PGL Year 6 October 2012
And so here we all are. Despite the minor blip of the coaches arriving half hour late, we arrived at Rushcliffe Park to be greeted by dry weather. We spent some time in the adventure playground, followed by some rather lively games of football and cricket. Lunch was devoured and we finally headed to Caythorpe Court at 1pm.
After a smooth journey, we were greeted by our ‘Groupies’ and the week began in earnest. The teachers headed off for a well-earned cup of tea while we played some games with other instructors.
A tour of the site had us anticipating many of the activities to come and realising that the teachers’ warnings of the cold were more than valid. We unpacked and settled into our dorms, had our first dinner then headed to the 5-a-side pitch for some ‘Wacky Races’. Everyone was impressed with Grace’s chicken impression, Daniel’s cat-walking and Maddy and Maia’s non-stop singing.
Bedtime has arrived right on cue and we need our sleep in readiness for our first activities in the morning.
The teachers were hugely impressed with how quickly we settled down to sleep last night and we were woken at 7 this morning, with the help of some singing from various adults. Breakfast prepared us for our day ahead. At 9am, we met up with our first instructors and headed off.
Miss Loscalzo’s group abseiled first then had a go at Archery. The afternoon saw the Challenge Course and Climbing Wall negotiated. Naomi and Ibrahim displayed excellent teamwork and support skills. After Naomi struggled halfway up the climbing wall, she managed to muster up the energy to continue. When she was almost there, Ibrahim helped her reach over to the bell where he was waiting.
Miss Rimington’s group had a fabulous day. They followed a similar pattern to group 1 and the whole group performed admirably throughout the day. Oli J particularly impressed with his all-round skills and support for others, whilst Eve J reached the top of the climbing wall with impressive skill.
Miss Ash and Group 3 enjoyed the same activities. Maaz, with fabulous support, almost made it to the top of the climbing wall after an initial struggle. Oliver W, who informed us that he was afraid of heights, faced his fears on the climbing wall by reaching the middle line. Jasper took on the role of Assistant Instructor by helping others with their harnesses and offering handy tips.
Group 4 were accompanied by Mr Dix. Jack D became known as G.I Jack on the Challenge Course due to his army persona. He and birthday girl Jess – who enjoyed a special cake after dinner – both faced their initial fears when abseiling.
Group 5 and Miss Donnelly enjoyed abseiling, fencing, Challenge Course and the climbing wall. Madeleine K was not looking forward to sliding down a wall but gritted her teeth and finally flew down like a natural. Abby E showed immense skill on the climbing wall. Once she’d reached the middle point and was given the go-ahead, she shot up before anyone could notice.
Mr Simmonds and Group 6 began in the warmth of the hall when fencing. Gen managed to win a couple of battles once she’d remembered to keep her left hand behind her back. Carlito’s success on the climbing wall had the whole group celebrating and Ethan only admitted his fear of heights after abseiling with apparent ease.
Group 7 and Miss McQueenie followed a different timetable. They were the first to brave the trapeze, including Ella K, who froze for some time near the top. However, second time around she went for it and her tears were filled with relief and pride. Caleb was a fabulous team player, helping others with equipment and support.
Our night activity was ‘Ambush’. It was an enormous game of Hide-and-Seek using the whole of the PGL site to hide from another team. We had a great time with our touches and loved trying to keep silent as a group of 40 children tried to ambush us.
Another peaceful night, despite the storm battering windows throughout the night. Fortunately, the skies cleared and, by mid-morning, the conditions were pleasant.
Group 1 enjoyed fencing, the Giant Swing, Jacob’s Ladder and Sensory Trail. Coral accompanied Miss Loscalzo on the Giant Swing, pulling the release rope to allow Miss L to hold on tight. Jude wasn’t enthralled to begin with, asking if he could go halfway. However, he took a deep breath and headed to the top. Emily B was not feeling well but did really well on the Ladder whilst Toby continued to be a fine team player throughout the day.
Group 2 – Miss Rimington reported glowingly on Emily G and Amber C on Jacob’s Ladder, the former reaching the top whilst Amber battled through her fears. Eddie has been the definition of positivity all week, approaching his own challenges with gusto and encouraging others. Lawrence showed true perseverance on the Ladder, pushing himself as far he could.
Group 3 –In Miss Ash’s group, everyone was hugely impressed with how Jack A supported Oliver W on Jacob’s Ladder, whilst Lily W flew up to the very top. Kitty and Ben have been so positive during each and every activity, clearly making the most of their PGL experience.
Group 4 – Miss Chapman joined the group for the day and enjoyed zooming up to the very top of Jacob’s Ladder with the help of Abi P and Shabaz. Amber K pulled the rope for Mr Dix on the Giant Swing, and remembered to shout their ‘unusual’ word ‘Counter-productivity’ as they were released. Tulsi and Thomas W showed impressive communication skills on the Sensory Trail, ensuring their group members avoided any mishaps.
Group 5 – Miss Donnelly waxed lyrical about Janice’s archery stance and accuracy. Liam’s attitude on the Giant Swing was a credit to him, overcoming initial misgivings to reach the top. Grace’s communication on the Sensory Trail was crucial and Leo continued to be the ideal team player.
Group 6 – Ryan enjoyed the archery and displayed fine marksmanship. Maddy was hugely confident on the giant swing, as was Harry P. The whole team have been terrific in giving every activity their all; so much so that we found it difficult to nominate a stand-out in our evening chat.
Group 7 – James F-S, Alex M and Daniel M impressed on the low ropes, constantly improving their time on the final challenge, navigating the course in their mini-group. Hannah showed real courage and determination as she climbed All Aboard with both Miss McQueenie and Miss Kerry.
Finally, as the sun went down, we headed down to the lake for a camp fire and sing-song and to gaze up at a clear night sky, filled will stars, fully deserving of a good night’s sleep!
Another lovely day greeted us as our last full day began. Everyone responded positively to the ‘first dorm, first to breakfast’ offer and we were soon off to activities.
Miss Loscalzo’s group were lovely all day, pulling together on the infamous Trapeze. Caitlin and Luca had a wobble at the top but finally flew off and the smile returned, Finlay impressed with his speed, George helped others on the Low Ropes and Jaypal continued to moan about his sore nose from yesterday but entertained the group on All Aboard.
Miss Rimington and group 2 had a similarly hectic day. The Trapeze was the highlight, during which Helena, Thomas G, Rowan and Dawud all completed the task, to the delight of the group as a whole. Miss Rimington made the most of her role as trusty camera person.
Miss Wilkinson and Mr Unsworth joined us today as Miss Ash bade us a sad farewell. Group 3 didn’t change, however, continuing to impress with their attitude. India, Freya and Will all reached the top of the Trapeze whilst Simran helped Miss W reach the top of All Aboard, much to the latter’s gratitude.
After individually succeeding this week, group 4 reached even greater standards today. In particular, Eve W and Louis F-R reached the top of All Aboard to wild applause from the whole year group. Harry K and Laurie have been fabulous at everything, including their pace up to the top of the Trapeze.
Miss Donnelly and group 5 had a varied and active day. Louis helped his group immeasurably on All Aboard whilst Lucy produced her most impressive performance of the week on the Vertical Challenge. Dan and Alex saved their best for tonight’s disco, dancing virtually non-stop for 80 minutes. Ravi, despite missing home today, has been fabulously positive and reached his goals on every activity.
Group 6, after a quiet Wednesday, came out of their shell again and had a great day. Felix was a whizz on the Quad bikes, whilst Isobel, Maia and Flynn shot to the top of the Vertical Challenge, almost before any photos could be taken.
Miss McQueenie was impressed with Ammar, Joseph and Hannah on the Quad bikes, flying past the group with great skill and confidence. Lily C and Oscar pushed themselves to reach the top of the Vertical Challenge which, in turn, persuaded Miss M to head to the top.
The disco tonight was a fitting end to the day, following the shop visit and some early packing. The staff were delighted to see every child join in with dancing of all styles. We waved farewell to Abi P and Rowan as they headed off to foreign fields and it’s time for a last, crucial sleep in readiness for our final morning.
An early start this morning as we vacated our rooms - some quicker than others - and headed for our final breakfast. There were some weary folk as we met at the Activity Garden for the last time. Two more sessions this morning and then homeward bound. We are all looking forward to home comforts but the memories of the week will live long. Our thanks to everyone at Caythorpe Court for making our visit such a wonderful one.