Wednesday, 9 February 2011

First Full Day of Activities

Mrs Murray spent the morning with Group One and the afternoon with Group Six.
Group One – Forest Adventure. Very much an adventure and a beautiful walk up the river walkway towards Puck’s Glen. The group rose well to challenges posed by navigating their way up the river. They shared top level leadership skills – Caleb Wilson and Rowan in particular – and worked very well as a team to ensure everyone completed the task successfully. They loved sipping hot chocolate at the Viewpoint. Best bits: mud and puddles!
Group Six were orienteering. Hazel completed the first course in a record breaking 4 minutes 40 seconds – well done! Varnit and Liam took a bit of a detour but showed great determination and did manage to complete the full course in time for 5 o’clock cakes.

Mr Donald spent the morning with Group Three and the afternoon with Group Five.
Group Three tried very hard at mountain biking, especially as some had only learnt to ride a bike a this year during P6  Cycle Training. Their instructor, Angela, coaxed them all through, ending with an obstacle challenge. Daphne, Morven, Aleena and Adam had great fun but Daphne lost a trainer in the mud! Morven lost a boot the previous evening on the night walk! (Both items were soon recovered though.) Jonathan shone, winning a Mars Bar for conquering ‘Mars Bar Hill’.
Group Five went up the gorge. Mr Donald got some great videos of the challenges. Luca, Kevin, Tom and Daniel tackled some tricky climbs courageously. Beth, Myaha and India bravely worked outside their comfort zones, but with lots of encouragement got to the top. A highlight was squeezing under the ‘Rock of Africa’ (underwater) at the end. Even Mr Donald managed to squeeze under it!

Ms Gallagher spent the morning with Group Four and the afternoon with Group Two.
Group Four tackled the gorge walk as a team, supported by their instructors Scruttz and Mairi. It was a bright calm morning and the sun was shining as they set off. Ruaridh was the only one to go ‘Through the Keyhole’ AND go under the ‘Rock of Africa’. Joe got happily drenched in the waterfall. Milly was so kind and helpful to all her team mates, helping everyone to succeed. Isla enjoyed the challenge but was glad to get back to the centre to heat up. Asiyah, Humzah, Adam and Lewis Chan enjoyed scrambling up the slippery rocks and river banks. Megan nearly went under the ‘Rock of Africa’ but decided she would get too cold. She would love to try again in the summer! David found climbing up the waterfall holding onto a rope tricky so was delighted with himself when he reached the top.
Group Two had a fabulous time in Puck’s Glen on a Forest Adventure with their instructors, Steven and Hannah (a former Sciennes ‘pupil!). Peter absolutely loved getting soaked in the waterfalls and covering his face with ‘war paint’ from a blood stone. Finlay and Ben Scott covered their faces with so much mud they looked camouflaged. Yuan, Murrin and Jasmin enjoyed the hot chocolate by the fire. Caleb Blackie, Taran and Angus played happily in the stream and Lewis Pritchett  won the Predator Game by catching Hannah.

Ms Marley spent the morning orienteering with Group 5 and the afternoon canoeing with Group Three.
Group Five orienteered around the Benmore Centre. The group spent some time learning how to read the maps and symbols correctly before taking off on individual challenges. The children left at thirty second intervals and India managed to make up lots of time to take the lead. The children  were put into two teams and then spent an hour on a 2km course. Charlie, Euan, Kevin, Luca, Tom and Daniel managed to find all of the checkpoints in the inside/outside challenge and solved the acrostic to spell ‘Benmore is cool!’
Group Three took the opportunity to go canoeing as their optional activity and were so lucky to have a calm bright day. With their buoyancy aids securely fastened, the children took their three man canoes onto Loch Eck. After some practice paddling forwards and backwards - and sometimes round in circles – the children managed to work together to paddle across the loch. Group Three finished with a game of ‘buoy ball’. Ferdinand, Adam and Rabin were so keen to win that they forgot that standing up in a canoe is not the best idea and capsized. A hot cup of ‘cosy juice’ did the trick to warm everyone up.
Miss Phillips was caving with Group Eight in the morning and climbing and abseiling with Group Seven.
Group Eight is an adventurous group who chose caving as their optional activity. They started off with a steep hill climb. Javahl, Thor and Leon almost ran up in their excitement to get started. Sean, Leon, Flora and Emily were amazing tackling the steep climb. Waqar, Thor and Emily did really well getting over their fears. Everyone managed to squeeze through a very small hole to get safely out of the cave at the end of their session.
Group Seven started the afternoon on the indoor climbing wall by learning techniques and how to use all the different ropes. Kamran , Aidan and Jack were like spiders climbing the walls. After the indoor wall they went to a quarry where Kamran , Owen, Hannah, Tabitha and Ellis all decided to do the large rock climb. Hannah did extremely well. She was very fast. Emily, Sam, Jack, Rameen and Aidan all decided to do the large abseil and the whole group worked superbly.

Mrs Christie was climbing and abseiling with group six in the morning and mountin biking with group four in the afternoon.
Shehar-yar was very excited about climbing and abseiling although a tad apprehensive. Hazel and Anouk were leading the way for the girls and Varnit was the speediest and the most confident. Eesa, Alexander, Jamie, Liam and Stuan were very supportive of each other on their first and very challenging activity.
Isla led the way through the mud and puddles on her bike. The forest circuit was quite challenging and Adam bravely got back in the saddle after a fall at the bridge. David, Humzah and Asiya welcomed the half time juice break. Ruaridh won a short race, even beating their instructor Scruttz.

Miss Wagner  was with Group Seven  on the forest adventure in the morning and with Group One climbing and abseiling in the afternoon.
Group Seven were hugely enthusiastic about their adventure. Tabitha loved the scenery and seeing how far they had been able to walk from the centre. All the children in the group enjoyed the challenge.
Group One all loved the climb. Sana did very well and made it all the way to the top. The whole group were very encouraging. It was great to see the group working together. Euan did really well on the climb, was super fast up the hill and enjoyed it tremendously.

All the staff - Sciennes staff and Benmore staff - are really enjoying working with the group and we are all delighted with how well everyone is getting along together.

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