A fine drizzle has accompanied all of our activities today, but at least it didn’t turn into the predicted downpours. In any case, it hasn’t stopped us. I have been really proud of the whole group and their achievements today.
Kieran has been unstoppable, determined to be the first at everything and ready for anything. He was the first in his group to tackle the zip wire, the first (and only) member of his raft-building group to dive in – or should that read fall in? He swam magnificently to the edge without swallowing too much pond water! Then, this afternoon in Bagshaw Cave, he was one of only three to tackle the hardest of the three squeezing through a tiny tunnel choices – rather him than me. Well done Kieran, what a day.
Flora and Sadie have also been magnificent. Despite real worries about being underground, in small confined spaces, and in the dark, both girls completed their caving activities and are really proud of themselves for having done so. This afternoon, in two different groups, in two different caves, both girls were given the option to turn back or not take part and both girls chose to carry on and both made it to the end. Well done – I am super proud of you!
Rachel showed what a fantastic leader she can be during the raft building activity, organising others, getting people galvanised and communicating really clearly. She said afterwards, “Well, otherwise they weren’t doing anything, so you just have to or it doesn’t work.” Impressive stuff. She also did brilliantly on the zip wire and was perfectly at ease in the Bagshaw cave, although she wasn’t too impressed with the colour her socks had turned by the end of the activity.
Isobel, Eliza and Amber spent the morning building an epic raft, called “The Killer Kraken” which beat Flora, Kieran and Rachel’s raft hands-down despite being encumbered with my weight at the back. They learnt how to tie a reef knot, a half-hitch and a square lashing to create a very secure, sturdy raft. They did such a good job that they – mostly – got back to the shore again almost completely dry. In the afternoon the three girls and I went weasling on Hagger Tor and squeezed and squirmed themselves through tiny gaps in the rocks and helped to guide me through a few too (and advise me when they thought it might be ‘a bit tight for you Mr Leicester’!)
Evie has confidently tackled all of her challenges. This morning she managed the Leap of Faith as almost her first activity. She decided that it was easier than some of the other high ropes activities because it was less wobbly. This afternoon she loved the cave she went down and has described the underground waterfalls, stalactites and stalagmites to me. The part she most enjoyed though was squeezing her way through a tiny hole on her stomach: “It was fun.”
This evening we went for a short walk through Castleton, then played a raucous game of Beetle Drive and then they all went off to bed.
Tomorrow we start the day with a chance to buy souvenirs in the shops in Castleton, and a visit to Peveril Castle. Then, after lunch, we will be walking up Mam Tor. We hear that the weather is due to improve.
We hope you like the photos – which, I’m afraid are just of children in my group, but I will try and swap with other teachers tomorrow.