Year 8 at Kelly College

Day 1. After our ‘glamorous’ coach ride to Tavistock courtesy of Miss Lorraine and her awful dvd selection, we were greeted by the adventure centre staff with some lunch and buoyancy aids ready for our first activity. Literally straight into the deep end, we were put into our teams and had to complete the river runs, and then pipe challenges, where you had to climb up a pipe with the river flowing through it. Right on time the Bryanston gang arrived to join us all for tea. Our first evening gave the staff a chance to test our skills and problem solving with some astro games and challenges.

Day 2. We woke with great gusto and intentions, the dorms were tidy which unnerved the Sandroyd staff some what! After breakfast we were split into our groups with one heading off site to take on raft building, canoeing and kayaking, and the other group staying on site scaling the high ropes, Jacobs ladder and team building challenges. The day’s highlights were seeing the girls’ team from Fiennes group compete the Jacobs ladder, showing great teamwork and cooperation, and some of the boys showing their ingenuity and creative side when building their ‘crafts’ or death boats.  One group even discovered that racing a raft is quicker if you sit on it and paddle with oars rather than trying to swim and push it!

That evening one of the groups trekked part of Dartmoor to Nuns Cross Farm, where they enjoyed a night on the moors. The old farmhouse was much more luxurious then they imagined. A newly fitted compost toilet had been installed and proved popular through the night. The other groups stayed in camp and became budding Robin Hoods or Legolas Lord of the Ring types with bows and arrows poised ready to shoot and even showing some accuracy hitting the target sometimes.

Day 3. Started with an early wake up to pack down our sleeping bags and trek back to the mini bus. We rejoined the main group back at Mount Kelly for breakfast which was an instant morale booster.

The day’s activities were split again, one group headed off to Dewerstone Rock to take in the crag with climbing and abseiling. After lunch they donned their wetsuits and took on the rapids of the River Plym, gorge walking their way up stream. The other group took on the high ropes, Jacobs ladder and team building challenges. Scott group very interestingly took on some of Sir Isaac Newtons theories with their minefield challenge, unfortunately their ideas came second and gravity won.

After our hotbox dinner the groups swapped over and those who still had to take in the compost toilet, headed off with their sleeping bags for a night out on Dartmoor.

Day 4. The Nun Farm group returned to base camp having spent a night star gazing in bivvys, Bear Grylls style. The damp weather overnight only heightened their excitement for their cooked breakfast.

Returning to our groups we were split and set off onto our next adventure. Swapping activities, one group headed to the lake with the canoes, kayaks and materials to build their own raft. The second group loaded up with ropes, harnesses and safety helmets took the short drive to Dewerstone Rock to clamber their way up and down the rock face. Gorge walking was also on the menu for them.

At the lake the groups played games and developed their paddling skills with races and tasks. Battleships was the outright favourite. With any direct hit with a tennis ball, the nearest member of the canoe had to stand up and remain up until the end. Balancing eggs on lollipop sticks will go some way to illustrating what happened!

The rock climbers, abseilers and gorge walkers found their task more challenging after their rather soggy night out under the stars. One or two even asked if the river would be ‘cold’ but were reassured it was a heated river.  They found out to their cost that instructors sometimes bend the truth. For many the challenge at times got the better of them and some tears were shed. The instructors came into their own and coaxed and encouraged those to take on each challenge step by step.

The evening activity was to come up with a small sketch to show the skills, challenges and what the pupils have enjoyed the most.

Day 5. Lights out couldn’t have come quicker last night and so a good night’s rest energised and invigorated the group. The dreaded packing up loomed so breakfast had a more sombre mood.

Once the dorms were tidied and backpacks loaded the last of the activities started. With the Rio Olympics approaching a mini Olympics tested the 5 mini groups in a manner of ways, from caterpillar races to welly wanging. The day’s highlight  was by far seeing each groups sketch. From rapping about each day and the instructors, to a well rehearsed dance show the groups really showed their creative side and their abstract slant on the week.