Wales Trip Blog
We have arrived! After a good journey, we quickly settled into our home for the week and to ease the rambunctious mood the instructors had some exciting activities planned. A large number of the children discovered the perfect way to shake off that long journey lag - a cool walk down a fresh Welsh stream!
Others took to the calm water under blue skies, throwing themselves into the challenges of the day, and occasionally into the 'refreshing' reservoir.
A hearty meal and the chance to warm up was welcomed by all. As I type, the children are readying themselves for a night walk and, with a little bit more luck, a clear night of star gazing.
Today was our first full day and a real chance to get into some varied challenges. Two of the groups took on the mighty Welsh mountain Plymlimon, which is the source of the River Severn. Having muddied our boots in the peaty bog that marks the source, the groups then climbed to the summit of the mountain before taking on the long descent back to the bus. The children walked a phenomenal distance, surprising themselves and are currently tucking heartily into tea, basking in the glory of their impressive achievement - it's not often you climb a mountain!
The remaining groups had their shot at gorge walking and found it equally as exhilarating (and chilly) as the other groups. We've had sailing boats out on Llynclywedog reservoir, along with kayaks.
And the adventure doesn't stop there! One group even started to hone their archery skills.
We will be taking the strain off our aching limbs this evening with hot chocolates around a camp fire, accompanied by the calming sounds of Mr Cook's guitar playing.
Eat, sleep, have crazy fun... repeat!
And sleep we did, particularly those that spent the day scaling mountains yesterday. Many learnt the true meaning of the phrase, 'I was asleep as soon as my head touched the pillow!'
The routine to our days is well established now, as are the expectations for preparing ourselves for the challenges ahead. Many have mastered the art of 'being prepared' and a large number can now order their outfit appropriately for the water sports, although the struggle to put on a wetsuit is still felt by all. Once the layers, safety equipment and water sports gear was on, many basked in the delight of the relative warmth of the Clywedog reservoir, although not always on purpose. It was certainly a lot warmer than the gorge walk!
More mountaineers scaled high peaks and were treated to even clearer views - Cadair Idris (Wales 2nd highest mountain) visible in the distance protruding from the clouds.
This evening, the Outwoods Edge Room Inspectorate team have completed their rounds and the efforts of the children was commendable. Many rooms chose to not only maximise their tidiness, but to add to the experience with shows, songs, dance routines, dramatic performances, interactive experiences, musical accompaniments and, of course, sweet based bribes for the inspectors - which are always well received.
We are having a calmer evening this evening in preparation for tomorrow's talent show and the sad news that we will have to prepare to come home on Friday!
Day Four has been another fabulous day and an opportunity for all the groups to complete the set of activities on offer so far. Tonight, in their rooms, the children can share in tales of their adventures and enjoy those shared experiences.
We can honestly say that each and every one of the children have been superstars and it has been a delight to see them get so much out of the week. The children have behaved really well, they have thrown themselves enthusiastically into the adventures on offer and have persevered when the challenges have become tough.
We all now have a much clearer definition of the word COLD! But more importantly, the children have learnt how great it feels to overcome their fears and have become more confident and independent individuals. It may take some a little while to find the motivation to put on a damp wetsuit again, but most have expressed a clear desire to take these adventures further in the future!
The instructors, cooks and staff at Staylittle have worked fantastically with the children and comment on the attitude, politeness, determination and improvements the children have made this week. We are proud of the positive impression the children of Outwoods Edge have made this week.
And so to our final evening and last day tomorrow. The children are currently rehearsing for their talent show having begun to pack their bags for home earlier - I can't guarantee they will look the way they did when they left (the suitcases, not the children) but we hope to return everything they came with! Ready the washing machines and those welcome home hugs!