Thursday, 5 March 2015

Amazing Abseiling by Esther

It was Tuesday just after we did the biking, when Miles went for a swim.


 That morning, group 5 were all buzzing with excitement to do the abseil. When Steven, our instructor, came in, it took a while for us all to quieten down. Having finally decided to listen, he told us to meet him in the back yard in 6000 seconds (10 minutes). To no-one's surprise, Aneirin (or as Steven (our instructor) to remember his name called him an iron) wasn't there. Yash went up to get him and we went into the store room to get on our equipment.


There were all sorts of things to get and learn and we hadn't even started.  I was already having fun.   After we had been arranged into height order, we were given our harnesses, a helmet and a carabiner.  The two people who helped taught us how to open the carabiner.  We then had races to see who could open the carabiner and clip it on to a strap fastest.  We did it in two groups and I got into the final for my group and had to compete against Rose who  just won.


Then off we went with a fifty foot rope with each of us so we had spares.   We first went to the indoor climbing wall for a worm-up.  We chose 15 walls climb to.  It was easy and I was the first to finish. Then we were split into 2 groups of 3 and 1 group of 4 and did some climbing.   Yash went first then Aneirin then me.  I belayed first and I also belayed for Yash then I climbed we moved on to the next wall which had an over hang.   I went first and I was only allowed to use one colour of hand and footholds whilst the others used a rainbow of colours.


On the bus to the outside wall, I sat at the back.   It ways really bumpy.


At the wall, we where asked who felt confident.  I along with Daniel R, Yash and Ruaridh said yes, not realising that I would end up first to do the abseil whilst the rest of the group did a nice, easy confidence building climb.   Daniel R at the top and when he was going to go first started screaming "IT'S  TO HIGH, I WANT MY MUMMY!!!!!!!!"  for a joke.

Caving by Elizabeth

On Thursday afternoon, we went caving!  Before we left, our instructor Paul said to us to wear warm clothes because it would be cold in the caves.  After that, we went up to our dorms (ours was called Lewis) and changed into warm clothes.


In about fifteen minutes, we went to the backyard to get some old waterproofs because Paul didn't want to get the waterproofs we were using to get damaged.  Then me, Tom, Jane and Luke and went to the minibus.  Since we had gone gorge walking in the morning, we had left our helmets on the seats.


Meanwhile Johnny was looking for his gloves so we were just playing, 'Who was going to get to the gigantic,shiny quartz' if you wanted to know who won, it was Maia who popped up out of nowhere.  It felt like years, even decades just waiting for Johnny!


Eventually Johnny came and we were off.  On the way there, we saw some dolphin tails (they weren't real of course).  We also saw a swan (this time it was real).  While we were singing, we came across the bumpy road, it was super fun.


Finally was got to the forest where the caves were but Paul suddenly remembered that he had forgotten his helmet. We all hoped that we could go back on the bumpy road so we all happy but our happiness was sucked on by Paul when he said he had brought a spare helmet.   Paul gave us a torch each and told us how to put it on. To be honest, it was really hard to switch on. 


Slowly we began hiking up the hill, after about five minutes Paul showed us the bones of a deer, he told us they still have no idea what had happened to it.  We finally had a rest at a gigantic rock were he told us to practice in a small tunnel.  When it my turn, I got on my knees and crawled into the small tunnel, it was muddy and quite a squeeze but we all managed to do it.  After that we eagerly climbed up to the caves.


 Eventually we went into the cave, the first thing we saw was what we thought was gold but it was actually a type of algae with raindrops on it, which made it shiny.  In the cave it was all damp and wet. Paul all helped us climb up into 'The Attic' (a very big space in the caves), when we got up there we turned our torches off to see how dark it actually was, and it was very dark, as dark as the night without the moon or stars to lighten up it up. When we turned the torches back on, Paul told us we had two choices, one of them was to go down 'St Thomas' passage' and through the 'Post Box' or wait for him in 'The Attic' and go back down the way we went up here.   Most of us decided to go down 'St Thomas's passage' only Toby didn't go.  When I went in, my helmet got stuck halfway through,'why now'  I thought to myself but Luke helped me to get my helmet out. 


 Everyone was waiting when Toby came and we were off again down the hill, going downhill was proving harder than it was going uphill.


On the way back on the bus Ms Ingles each gave us fruit pastilles and Chewys and we saw the swan again.  We had had a great day.

Benmore High Ropes Course by Boris

After an early rise from Mrs Christie, we set off for breakfast.   After that Marie (our instructor) told us we were doing the ropes course.  We all were very excited.   We went straight to get our gear.   We needed a helmet, ropes and harnesses.


After that, we took a quick walk and got there in a couple of minutes.   We set everything up and we were told we had to start on the beginner course which was pretty boring because Alex was messing about so he wasted  15 minutes talking  but eventually we were off.


When we got there we had to practise on a mini course.   We had to get into pairs.   I went with James and we had to take turns going round.    We then had to go around as a team trying not to fall off but we were slowed down because there was a bit of messing about.


 Finally, we got the proper course raring to go.   Marie split us in to two groups.   The  first course we did was with a guy called Sean.   I was the first to go up at the top it was very high!   Sean told we had to do a little dance at the top.


 Then James went then Liam then Saul then James G.   We then went on to the next course.   This one slightly easier and we all did it. 


After that, I went up with Liam to do the trapeze jump.  The trapeze  was a massive big bar that we had jump to onto and hang on in mid-air.   Me and Liam both made it and so did most of the rest😬


After that we talked about it all night in our dorm saying how fun it was.   It was the height though that got everybody stirred up.   I think this was the best activity we did.  I would love to do it again and if you are reading this I encourage you to do it too!

Gorge Walking by Chiara

On Wednesday morning, group 9 went gorge walking. We met our

instructor (Scrutts) in the staff dorm. After we got our waterproofs on,

we went to the back yard and got our helmets and ropes. We then went

on the minibus. There was lots of singing and dancing. After a while,

we arrived at the start of the gorge.

We saw another group coming down, it was group 5. They told us we

would get soaked, and we were like, " no we are so not afraid of getting

wet it's just water" (laugh).

We then went up this really steep and slippy rock and it was quite hard

but we all made it up.

😄😃😀😄😃😃 Even Mrs Walker made it up!!!

And she got up quite quick. Next we had to go through the Elephant's

trunk. It was fallen down trees and you had to go over and under

them. The funny thing about that is that I slipped on a tree and got a

humungous bruise. It was not that sore though it was really funny and

everyone laughed at me but they weren't laughing at me, it was

because of the face I made when I fell apparently it was hilarious




Then we got to a tricky bit where you had to do the splits across the

water. Me and Lewis were the only ones who took the wet way, but

Lewis was going to go the dry way but then he fell in and it was

sooooooo funny. Once we got across, we had to stand on this really

thin rock. We then got to go in really deep water and everyone went

across the log and I was helping everyone by standing in the middle and

helping them across. After that, we got to this really other slippy log

and we had to either go up the log or go up the key hole. I went up the

key hole and it was quite tricky but I made it! There were only a few

people in our group that went up it. I was first, and then after we got

up, we got hot Ribena to drink.

Further up, there was a water slide. I went down it and I was first for

that too. I went 4 times down it and it was so so so so so so so so fun

but not everyone went on that either, but I loved it! This was my most

favourite thing on the gorge walk. BThere was another log, but by this

time we were like ice cubes so we walked along the log and got soaked

but Scrutts said if we walked along it and rubbed our noses on it we

would have good luck and it was just to get us to go along it!! Me and

Lewis fell in and it was really deep and I rubbed my nose against it but

Scrutts just told us to do that because he wanted us all to do it. We

then got to the Rock of Africa, I was first and it was so much fun, it was

really slippy and everyone made it up.

After an amazing day, we went back to the centre for Cake o'clock.

Biking by Ruaridh

under the bridge to the river bank and threw stones at it. Some people, me
included, went far down the river to larger stones. But when we came back we
found Miles doing the front crawl.
When Miles got out, he was absolutely covered in water, and although it wasn't
surprising, Miles got lots of shocked looks from everyone. (If you ever get Steve,
ask him about Group 5's 2015 bike trip for his side of the story.)
After we'd cycled to a forest, we went over loads of bumps and lumps and jumps
through it, Daniel R still filming every single moment.
Before very long it was time to finish up. :'-(


we had to hose our bikes down, which meant a big string of endless
On Tuesday, we (Group 5) went biking, and first thing we did was meet Steven
(our instructor) in the courtyard and followed him out up a hill where we were
greeted by the store shed thing (or something like that) to get our bikes (Isla or
Cuba), our helmets, our biking gloves and our strange, unnecessary (in my
opinion (they weren't even hi- vis!)) yellow jackets.
We then lined up (well more of a jumble, really), and had our picture taken by
Miss French (the adult with us(who wasn't our instructor, Steven(also my everyday
teacher(Miss French, not Steven(sorry if this many brackets confuses you))))).
After that we went down the other side of the hill and Daniel R and me (I'm the
assistant) used his £500 camera (it's very good) to film everything and kind of
Vlogged the day in the process.
Eventually we reached our mid way destination, which was a river and a closed
mossy wooden bridge. When everyone had had their hot chocolate, they went

water, plus a bunch of P6s, plus Steven which equals totally and utterly wet
chaos. Which also equals, a lot of wet people in a short time and not very many
clean bikes for a loooooooong time. Oh, yeah, and me and Daniel got the wettest
and Steven did the most soaking. ^_^ (it was a good thing, if your wondering).

Also, and about the camera, it broke. Daniel dropped it cycling and we thought it

was bust. >~<. But it worked! ^=^ So we thought it was the waterproof bit that had

smashed, but the following day we took it gorge walking and it was still

waterproof, so it was probably a useless piece of glass.

Overall, I think the biking went pretty well, as even though we didn't go on a

proper course we still went through a forest, which was great! It was probably

better in fact, because from what I saw, the course there was just an easier

version of the cycle training course we did earlier in the year.

Anyway, it doesn't really matter where we went, as it was still cycling and it was

still fun and it was still all over the place.

I can't really think of much else (but be understanding, it was a few weeks ago,

so you can't expect me to remember it in full detail).

Cool Climbing by Stephen

Ahh, what a wonderful day at Benmore. Me and my group loved abseiling.

But before I go into detail about abseiling I'll tell you how we got there.

So first we woke up on Thursday morning, had a shower and all the usual

stuff then we went down for breakfast. And as usual it was delicious. We

eventually went to meet our instructor Jo and he said that we'd be doing

climbing and abseiling. We were always relatively excited about the activity

but we were especially excited today. Jo also instructed us to wear warm and

old clothes because the clothes would get ripped

😆 . So me and Matthew

rushed back to the Dorm and changed into the correct clothing. Then we

rushed down stairs again and regrouped.

Before we went on the quarry, we had to practice climbing and abseiling on

the indoor climbing wall. But before we started we all checked out our

harnesses and helmets. Then set off while Mrs French took photos. First we

practised traversing around the wall then we did a mini abseil indoors.

When we arrived at the top of the cliff we were all really nervous but

extremely excited as well.

Just before you go you have to get you rope tied to you and then you step

trough the salty gate and onto the edge of the cliff. To be honest it wasn't that

scary, the scariest thing was the start.

Jumping of a 80 foot cliff goes against ever human nature. As I lowered

myself down I pretended to be James Bond zip lining into a master criminals


When I reached the bottom, I felt really proud and happy because I've never

done abseiling on such a big scale and I loved it.

While the others were coming down the cliff, me and Matthew threw stones at

our cups once we'd finished drinking juice out of them. I was pretty bad at it

until I adopted a new tactic pray and spray. Basically it was cheating but it

worked fine

😎 .

After a while of stone throwing we walked back to the centre for lunch. And

the lunchtime banter was all about our amazing morning abseiling.

Amazing Abseil by Ben

On Thursday, our 2nd last day at Benmore, group 3 went abseiling.   It was in the afternoon. 


 First we had lunch and then our instructor told us to meet him in the backyard.   We got ready.   All of us were very excited.  We got a helmet, belay ropes and a carabiner.


We walked to a climbing building and then we started to abseil down the rock.   I was really scared but it was nothing like the 50 ft rock.  They told us how to go down.   After a couple of minutes, we walked up to quarry.   We walked up to the rock and we got ready to go down.   I was fourth to go down.


Then it was time for me to go ...



When I went he told me to stick my bum out.   Near the bottom, there was a really hard bit to go down.   It wasn't flat it was bumpy.   When I got down, my other instructor said, "well done!!"

Despite being scared, I still did it.


At the bottom, we tried to skim stones on the floor.   The best I got was 5 then when everyone got down we had to climb up to the top of the rock.   Whilst waiting to climb, we went up a tree when it was our turn we got clipped up to the ropes and started to climb.   There was a really hard bit to climb but we did it.  When we made to the top, we started off abseiling down.   I jumped down when we were ready to go.



When we were ready to walk home, I jumped over a cattle bridge and smacked my leg on a metal pole, pulled my muscle and cut my leg and got big bruise.   But luckily, it was cake o clock and I was happy.   Today was the best last day at Benmore.      

Cool Caving by Lewis

After an early rise, from Mrs Gallagher waking us up on Tuesday, group 9 went caving.


At the start I was a little bit nervous just thinking about that tiny framed up space although also a little bit excited because it was my first time caving.   So my feelings about it were half and half when we met Scrutts our instructor in one of the bedrooms next to the Common room.  


Before doing anything else,  Scrutts told us what equipment we needed.  He said to get water proofs and a helmet and then to meet him at the van furthest away from the centre. We ran to get jumpers which was a pain cause I was at the top of the tower (82 stairs that's one thing I won't miss).   Then, after that, it was down to the drying room to get the water proofs on and helmets after that before going on the mini bus and driving off to the caves.


On the way we went on the most bumpy road.   To be honest I bashed my head on the side of he window.   Ouch!



When we arrived at the cave, it was small, really small.   Liza went in first then Chiara, Gracie, Charlotte, Ammar, Kirsty, me, Tom then finally Stewart.   At first I thought there was no way we would all fit in there.  After that, when everyone had got in, Scrutts asked us to turn off our helmet light so everyone did it.  It was so dark it felt like you were sleeping but awake it was weird.   After my eyes adjusted Scrutts brought out two rocks and made a spark then we put the head lights back on after our eyes adjusted again and went down St Thomas's path.!!! At first I wasn't going down, not a chance but Scrutts told me if he could fit down it so could I so I did it.  It was a tight squeeze but I made it to the other side.   I was proud of my self.



After all the should I or shouldn't I, we walked down down the hill and it was a fun morning.   We played about in the loch for a while then into the van it was lunch time.  


On the way home on the way back we went on the bumpy road this time I didn't hit my head yay Scrutts put on the radio and the song that came on.  Gracie hated it with a passion, she put her hands over her ears so we put up the sound.


When we got back took of our water proofs and went for lunch hip hip hooray.


But all the those stairs why!!!

Abseiling by Alisdair

On the Thursday at Benmore, my group (group 3) went abseiling in the afternoon.  I was looking forward to it because I had never done it before.


 Once we had dorm inspection, we went into the common room and the instructors told us what we would be doing.   We found out we would be choosing and doing the ropes course. So we chose to do abseiling.  In the afternoon we met in the front hall after lunch and free time.  Then Angela (our instructor) told us were we would meet and what we should were.


She told us, "Don't wear too much nice stuff because it might get ripped on the rocks."


Angela met us at the backyard.   Once we got our climbing stuff (helmet, belay and ropes plus some other things) we started walking to the small climbing wall.   We walked around the stables to get there.


Once we got to the small climbing wall, we got split up into 3 groups and then started to climb up the walls.  We climbed two walls and then went onto the abseiling wall were we had to climb up and then abseil down.   It was very scary leaning back but once you started it was fine.


Once I got to the bottom I couldn't wait until the bigger wall.  I had seen the bigger wall going to another activities.   It didn't look too big from the bottom but once you got to the top it was massive. After we had finished with the small climbing wall, we walked to the bigger wall.


When we got there we walked up the path to the top of the cliff.  Tom (another instructor) set up the ropes and then we started.  First Pheobe went and then all the other people from the group. I think I was about 7th in the line. So Tom put all the clips and other stuff on me. Then I leaned back and started to walk down.  As I was walking down, I slipped a couple of times and found that a bit scary.  But once I got down I was very excited, and wanted to do it again but couldn't 😢😢😢.


While we were waiting for the others to come down, we started messing about and Hamish and Andrew got in a fight and they started hitting each other with sticks. 


After we all had came down, we had a shot at climbing up the wall.   It was quite hard work because there wasn't enough foot/hand holds so I kept on slipping.

Once we had finished we walked back and Ben tried to jump over the cattle rail and failed.  The bruise was disgusting and the skin had stuck to his sock😣😣😣And we came back to cake'o clock.   And then we went home the next day. 😢😢😢

Climbing by Calum

On Wednesday morning, I was going

climbing with group 6 and I was really

looking forward to it because I had only ever

climbed on a real rock once. I had never

climbed up then abseiled before.

This is some of the equipment we used and

some we didn't: a seat harness, an expansion

piton, a piton, chalk, a tubular ice screw, A

carabiner, a descender, a locking carabiner, a

rope, a helmet and boots.

This is only half of what the professionals


When we were walking to the practice wall I

saw about three red squirrels which is the

most I have ever seen. Then when we were

about to get there I was given the job of

taking the descenders.

When we got in, the walls looked really easy

which they were and when we got to the

abseiling practice it was pretty easy as well.

All you had to do was check your harness

was tight then you descended.

When we were walking to the big rock I got

really scared because I saw a lump of trees

and mud that looked like the evil green

man. At the wall, it looked really high and

I thought I couldn't do it because I was

scared but I overcame that fear and then I

went straight ahead and did it. I was 2nd in

line and when I got to the bottom and

looked up it was a lot smaller than it looked

from at the top.

When I got to the bottom, I had some juice

and with the cups we balanced them on a

tree and threw rocks at them. Matthew was

getting annoyed with me and Stephen because

we were chucking lots of stones in lumps of

gravel at the cups and hitting most of them

down and then Matthew would pick them up

and me and Stephen would just keep on

doing it.

Walking back to the centre, I learnt how to

fire a reed and I fired up the river and saw

it come back down like a game of poo


Then when we got back to Benmore, it was

cake o, clock - everyone liked cake o, clock.

Afterwards we had free time and we went

outside and played catch in the dark with

our torches.

At night, our night time activity was Cluedo

and my team lost because we could hardly

find any of them but that was pretty funny

because some people put them up their shirt.

After that we went to the tuck shop and then

we went to our dorms.


High Ropes by Laurie

On Thursday after lunch, we met up with our instructor in the big dining hall where she told us that we were going to the high ropes course that afternoon.  We were all really excited and looking forward to going.   Morna, our instructor, told us what we needed, what to wear and where to meet up.  We all rushed up to our dorms to get ready.


After that everyone met up round the back outside where we got our helmets before we left.


  As a group we all walked down Benmore Centre's garden, through the little gate and into the ropes course.


WOW!  Look how big it is, I thought.  As I looked around me, everyone in my group had a huge smile on their face as they looked up at the huge wooden course in front of us. Another instructor called Shaun who walked down with us  helped us getting on our harnesses and our ropes on.


When we were all ready to go we set of through the garden.


When we were almost there, I opened the gate and everyone rushed through to see what we were doing.  That day was probably my favourite day because in the morning we went caving, which was epic but very scary, but the ropes course was brilliant but terrifying.  I watched the rest of my group climb up the ladder with the massive staples to cling onto.


When they got to the top of the ladder, they walked along the wooden log to the next ladder to climb up.   Then they walked along another log and jumped off the end to get lowered down.  If you were really brave and confident, you could do a little dance in the middle of the log.


I was the last one to go up.   I was so scared I was shaking. When I was watching everyone else, it looked so easy and not very high but when I was up there it felt like I was as high as the birds. Everyone went before me and then it was my turn; I got my carbiner, my chest harness and the ropes on.  I started to climb up the ladder.  Everyone had got to the top but I was so scared that I didn't think I could do it but I wanted to try. So I kept trying.  Then I walked across the log.  When I got to the other side I was shaking but I carried on up the ladder.   I was very cold and my hands were numb.   When I got to the top of the ladder, I walked across the last log.   I tried to dance in the middle but my legs had gone all wobbly.  I looked down at everyone and they all looked tiny from how high I was. Slowly, I walked along the log with fear.   It felt like the log was so thin I could just slip off.  Then I had to jump off.   It looked very easy when other people did it but it was the most scary part, I slipped one foot off then the other and I was in mid air they lowered me down. It felt good when I got to the ground but I did enjoy it.


Now it was time for the trapeze.   Anna and her partner went first.  I watched with excitement as they climbed up the wooden pole onto the platform where they stood up to do a big jump together to grab onto the trapeze that was hanging in front of them. They both managed to get onto the platform with each others' help.   I could see they were scared though.   Now they were standing up we gave them a count down to jump "5,4,3,2,1 JUMP!" They both did a huge leap and luckily they both managed to grab the trapeze.  They swung on it for a while and then they got lowered down. We watched every one else do it then it was our turn.  Me and Lily got our ropes tied on then we started to climb up the pole.  Lily went up first then I followed behind, Lily was very confident and fast at this so she was on the platform quickly. I found it a bit hard at the top to climb onto the platform so Lily helped me and I finally made it up.  Then they gave us the count down to jump.   This was surprisingly easy and not as scary as I thought.  They counted down from 5,4,3,2,1 jump and then we both sprung forward.  When I was in mid air my heart went a bit faster.   As soon as I touched the trapeze, I felt proud of myself because not everyone in the other groups managed to catch it but our group did.   I was very happy but scared when I did it but I felt good about doing it. I did want to hang from my legs because my friend did that but it was really hard and scary.  Then they  lowered us down from the platform onto the ground.

Once everyone had had their go, we all had some juice because we were all very thirsty.  We packed up our stuff and went back through the garden back in to the Benmore  Centre.  Everyone, including me, was a bit hyper because we were super excited that we just did that.   It was a lot of fun and I'm sure everyone in my group agrees with me.

Gorge Walk by Liam Mc

On Tuesday, Group 1 went to the gorge for our first activity.  Marie met us on the Monday afternoon when we arrived at the centre in the field studies room.  She told us a bit about the week and then gave us our red waterproofs and told us where to keep them.


The next morning, we met her again and she advised us to wear a lot of layers so that we could stay warm.  Once we had all our gear on we got in the minibus and went to the gorge.


When we arrived we had to go through a graveyard to get to the gorge.  In the graveyard there was a big gravestone and Marie told us that it was for a woman who had been the first woman to qualify as a doctor in the UK.


At the gorge, there were lots of trees around a small stream that was travelling downhill over rocks.  The trees were quite annoying because you kept banging your head on them.  Some of the trees were so high that you couldn't get over them so Marie let us crawl underneath.  The water got into my shoes and it was freezing. 


The first challenge gave us was to climb up through the keyhole.  It was a rock face with a ledge that water was pouring through.  You had to duck under the rock, stand on the ledge and push up through the gap.  Unfortunately (fortunately if you like to get soaked) the water poured onto your legs and splashed onto your face.


Next came a pool where we were allowed to go in for a swim.  The pool was cold and I took on the challenge and swam through it.  I felt good about doing it but it was very cold afterwards.


After that came the famous Rock of Africa.  You had to lay down in the water and then you swam under the rock.  You needed to put your head sideways as it was quite a small space and you wouldn't be able to breathe if you didn't.  Only me and Alex completed this challenge.  The others didn't want to because they were freezing.


At the top, Marie told us to sit down along a ledge in the water so that the water would build up behind us and then she let us slide down the rock into a pool below.  This was a lot of fun.  When I got back up I'd dropped my glove and Saul slid back down to get it for me.


Afterwards in the minibus I was thinking about a shower but I didn't get time because we were late for lunch.


I would gorge walking to people who like challenges and don't mind freezing cold water.

Abseiling by Liam K

On Wednesday afternoon, I was going abseiling so we got ready

and then we got the equipment for abseiling.   We got ropes, a helmet, clips and a harness and off we go to do abseiling with team 2. 


When we got there I was a wee bit scared and nervous but I felt proud of myself because I did it .


When I got up to the top to abseil down, I was so scared.

My instructor Scott said, "right it is time to abseil down."  Then I just said to myself I can do it and I just kept on saying it to myself.



And then, when it came to my turn and I was about to go, 

I was safe.   I said to myself that I was doing it.   I

Kept going down until I got down and before I knew it I was down.


It was so fun that you would want to do it again because when I got

down despite being frightened, I wanted to do it again and again.


After everyone got down, we started to walk back to Benmore Centre to have cake and a drink.  After that it was free time and diary time and the Tuck shop.


Later on, it was an evening activity which was Cluedo.


It was so fun going round the centre with your friends looking for clues. I'm had had a great day.  

High Ropes by Anna Green

On Thursday the 13 of February 2015 with group 7 and our instructor Morna, I  went to the ropes course with the help of Shaun.  Shaun and Morna helped us to get our harnesses, helmets and clips on.   I was the model because I had a harness on but unfortunately it was the wrong size so I got another one.   Léo and Flora got special red ones which meant they didn't need a weird thing.    They only got them because they were the smallest in the group.  Fedya and Dylan got the giant harnesses because they are the tallest in the group.   I got an inbetween one like most of the others.  They also gave us our helmets; most of us got red ones, the rest they got blue ones and Dylan got a blue one because of his hair.  Then we took a five minute walk to the course.  It was an uncomfortable walk! 


When we got there, we got asked a question: would you like to start on the small course or large courses?  We chose the large


I was the model again but this time for a different piece of clothing.    Then I was the first one in my group to go.   It was so so scary.  With some effort, I managed to get up the slippery log.  Then I climbed up the staples on the sides of the poles.  Here came the scary bit, walking across the wire holding onto a wobbly rope.   When I got to the other side, I climbed up more staples then there was a big log in the way and I was a big woose and stopped and jumped off.


Next it was Joanne's go.   She was epic at it; she didn't fuss one bit and she got all the way to the top and the end of the top wire.  Then it was Emily's go she was amazing as well she got to the top too.  I felt bad that I had not gone to the top.  After that it was Léo.   On the way down, Léo got caught on the wire.  It was so funny.  After Léo it was Fedya. He also got to the top but this time there was a difference, I was attached to the rope.   He was so heavy I got a bit of a wedgie,when he was on the way down!


  As soon as everyone had  had their turn, we got some juice and had a break.  We got going again but before we started we had a chat about how it was going to work. It was terrifying for me and Joanne, mostly me though.  I was only terrified because I was the first to go up the pole, it was so scary.  When I got up I was shaking so much that Joanne shouted, "stop wiggling the pole!"  When we were both up Jo Jo counted back from 5 it was funny because when she got to 3 she went faster and then we jumped...


We both caught the trapeze we were both so happy that we did it.  I was probably the most happy because I didn't get to the top on the ropes.

Canoeing by Fedya

On a Tuesday afternoon, after lunch, us - group seven, went out with our instructor Morna and our parallel Primary six teacher - Miss Stewardson.   We went to the shed to get a life jacket and a waterproof in the drying room.  Afterwards, we came along to a minibus in which we went to the Loch with the river gently floating down in its direction.  We got inside and set off.


   As we were sitting inside, me and my friend Leo saw a sticker in the corner of the front window which said ( probably who published it) - A.T.Phillip.  So we always called that particular minibus Phillip.  At the back of the minibus, the girls were making up silly songs about people in their classes and dorms.


   When we finally arrived at the beach, we had a gentle entry into the water.   Morna got out first and helped us open the slide-open door which we couldn't open personally.  As we got out, we saw that Morna was going to a group of canoes huddled together and covered with a huge kind-of rubber sheet.


   Morna told our group to get the sheet off and bring the canoes down to the beach.  We picked up the canoes one by one all together and carried them down.  Although there was ten of us, it was still very heavy.  When we at last finished, we went up to an old, rusty shed.  As the door creaked open, we peered in and saw lots of paddles.  Some were on the floor, some hanging down from hooks, some on shelves...


   Morna gave all of us a paddle and taught us how to paddle properly  with the one or two people who you were sitting next to. I got to sit with Flora from the other class and Miss Stewardson.


   At first we were just getting used to it, but later we were banging into each other and playing about.  Later Morna asked us if we wanted to play a game and we all wanted to.  She explained that everybody needs to throw the ball into Morna's boat which would give us points.  And if any of us fell off the boat, that would give Morna's team points.


   But we still won because none of us fell off and we chucked the ball three times into their boat. We canoed to a little stony beach and drank hot chocolate and Ribena.  We hopped back in and had a race to see who would be first back.  We won the race, and helped everybody to put the canoes back as they were before.


   Then we drove back to the main building for cakeO'clock.

Cool Canoeing by Tom

On Thursday, after breakfast and our dorm inspection, we met with our instructor, Scrutts in his little room for the last time.   I was excited because this was the first time I was going canoeing.   He told us to get our jumpers and waterproofs and meet him out the back, as usual.


After going up and down the evil tower steps and getting my waterproofs from the drying room, I found everyone at the back under the glass canopy.    Before very long, Scrutts, Emma (our other instructor) and Mrs. Walker arrived. We then went up to the bike and boat store to get buoyancy aids  or life jackets. We then got in the minibus and set off to Loch Eck to do our canoeing.


After a while, we arrived at the loch.  Another group was there though, and Scrutts went down and chatted with their instructor, Tom, to find out what they were doing.   After that we clambered out of the minibus and found out that we needed to drag the canoes down to the edge of the loch.   We then went into a hut to get paddles.



Before we started canoeing, Scrutts gave us a lesson on how to use a paddle and how to control and steer a canoe. At first I was worried that it would be too tricky, but when we went out on the three-seater canoes (I was with Emma and Lisa) to practice, I got the hang of it.   After the practice we went up the loch a bit and stopped on a sandy beach to drink some hot chocolate, which was the best I ever tasted.


After the journey back, we played some canoe games like canoe football and this game where we had to collect some rubber ducks.   When the games were finished we went back to the shore and dragged the canoes back up next to the hut.   Just before we got back into the minibus Chiara and Gracie went swimming in the loch!   When they got out they were absolutely soaking.


When we started to drive back to the Centre I was very happy. I wanted to go canoeing again!