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Year 8 Diary - Challenge Camp

Year Eight Camp

Day 1 Sunday

We arrived at school at 07:50 to find that the minibus was prepared with a large trailer on the back. 16 Seats were waiting for 13 children and two teachers with gadgets, games and sweets. Lots of sweets. It was a quick 4 hour journey with a range of on board entertainment and we were there in a flash. The Pink Adventure team were waiting by the river with 7 canoes and many oars. When we set off in our groups for a 5 hour fun canoe we soon found our way around the meanders of the river and stopped off at our camp site at Ross-on-wye. En-route Joseph and Will D couldn't keep themselves dry as they both fell in. Charles had trouble with Rachel and Kara as the paddles turned out to be seemingly good water weapons! More water poured over us as the heavens above opened and more water ended up in the boat than on the river. We met at a rowing club, with William Payne joining us after winning a tennis tournament, and prepared to open up the tent bags -realising how long it was actually going to take to set up camp. After the struggle we unpacked and got out of the sopping wet clothes which were clinging to our skin. In the evening at dinner we had to cook pasta and meatballs which everyone loved and soon sat around the campfire with a cup of cocoa thinking of nominations for the unknown prizes for people who did things in the day which were funny or impressive. We set off to bed late at night ready and excited for the next morning of canoeing down the river.

Day 2 Monday

We woke with more very heavy rain, which sounded amazing while we were cosy under canvas. Everybody soon staggered out of the tents at about 8:00. We got ready, had a quick breakfast and put away our wet tents. We got back on the river at about 10:45 all set in our canoes hoping not to fall in. We paddled fast and were ahead of time with a few swans trying to attack us, one canoe capsizing and people falling in and getting soaked. We had a quick stop for lunch, eating very nice made to order sandwiches and having a very much needed drink. We carried on, with one more canoe capsizing as soon as we set off from lunch ( was it Kara, Will or Rachel who caused that wobble?)and then again a few minutes later. We then slowed when not only one canoe but two were taken by the rapids and flung into a tree, which made two canoes capsize. The first canoe taken by that rapid got stuck under the canoe, lost their oars and the canoe, desperately scrambling at the rocks with an angry swan nearby. The second canoe taken by that rapid just got swept away. It was hilarious.

When we finally came to the campsite with a lot of wet and cold children, we quickly got washed and changed and set up tents for the night. Once that was all done we tried to make a curry, with some turning out better than others. After dinner and a bit of hide and seek and a few group games we finally sat down for some cocoa and gave out awards for the day with some people having very funny forfeits, including Mr Rumbold. We eventually went to bed late ready for the day ahead.

Day 3 Tuesday

Rain once again! We were woken up by Mike and Terrance from the Pink Adventure team. At 8.00 we ate a good breakfast of cereal then beans with spam then dismantled the tents for the last time. The start of today's journey involved negotiating the biggest white water yet - all canoes down successfully, much improved skill. We then set off for a 3 hour paddle against the wind. Well it was meant to be 3 hours but some groups decided to take a long rest. The Dream Team won the race from Symmonds Yat East to Monmouth. Charles sat in the middle, Mrs Thomas sat in the back and William Payne sat in the front. After loading the canoes onto the trailer we set off to our house in the Brecon Beacons where we would be staying for the rest of the trip. We were all very excited to be sleeping in a warm bed with a mattress without being disturbed by rain or insects. We all had a really nice burger with salad for dinner, followed by a walk and a planning session. We did nominations with a warming hot chocolate at 10.30. Of course the Dream Team won the teamwork prize for winning the race. We soon went to bed at 11.00 ready for the next morning of activities.

Day 4 Wednesday

Another day waking to rain which was perfect weather for our activity. The next adventure we were daring to do was gorge walking. The minibus journey took us into the deep depths of Wales. We pulled on wetsuits and life jackets and set off. Walking against the ice cold water was challenging and all of us fell more than once. Gorge walking consisted of sliding with water down a rock, jumping and scaling sizeable waterfalls. All in all everybody enjoyed it. Tishy and Terrance did a team jump and Gareth had his own technique - William Durrant caught it all on camera! Next we tackled the rock climbing and a huge vertical abseil under attack from the midges - Luca was the most delicious. In the evening Mike's team went out to purchase the ingredients for their three course dinner. We dined on tricolour salad, a main course of pork belly, mash, peas and broccoli. As for dessert we had dark, white and milk chocolate fondue with strawberries, bananas, marshmallows and kiwis. Terrance's team then marked their dinner out of ten and gave them feedback. Tomorrow the roles will be reversed. At the nightly award ceremony Kara,Will P., Joseph and Charles won the team award for their waiting. Time to sleep - more challenges tomorrow so time to sleep.