Liddington Days 1, 2 and 3...
It was a really great coach trip but there were way too many... ‘Are we there yet?’. Once at PGL, we had lunch on the fields and played rounders in the beautiful September sunshine. Player of the day was Annelies whose new nickname is ‘Rounder’.
We met our group leader Grace mid-afternoon; she got us settled into our accommodation and did a fire alarm drill. The first game we played was ambush, essentially this is a term version of hid and seek. We split into two teams and had to hide as a group in the woods which was quite a tricky undertaking as the woods were quite thin on trees and bushes. Despite nettles and insects, the children got on with it, got dirty and played with great enthusiasm.
Our first evening meal was in the massive dining hall. The children were allowed any combination of hot food and as much fruit, salad and bread as they wanted. Some eagle-eyed children gleefully spotted the doughnuts which ran out quite quickly. I wonder why?
The evening activity, out on the field, was capture the flag - which we stopped just before it was totally dark. Everyone enjoyed playing out at night. Our evening was spent in the communal corridors chatting and playing card games. Lights out was at 9:30 on the first night and rooms went quiet about an hour later. Everyone had a good night and there were no knocks on the teachers' doors.
Day 2 started with a hearty breakfast, with many choosing beans, hash browns and sausages to fill their bellies. The first activity of the day was tunnel trail which involved a series of pitch black underground tunnels; which from a distance looked like a huge World War 2 air raid bunker. The aim was to navigate the tunnel as a team with one measly torch leading the way. As this was a girls v boys challenge, the females came out on top every time demonstrating higher quality team work.
Abseiling was the second activity of the morning with lots of fears and worries being conquered. The levels of bravery were really high.
After lunch, we were split into two groups. One group did open water canoeing whilst the others did trapeze. Canoeing was great fun as there were two people to a canoe and a series of challenges ensued to secure domination of the lake. It was both really calming and highly engaging. It was fabulous to see each pair working intensely to make their canoe go the right way.
Shop time was actually quite good, perhaps because there was a £5 spending limit, so the children did not go too crazy.
Just as activity four was about to start, Mother Nature decided to intervene with a thunder storm of biblical proportions. Sheltering in the main building, we started to play problem solving games as lights flickered on an off about our heads. Due to the weather, Grace masterminded an indoor campfire session (but without the fire) followed by the most amusing team quiz.We then went back to our rooms for an early chill out. The boys were in the corridor playing cards and most of the girls were in their rooms doing their hair.
Tuesday night was the first room inspection. This was held at 9pm. Cleanliness and tidiness were of an excellent standard. So when the children get back, there are no excuses why they can’t maintain a military level of bedroom tidiness.
Day 3 started with rumours of an unexpected visitor to one of the rooms – a frog. After an extensive search, no frog turned up. Yet strangely, when the residents of the room quietened down, a 50p size frog appeared. The girls managed to cover it with an empty popcorn tub. Mr Caswell then managed to remain calm under pressure and free ‘froggy’ back into the wild.
The morning activities were the zip wire and the challenge course. From a 15m tall tower, the zip wire line stretched out for a good 200m. Everyone participated and loved it; likewise with the challenge course. The key to challenge course was team working as the children went round in pairs. What impressed me was how the children are developing their language to specifically support and encourage each other.
After another belly bursting lunch, it was back to the rooms to prepare clothes for raft building. The children have been told they can get in the water which caused a lot of excitement. As there were some free time before afternoon activities, the usual mingling and socialising in the corridors occurred.
The activities for the afternoon were raft building and Jacob’s Ladder. The sun was shining hard so raft building was a welcome relief from the heat despite the water being coffee brown. Many children reported that it was Mr Redmond’s fault that the rafts were sinking, apparently this was something to do with the weight distribution!
Jacob’s Ladder offered another opportunity for teamwork. The children showed huge amounts of physical effort to scale the ladder which was a test of balance, bravery and strength. It was a beautiful way to spend the afternoon.
Today was the first time that we had to wake up the children! More information to follow…