Despite the coach breaking down, 34 Year 9 students arrived at Ogwen Cottage North Wales in the driving rain on Monday 8th February in the afternoon. The purpose? to begin a week long adventure that would push them to their limits both physically and mentally.
The first evening was spent getting to know the instructors and our surroundings as well as playing various team games designed to help us later in the week, when team work skills and being able to depend on each other would be vital.
On the second day, Mr Wood’s and Miss Biggenden’s teams spent the day taking part in kayaking across a lake at the foot of Mount Snowdon, at times in the driving rain and snow, the only way to keep warm was to paddle faster! As well as rock climbing and abseiling, this activity was a real opportunity for students to start pushing themselves and to overcoming their fears.
During this time Mr Newman’s team were busy preparing for and heading out on their 24 hour expedition. The expedition is the toughest part of the week, students are required to carry everything they are going to need for their time out in the wild, including their tent, sleeping bag, food and the poo tube!!
The weather produced by storm Imogen proved to be the biggest challenge for the team, with heavy snow and driving wind, making walking conditions tough and pitching tents even more of a challenge. Mr Newman described the students as “absolutely fantastic with a real sense of determination” so much so that the next day they all voted to continue to the mountain summit rather than turn back early.
The following day was the turn of the other two teams to head out on their expeditions, with the weather being much more favourable in fact it was even sunny at times and students were able to make rapid progress with team Mason being able to cover over 6 miles on day one. A night spent in tents under the stars at the foot of a mountain was a great opportunity for students to reflect on what is important to them and what can be achieved if they try.
The sunshine on Thursday at least, meant Mr Newman’s team could enjoy their kayaking and rock climbing without worrying so much about the weather and the students enjoyed a much deserved day of exploring by boat and over rocks.
Friday came all too soon meaning it was time to pack up, but not before having an opportunity for one last mini adventure, either abseiling for those who had not been able to do so earlier in the week, or boulder scrambling.
The week was a fantastic adventure, the students were awesome and will have learnt a great deal more about themselves as well as increasing their confidence. The staff at the centre, were very impressed with every student. Nine have been offered a scholarship to go on to complete the full 19 day course next summer, more details on this to follow.
Students will be presenting to both parents and staff over the next few weeks where they will share a much more detailed insight into their time away and their achievements.