The day began early (some might say a little too early!) as the children were very excited about the activities ahead. Room inspections took place at 7.30, some passing with flying colours, others needed a bit more work. A special mention for Joel and Kai and to Freya, Isabelle and Grace, who had done a wonderful job in keeping their rooms tidy. The walk to breakfast brought the first rain of the trip but that was soon forgotten as the class undertook the challenge of eating as much toast, cereal, fruit and yoghurt as possible. The staff took on the challenge as well but could not keep up!
With full bellies and smiles on their faces, the whole class travelled down to the river where they met up with our team of instructors. The centre is run by a Christian charity and each session involves an element of prayer which is led by one of the instructors. After this, the children were kitted out in buoyancy aids, helmets and paddles before being put into groups. All of the staff also took part although it remains unclear whether those boats had an advantage or disadvantage.
Once on the river, we played a selection of games as well as learning all about brussel sprouts and ice cream! Some canoes found it easier than others to steer with some interesting collisions but fortunately nobody fell in. The session ended with a very entertaining game of canoe-ball with the red team defeating the greens. At the end of the session the importance of working as a team was reflected upon and reinforced as the children had to carry the canoes and equipment back to the base.
Mrs Sparkes’ group then went to the maze which they thoroughly enjoyed. Various challenges were set for them and they demonstrated some great problem solving skills. The second group took part in ‘Above and Beyond’ an activity that highlights the work of MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) who help to deliver medical support to people in remote locations around the world. Why not visit their website to find out more http://www.maf.org/ The children had to overcome various obstacles to discover what it would be like to travel great distances to gain medical attention and then got to sit in a real MAF plane.
After a very busy morning the whole group were ready for lunch which consisted of pizza, potato wedges, pasta and salad. Many of the children had looked forward to different elements of the trip but one reoccurring conversation had between staff and pupils (on some occasions very early in the morning!) was “when are we going to the ROCK shop?”. This was finally answered after lunch with a varied selection of items purchased for the film night to come later.
The afternoon comprised Bush skills for my group, all of whom learnt about different types of trees and how to make a den from items in the wood. The camp fire was also a highlight for some of the children. The other group took on the challenge of abseiling. There were some great individual achievements, which were celebrated by the group as a whole.
Mrs Sparkes’ group enjoyed Above and Beyond, particularly impressing with their teamwork in overcoming the obstacles. A couple of budding pilots also demonstrated their skills while the group all understood the link made to the Good Samaritan.
My group finished the afternoon with a visit to the Adventure Pit. The overall outcome was a lot of muddy children with big smiles on their faces.
As with every other meal, dinner was greatly appreciated and the children then went back to Oak Lodge to prepare for the movie night.
Photos will be uploaded later this evening.