We had a super journey down with very little traffic and we arrived at Marchants Hill to the cheers of the children and a spontaneous three cheers for the driver. Greg , our PGL 'groupie', met us off the bus and after dumping suitcases and bags, the children enjoyed their lunch outside. We had a tour of the site with time for a couple of great new games we have taken back to Wandsworth Prep.
At 2:00pm our activities began: abseiling and low ropes. Low ropes was a trail of balancing activities where the children worked in threes - one balancing and the other two as 'ninja squirrels' acting as a safety net for the balancer. Extra challenges were trying to get a cup of water across the course without spilling any or balancing a cone on their heads! Great fun.
After a biscuit break we swapped activities. The children showed incredible courage abseiling: this was a HIGH tower! There were some fearless individuals who threw themselves over the bar and bounced down the wall like spiderman! Everyone had their own individual challenge to conquer- whether it be making it to the top of the very high tower, dangling over the edge, walking down the wall or bouncing down. They were superstars. Miss Caitlin was unsurprisingly fearless and Miss Jo and Miss Polly managed it like wimps with their eyes closed most of the time!
At 5:30pm it was dinner time - we've never seen plates piled so high! Never has a “help yourself” salad and bread bar been so appealing! There was hot food too but this was clearly a novelty. They all found something they enjoyed and afterwards they were keen to get to their rooms. Eventually we took our cases down and they were delighted with their ground floor rooms surrounded by a lovely grassy area. There was much excitement whilst unpacking and pjs duly placed under pillows!
Our evening activity began at 7:00pm: Ambush! Fantastic game of hide and seek in big gangs - you have 10 minutes to find the other team. The best hiding was done by one group who changed clothes and joined another school in the forest around the campfire - genius!
Day 2 was a gorgeous sunny day - perfect for being outside all day!
We woke the children at 7:00am and all were keen to check out breakfast... 10 bowls of cereal, bacon , hash browns, yoghurt, porridge and handfuls of fruit later, we hit our first activities: survivor and Power Fan. Survivor consisted of shelter building, trying to filter dirty water with forest materials and using flint and steel to light a fire. Power fan was awesome. Imagine climbing a 40-foot pole attached to a harness linked to a power fan. The children could jump off the pole at any stage and had an amazing sensation of flying down. It was fabulous because every child could climb to their own personal target - some even reached the platform and jumped off face down like they were skydiving. Amazing!
Our hour's free time was a games fest inside and outside the rooms until afternoon activities: zip wire and trapeze. Fantastic afternoon - lots of personal targets smashed. Our children were so courageous and really supportive of each other. It was a high adrenaline afternoon with lots of laughter. After dinner on the terrace we hit the shop... Obviously the children didn’t want any sweets - only organic and wholesome treats.... not! We danced off the numbers at our special WPS disco and there were some smooth movers. We think Britain's Got Talent has a few new entrants for next year.
What an amazing three days filled of fun, laughter, confidence building, overcoming fears, dancing, independence and friendship!! We loved it!