Sunday, 26 June 2011

Activity Week!

Each year, the children spend a week out of school in the summer term. This year, I went with them to an outdoor activity centre...

Day 1
Wake up: 04:00 (for most of us).
Depart: 07:00 (all of us)
Arrive Manchester: 08:31
Arrive RAF Cosford: 10:37
Depart RAF Cosford: 13:31
Arrive Manor Adventure: 14:29 (all times accurately estimated – well, almost – to the nearest minute).
Divided into 9 dormitory rooms (33 ÷ 9 = 3 2/3 boys per room. Hmmm....) and 3 activity groups (11 per group – easier maths)
First activity: 15.30 – 2 groups took part in Survival (don’t ask); 1 group, Archery (hidden talents beginning to emerge)
First meal: 17.25 – cottage pie, chicken or pork. Lots of fruit. And vegetables. Mmm...
First frantic game of Flobberty Floogle (you don’t want to know) 18:01 WITH, SIMULTANEOUSLY...first frantic game of Frisbee.
The chicken...
Second activity: 19:00 Confidence course (scary scary heights and balancing, extremely confidently done); Archery (scary scary arrow shooting); Maze (scary scary underground exploration). RAIN. IN SPADES, STAIR RODS AND TROPICAL MONSOON PROPORTIONS. (I sheltered under a tree with a chicken – of the feathered variety. The children were intrepid.)
Showers and Washing: 20:35
Pyjamas: 20:37
Evening wind up down: 20:59.

Day 2
Cooked breakfast!
Canoeing, kayaking and all things wet. Billy survived the ‘point of no return’ – in other words, every one else fell in. Including Mr V. (Did he fall or was he pushed? Ask Henry – and Mrs P.) Ed pioneered a new hairstyle: safety helmet featuring tufts of hair poking through the strap holes on top. He looked rather like a faun with a plastic head.
The end of the 'confidence course'...confidence gained!
Rifle shooting: no injuries, a few bull’s eyes but on the whole the target remained an area of relative safety.
Initiative exercises. More training in group work, initiative and working together was PROBABLY necessary before coming on Activity Week. ‘Nuff said.
Abseiling. Fear of heights comprehensively squashed, overcome and defeated. RESULT.
Singing – pop, opera, nursery rhymes and The Barbie Doll Song all featured during various activities today: particularly in the shower.

Day 3
Cooked breakfast!
We become Enginious scientists with a visit to Enginuity science and engineering museum. Then we go back in time: Victorian time at Blists Hill Victorian Village at Ironbridge. Complete with...Victorian boiled sweets! Victorian fudge! Too much sugar! Amazing engines! All kinds of Victorian clothing and household objects. Victorian funfair!
The grocers...reminiscent of my childhood!  (Didn't think I was that old...)
Amazing record for getting through the Underground Maze: 11 seconds, 3 seconds off the course record!
Quotes of the day:
For Rifle Shooting, do we wear any clothes?
During Initiative Exercises: Is this Rifle Shooting? !!??!!
I’m going to find all the sweet shops and go into every one.(At Blists Hill. There is only one sweetshop.)
This is the last shopping opportunity you will have – but life WILL go on.
Injuries to date: 1 slightly grazed arm; 1 old scab removed; 1 grazed leg; 1 cut lip; 1 bitten tongue (self-inflicted); 1 toothache (after visiting the sweet shop – pure coincidence). 1 lost tooth (natural causes, tooth fairy telegraphed); 1 case of mild homesickness; 3 cases of claustrophobia (in the murky maze); 2 attacks of acrophobia (aka fear of heights).
Items ‘lost’: numerous. Items ‘found’: = to items ‘lost’.
Number of children lost: 0!

Day 4
Cooked breakfast!
Activities: see Day 2
Also Blind Trail, High Ropes, Obstacle Course and Wide Games. Very exciting.
Injuries: 1 accidental nose bleed, 1 encounter of an elbow with a bunkbed.
1 mega game of ‘Sleeping Lions’ – 4 joint winners, all of whom managed to stay completely still for over 15 minutes – then the teachers gave up trying to get them to move.

Day 5
Cooked breakfast!
Climbing the walls. BMX bike games.
Injuries: 1 slightly grazed little finger.
No one wants to leave. (Sorry, Mum and Dad, this is all too much fun.)
Back safe on Guernsey soil. The adventure of a lifetime...this year, anyway.

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