Dukes Barn 2013 Group 2
Group Two arrived safely, exchanging the briefest of chats with Group One in passing. They tucked into lunch and toured the site. In doing so, they soon learnt that the Peak District's reputation for proper snow was well deserved. On the downside, it lead to the decision that no minibuses would attempt to head out for more than a short distance. However, disappointment was short-lived. The entire group were transported the mile or so to the grounds of Chatsworth. We spent the next two hours enjoying sledging, snowballing and snowman-making, aided by the occasional drop of hot chocolate. An incredible time was had by all.
Hannah D was so busy laughing at the bottom of the slope to notice Holly, Flick and Mr Simmonds flying towards her. Lucian and Miss Rimington tried back-to-back sledging, a new one on both. Winnie paid for her incessant barrage directed towards her teachers by being covered in snow by Mrs Brown. Fraser invented 'Sausage Roll' sledging and Luca was rolled down without a sledge by Mr Simmonds, revenge for his ambushing any adult he could find.
After our first, welcome dinner, we had a Talent Show akin to the old Variety shows on the telly, followed by Bingo Night; Daniel and Winnie claiming the prizes.
The snow is already rapidly diminishing and we look forward to a packed day tomorrow.
Group Two enjoyed their first breakfast and, given that the snow had almost gone, normal routines returned.
The Badgers stayed on site. On the ropes, Luke organised the group to ensure a safe passage to the end, Will persevered on the climbing wall and the whole group completed the Village Trail in record time.
We headed to Moulridge Cave in the afternoon. Amaad's general knowledge came to the fore when discussing how such caves were formed. Thomas was our unofficial leader, ensuring that the challenge of finding our way back to the adults passed by without issue.
The Foxes and the Rabbits headed to the bridge together. Lily and Grace managed to abseil 4 times whilst Daniel and Sean tandemed James Bond style. Molly was adamant that she wouldn't do it but, with encouragement, managed to, followed by the obligatory smile. Vinnie, meanwhile, was so busy exclaiming that he didn't want to do it that he failed to notice that he'd done it...
On the climbing wall, Foxes Imogen and Harley approached the wall with thought, care and great skill.
In the cave, Rabbits Callum and Max epitomised the term 'cool, calm and collected' for their refusal to be overcome by initial doubts.
The Owls caved this morning at Stoney Middleton. Poppy was terrified but with the support of her team mates, she completed each task. Her smile at the end was a joy to behold. William ensured that not only was he on track but Miss Ranger also, constantly checking on her well-being.
After lunch, Louis' nerves nearly got the better of him but he reached the bottom of the abseiling bridge to rapturous applause from his team.
Sausage and Mash went down well ( 3 sausages, Hannah D?!), as did the profiteroles (9, Louis?!) before we headed out on the Night Walk. There were some weary legs on the walk back and sleep is now the only option.
We awoke to a glorious late Winter's morning and the less glorious joy of packing. The Blue dorm were clear winners of the slowest bunch but we managed to be sat down for breakfast on time.
The Badgers went abseiling and all went down, despite the odd wobble. By the end. all were asking for the 'Skyfall', a term for a ridiculously quick drop. Great fun though! Ida and Gus, once they'd got through the fence at the top, described the whole experience as 'really fun...'
Mrs Cresswell's Rabbits and Miss Ranger's Owls stayed near the barn. The ropes course saw no major casualties, with George excelling on the 'Wobbly Bridge', whilst Charley and Alice really impressed with their agility on the climbing wall. The trail was negotiated under clear blue skies, a wonderful end to the week.
Mrs Brown and Miss Rimington headed to Devonshire cave. Jasmine had a mini-meltdown halfway through but, in true Jasmine style, she brushed herself down and persevered. Kai became the leader of the group, eloquently suggesting methods and routes to ensure his team safely made their way through all manner of nooks and crannies.
And so we eat our final lunch. The week has gone far too quickly as usual. We all look forward to home comforts but will miss the place and it's wonderful staff. A huge thank you to Graham, Colin, Clare, Mark, Heather and the kitchen staff for making our week as fabulous as always.