, falling off and having a really good time.
It all ended with a run-and-jump off the jetty into the river. Madness, utter madness!
A quiet tea of curry, was followed by Smuggler's Run. It started quite poorly, with some very loud sneaking and terrible stealth. So Smuggler's Re-run, was initiated and this was much more successful.
Superb teamwork, excellent co-operation and a win for the children against the staff. A massive thank you to the children who were unduly worried that I had melted, disappeared, been eaten and locked in the shed (depending on who you asked). I am perfectly fine and was just having a snooze by the astro-turf.
And so to the the last night. I am typing, Mrs Roddis and Miss Furniss are on patrol. Here's hoping for a bit of peace and quiet...
Arrival was delayed due to the eternal traffic lights in Eckington. Bit late, but not too much.
Once here, Ben sent them all off on orienteering (or orien-tea-drinking as it is often termed). This caused a few of the children to get lost, but we rounded them up in time for lunch.
After lunch we harnessed up and headed for the ropes.
Group 1 – Team Swing: EVERYONE was amazing. Those that were nay-sayers right from the start (mentioning no names Harvey!) Bosh –straight to the top, no messing. Mrs Roddis commented that this was the bravest group that she has had the pleasure of being with. Miss Furniss also made it to the top with Olly (both as brave as each other).
Group 2 – Sky Line and Zip Wire. All of the children had a good go at the track. Lots of jumping, balancing and swinging around. Lydia and Jenny really shone with the speed and smiles. Carter – no comment – just look at his photo!
Dinner was a smashing pork roast, and set us up well for the evening walk.
The Night Walk started well. All safely navigated to the Churchyard and a quick reminder of Florence Nightingale. We then encountered a field full of cows. Deciding that intruding upon a herd wasn’t the best idea and so turned round.
Big shout-outs on the night walk to Carter, Ava, Eva, Evie, Jenny, Tilly and Kyle. All of these were brave, resilient and powered on with tired legs and brave hearts.
And so to the night…
As of now (22:40) it’s quiet. Perhaps too quiet…