PGL Update 2013
Monday, 14th October
It’s 9.45 and everyone is safely tucked up in bed. An enjoyable first day has been had by all. The miserable weather rendered our decision to avoid Rushcliffe Park a sound one. Groups and dorms were sorted, Despicable Me kept us entertained for a while and we managed a short time outside.
Once lunch had been consumed, we headed to the coaches to be greeted by a large group of parents to wave us off. The journey was straightforward and we arrived to be welcomed by our Groupies for the week, Emily and Matt. We were shown the site and settled into our dorms before tucking in to the first meal of the week.A nail-biting game of Ambush followed as the Lincolnshire temperature dropped considerably. Fortunately, our rooms are warm and cosy and we anticipate a long night’s sleep, in readiness for our packed day tomorrow.
Tuesday, 15th October
We awoke to miserable weather and, at the rather early time of 7.20, headed for breakfast. We then layered up in readiness for our first activities.
Mr Unsworth’s group were thrown straight into the deep end by tackling the High Ropes, generally regarded as the ‘Big One’! Emily and Sara looked as scared as Mr Unsworth felt, but guess what? Once they’d been round once, they decided it wasn’t so bad and they settled for two more circuits! The task on the Challenge Course was to carry a cup of water through the obstacles in order to throw it at the Instructor. It turned out they were experts and he was a great sport.
Miss McQueenie’s group started the day with Aeroball. Tajjinder and Chrissy were crowned deserving champions. The whole group then negotiated the High Ropes. Ella and Niamh persevered, assisted by a very supportive group, whilst Milton became known as James Bond, such was his agility and speed across the course. The Group then scored 8 and a half for their Queen’s throne in the evening’s Scrapheap Challenge.
Mr Dudgeon’s crew started the day with Jacob’s Ladder. It was a lot harder than it looked but some good teamwork ensured that it was tackled with great gusto. Next was orienteering; good map reading skills and teamwork were required and soon we were off finding the different stations in glorious sunshine and didn’t need all those layers after all! Coby took to the challenge of High Ropes like a duck to water, confidently leading the group across the course. Great credit has to go to Martha and Maddie C who very bravely overcame their fears and whizzed around the course at least twice! Hannah-Maria displayed excellent leadership skills during the problem - solving activities and the day was rounded off superbly by jointly winning the evening’s scrap heap challenge!
Mr Simmonds’ group began with Orienteering. Adam Scott rose to the challenge of finding checkpoints across the site, whilst Ellie eventually got the hang of it after an eventful start. The Jacob’s Ladder presented its perennial challenges. The entire group gave it a real go, in particular Francesca, who was halfway up before our Instructor gave us the go-ahead! After some thought-provoking Problem-Solving tasks, Amy impressed by reaching the first platform on the High Ropes. A great start all round.
Miss Loscalzo’s group started with Vertical Challenge. Jacob Clarkson surprised everyone in reaching the top after claiming he was slightly scared of heights. The climbing section of the challenge proved quite difficult for many, but Alice persisted and showed us all how it’s done! Problem Solving was to follow, along with Orienteering. The entire group worked hard and listened carefully to instructions. Jacob’s Ladder allowed the children to show their ‘team spirit’. Jewel provided tremendous support for her team, pulling them up to great heights. Throughout the day, Nathan kept us entertained with his humorous antics!
Miss Rimington and her gang began with problem Solving, then, on the Vertical Challenge, Daniel sped to the top with little encouragement required. The whole group shone at Orienteering, Jacob Crew standing out with his map-reading skills. On Jacob’s Ladder, Mia reached the top, a feat unmatched on the first day.
Group 7 and Mr Martin have had an eventful first full day of activities. It began with Priya’s remarkable courage on the Trapeze; she was first up forty foot the pole and, despite her obvious terror, she made it all of the way to the top. Isaac Segal and Charlie Spink were lucky enough to be accompanied by Mr Martin on ‘All Aboard’. Both children made it to the final platform (as did all of the group) – absolutely the highlight of the day. Finally, Lily Clarkson demonstrated a worrying ability during the rifle shooting session – she even surprised herself.
We say farewell to Mr Unsworth as Mr Dix arrives. Here’s to another calm night.
Wednesday, 16th October
Today, we awoke to a rather misty PGL. Breakfast was slightly later (at 7.50) which gave us all a much needed extra half an hour in bed. After fuelling up, activities got underway at 9 a.m.
1 – Mr Dix replaced Mr Unsworth as Group One Leader. Their first task of the day was the vertical challenge. The group had to lift themselves over ladders, climbing walls and tyres to reach the very top. Olivia seemed to surprise herself as she shot up to the top in no time at all and Alfie persevered by responding to the encouragement of others and also reached the top. The group then worked tirelessly hard through torrential wind and rain on Jacob’s Ladder. Will and Alex were particularly inspiring as they helped each other up in the cold and harsh conditions.
2-Miss McQueenie’s group began with Survivor. Everyone made the most of the opportunity to ‘camouflage up’ and cover their faces in mud, leaves and whatever else they could lay their hands on. The team worked brilliantly together to make a shelter in the woods and this set the tone for the day. Next, it was onto Vertical Challenge where Annabel showed us just how it should be done, racing to the top with speed and agility. Zara and Joe E surpassed their own expectations on Jacob’s ladder this afternoon, climbing higher than they’d predicted, even in the midst of pouring rain. Again, the support and encouragement of their team mates was crucial to their success.
3-Fantastic efforts were made by Mr Dudgeon’s group today with some wonderful achievements. Lavinya and Rosie Mc managed to exceed their own expectations, reaching the high platform and making the leap of faith on the trapeze. Well done to Joe D who not only made the leap of faith but was also the first to ring the bell in terrible conditions. A good day had by group 3 who were all very positive despite the pouring rain.
4- Mr Simmonds’ group had a hugely rewarding day, despite the inclement weather. Emma smiled her way across the Challenge Course before Euan’s determination on the Trapeze inspired those who followed. The highlight of the day also occurred on this rather daunting apparatus: following Maggie’s confident climb and leap, she was lowered down towards terra firma until she became unwittingly entangled upon the ladder. Her face was a picture as she nonchalantly accepted her fate whilst all around panicked and laughed simultaneously. Fencing indoors was both fun and appreciably warm, before the group impressed on the climbing wall in the face of wind and rain.
5- What a day full of success! Today group 5 tackled the dreaded High Ropes, Abseiling and All Aboard as well as the Challenge Course. Michael set the tone for the day by returning to High Ropes, after a slightly shaky start, for another go. He then enjoyed it so much he had a second go round. Prabh also pushed herself on this activity despite her initial fears. Like Michael, she then went round for a second go – rather them than me! On Abseiling, Vince was a real trooper; he too had a second go. And finally, on All Aboard, Nathan and Dylan showed true teamwork and persistence by reaching the top and pushing each other off in spectacular fashion.
6-Miss Rimington’s group began the day with All Aboard. Jonny worked terrifically with his partner to get to the top himself and showed great sportsmanship towards others. The team then conquered the high ropes, with Beatrice leading the way as she beamed her way around the course with a huge smile. Afternoon activities included the challenge course and abseiling. Liam showed great determination in facing his fears and was pleased to meet his target and look down from the top of the abseiling wall. Well done Group 6!
7 – Another successful day for Group 7. Every member of the group abseiled twice and reached the top of Vertical Challenge. Faye stood out particularly during the abseil for managing twice to conquer her fears bounce her way down the tower. Vertical Challenge presented the entire group with difficulties; Dan St Gallay pushed through these by simply rocketing to the highest point he could. Harry achieved similarly after being inspired by his teammates to overcome the fiendish tyres and complete the challenge. A massive well done to all.
The Wacky Races had us entertained after dinner and has suitably worn us all out. Mr Dudgeon has returned home – our thanks to him for all his support- and Mrs Lewis now joins us. Until tomorrow…
Thursday, 17th October
To our immense relief, the weather had improved immeasurably this morning and, allied with the later breakfast, we headed for our activities with renewed enthusiasm. Mr Dix headed home and we thank him for his help.
1-With Mrs Cresswell joining the group first thing, the children embarked on the ‘All Aboard’ challenge. Harriet, Olivia and Connie confidently approached the task to perch on the ‘bird table’ in the glorious autumn sunshine. Then inside to rifle range where the group showed off their shooting skills. After lunch, it was abseiling, with Faraday dragging Mrs Cresswell up the steps to go down together. Later, Ollie P took the lead on our way to the archery by suggesting a roll down the hill and then on the way back, surprisingly, a roll up the hill!
2-We began the day with rifle shooting which everyone negotiated with great ease. Then it was into our harness of the day for ‘All Aboard’. Several of the groups soared to the top platform with speed, including Isabelle who made it look like a walk in the park. Holding hands with her group and leaning out, she enjoyed celebrating in the glorious sunshine. After lunch it was onto Archery where we found our own Robin Hood by the name of Alistair. He scored consistently high in all of the challenges and impressed our instructor duly. Our final activity of the day was abseiling which Sharika thoroughly enjoyed and showed great confidence in. A great day had by all-finished with a fabulous disco.
3- Group 3, joined today by Mrs Lewis, started the day with the daunting Vertical Challenge, and it was a great effort by all, several of the group reaching the top and everyone making it at least half way up. Then it was off to be ‘Survivor’, where the children used their vivid imaginations to conjure up a scenario from which they had to escape, completing several tasks, including making a fantastic den in the woods. After lunch, it was onto ‘All Aboard’ with Sacha leading the way, the first to confidently reach the top. Several others followed suit, including Magnus, who was thrilled to reach his goal and stand on the high platform at the top. Freddie cheerfully led the way to rifle shooting, our final activity of the day, singing his heart out. The disco was the perfect end to the day, with Joe K showing us the moves on the dance floor, particularly to the One Direction tracks!
4-We began with Survival, in which the girls built a slightly more watertight den than the boys, but all enjoying the opportunity to get as muddy as possible. Vertical Challenge followed, Stanley reaching the top swiftly. William H continued his fabulous record of reaching the summit of every independent climbing task. The afternoon saw us tackle the Rifle range. Isaac Savage impressed everyone with a perfect record of 25 target hits out of 25. Lola then delighted the group by reaching the third level of All Aboard, having initially only targeted the first. Just reward for her continuous battle with her fears.
5- Yet another successful day for Miss Loscalzo’s group. To start with, group 5 tackled the trapeze and I am proud to say that every child climbed to the top and stood on the platform. Nell reached the top in record time and Lois, after being encouraged by the success of her team, plucked up the courage to complete the activity. Archery followed and was enjoyed by all – a few Robin Hoods in group 5! Again, Lois stood out, beating the high score of the day. After a hearty lunch, they were all ready to tackle the last high activity of the week: the climbing wall. Everyone reached the top of the wall and rang the bell…apart from Miss Loscalzo! Liberty did particularly well on the wall. She persevered even when it got really tough and rang that bell. Finally, the day’s activities ended with Survival, where all the children got completely caked in mud - showers all around afterwards.
6-The day began with Matthew demonstrating his archery skills – high scores all of the way. Trapeze followed, and Maddie P, Oliver F, and Africa were highly impressive at scaling the pole to the platform, before leaping for the bar. After forcing herself to the top of the climbing wall, Lily B managed to summon the energy to throw some fantastic shapes at the disco. A great day all round for our lovely group 6.
7-Mr Martin’s group have continued to astound in all activities, particularly those requiring a harness. Archery was dispensed with enthusiastically, and set the scene for Jacob’s Ladder. The teamwork from everybody was impressive, and coupling this with Rosie Mitchell’s quiet and steely determination led to a great deal of success for her and her climbing partners. The final full day of activities climaxed with High Ropes – a terrifying aerial obstacle course. It was hard to know which was worst: the task itself or the build-up and anticipation. Needless to say, every child in the group was successful, and none more so than Beth and Adam Beach, who, with reserve and self-assuredness, whizzed around the obstacles several times.
The disco was a great success: all children drawing on ever-dwindling reserves of energy to go wild on the dance floor. And so ended our final full day. We’re now all packed but still excited by a final morning of activities.
Friday 18th October
And so the final morning of activities begins. Fuelled after a hearty breakfast and after battling with sleeping bags and cases, the children have embarked on their remaining activities. Mrs Cresswell and Miss McQueenie’s group are enjoying a morning of Problem Solving and Trapeze whilst Mrs Lewis’ and Mr Simmonds’ groups test their skills in archery and abseiling. Miss Loscalzo and Miss Rimington’s groups are currently enjoying a morning of Aeroball and Rifle Shooting as Mr Martin’s group use their last ounce of energy for the climbing wall and challenge course.
Tired eyes and achy bodies are a true sign that we’re ready for home (and that’s just the teachers)!
We hope you’ve enjoyed a bit of peace and quiet and home and are ready to hear endless tales from a wonderful week at PGL. As ever, the children have been a real credit to you and we look forward to seeing them after a restful half –term.
We’re due to leave after lunch at about 1.30 so envisage a 3pm arrival on Burleigh Road. If there are significant changes, we will notify you by text.