Group Five were caving with Ms Christie and had to climb 350m up from sea level through a very steep, slippery forrest before they arrived at a hole in the hillside that looked impossible to get through. They did get through though and then it was a 30 foot drop to the bottom of the cave - suspended on a rope. David and Aisuna bravely stepped up as team leaders. Ms Christie admits to feeling way beyond her comfort zone so was delighted that the whole group worked wonderfully together to get everyone from start to finish. The second cave was even more of a challenge. It involved lying down then wriggling down, feet first, and along a 15 foot tunnel. Kevin, Charlie, Luca, Tom, Daniel, India, Beth, Euan, Aisuna and Myaha were extremely brave and thoughtful with one another during an activity that really tested them both physically and mentally. A special thank you to Myaha for not leaving Ms Christie behind!
Group Three went on a Forest Walk in the afternoon with instructor Angela and Ms Christie. Daphne and Aleena used their map reading skills to set their map at the start of the walk. After a fairly hard walk up through some tricky terrain, Aida, Rabin, Jonathan, Callum, Aleena, Daphne, Yu Ning and Morven decided they weren't wet enough so went for a 'Head and Shoulders' in a waterfall. Ferdinand was much more circumspect and kept his waterproof hood up. Great fun at the time but they were relieved and delighted to get back to the warmth of the Benmore drying rooms.
Group One orienteered with their instructor, Kris, and Ms Gallagher. The rain poured all day but there was no wind and all managed the first star orienteering course successfully. Ellie and Holly teamed up and helped each other when they got a bit lost. Laura, Caleb W and Andrew wandered off course on the second round but were found before they reached Dunnon! Ben D'Ulisse had been very tired but benefited from going to bed early on Tuesday night and woke up full of energy. Tomas showed great skill in map reading. Great team!
In the afternoon, Ms Gallagher climbed and abseiled with Group Three. Jonathan, Morven, Adam G and Rabin were like geckos, clambering up the climbing wall with ease. Callum did exceptionally well too - both indoors in the climbing room and outdoors at the quarry. He was beaming with pride. Aleena, Ferdinand and Yun Ning surprised themeselves with their ability to abseil down the the highest cliff at the quarry. What stars! Camp Headteacher, Andy Beveridge, came along as an extra pair of hands to instructors Angela and Thea. This meant all nine children had lots of turns climbing and abseiling, giving them all the confidence to succeed on the big abseil. Group Three is the only group so far where every single child has opted for the harder abseil.
Group Two climbed and abseiled with Mr Donald. All fearlessly took to the walls in the climbing room, enjoying different traversing games that they can try out in the playground when they get back to Sciennes!
In the afternoon, Mr Donald went orienteering with Group Eight. The group learnt the basics of 'setting a map' and using features to help them navigate. Max and Leon are clearly naturals and sped through their initial 'Star Challenge'. Sean and Waqar at first found orienteering a real challenge, but with a great effort they completed the course successfully. Well done!
Canoeing for Mrs Murray and Group Four on Loch Eck was a rainy but atmospheric morning. Ruaridh and Joe got off to a flying start, putting their paddling skills to good use. Humzah worked really hard to build his confidence on the water and had a fabulous time negotiating obstacles with Scruttz.
In the afternoon, Mrs Murray orienteered with Group Two. It was great to see this group pf children working so well together and really enjoying being with their instructor, Steven. There was some confusion with the second course but all completed the circuit in good time. Well done to Peter's team for coming in first.
Group Eight and Ms Marley spent the morning climbing and abseiling in the quarry. The constant drizzle made conditions very slippery. The group first climbed to the top of the quarry before making their slippery descent. It was very challenging and the children conquered their fear of heights and of leaning backwards over a cliff edge! Max, Lois and Isis had fantastic technique and quickly made it to the bottom. The whole group were very brave and encouraged each other along.
Group Six are made of tough stuff! They went mountain biking with Ms Marley in the afternoon. After a very tiring morning, they once again donned their waterproofs to head out on mountain bikes. Eesa, Struan, Alexander and Jamie always took the most direct route: straight through gigantic, deep puddles! The group arrived back at the centre soaked, covered in mud, but exhilerated from zooming along muddy trails.
Sam and Owen are working on their diaries in the Field Studies Room and have helped add comments about their group's activities on Wednesday. When Group Seven went orienteering in the morning, Sam and Jack came first in the star event orienteer course. All the children completed the big course, though Emily and Ellis lost some time points by getting a bit lost in the middle. Owen and Kamran had the fastest time.
In the afternoon, Miss Wagner joined the group for a gorge walk. It had rained persistently and in some places the water was up to Sam's knees. The current was strong because of the all rain and even the staff had to be careful to keep their footing. Most managed to do the big slide at the end despite being cold and very wet. This activity really challenged and stretched the group and they can be very proud of themselves for reaching the top.
Sam would like to say that Benmore is a pretty great place and he would definitely recommend it! And he also says "Hi and see you tomorrow, Mum!"