Half way throught the week for our Year 6 residential in Castleton.
Some of us had to be woken at 7:30, as we were in danger of missing breakfast (which may have been a blessing for some of our waistlines!). Everyone had slept well and for a very long time, ten hours in some cases! Slowly, we made our way to breakfast, where after demolishing the huge amount of food we were offered, we were told which of the exciting activities we would be up to today. A quick chance to change and off we went again! The mist was low but with blue sky above and the odd glint of sunshine gave us hope for another great day.
Some groups loaded up the minibuses with equipment, for the short journey to the, abseiling bridge and Mam Tor base camp. This left the site a little quieter as the remaining groups prepared for climbing, high ropes, archery and raft building. The last few clouds blew away whilst we carried out our activities and it turned in to beautiful morning. The fair weather enabled the accent of Mam Tor in record time and it did make archery rather easier. Funny, however much practice one does on the Wii, it never quite prepares you for the real thing! I am told that a number of fears were overcome on the climbing wall and eventually some of the trickier routes were conquered. Our final remarkable feat was to get all ten abseilers over the edge and down the bridge, becoming the first group to get a full house this week.
After a hard morning’s exertion, boy were we ready for lunch! Another vast quantity of food was waiting for us and as we worked our way through the pizza and chips, everyone told their tales of each activity so all are now eagerly anticipated. Most seem to involve mud, ropes and water!
Unfortunately, the clear skies disappeared and the rain was ready to test us again as we headed off for our afternoon, so it was on with the cagoules and boots and off we went.
The afternoon bought another range of challenges and some more mud. Down at the weaselling, the holes appeared smaller (or maybe that was just lunch!) but with the renewed vigour of we were quickly wiggling our way in and out of the rocks and squeezing ourselves through the holes. One or two weasels looked more like coal miners by the end of the session!
If it’s not mud and water, it’s great heights! The high ropes involve extraordinary team work, as one child works their way around a series of obstacles and high wires attached to a safety line, another pair belay them, taking in the slack of the rope and moving along with them. The climbing wall tests the ability to choose a correct route and reach the top via numerous different options. Once everyone has got the hang of the climbing, teamwork again takes over as we belay each other down to terra firma again.
Another afternoon ended with another fantastic dinner. Today was toad in the hole. Before the great excitement of our evening; Miss Hymans Big Games Challenge. After five rounds of Pictionary, articulation, Jenga and other big board games our champions were crowned before, exhausted but happy we retired to bed to prepare for another full day tomorrow.
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