On Friday evening a group of Year 7 pupils boarded a school minibus in the rain bound for Shining Cliff Woods Derbyshire. They were off for an adventure!
The Hostel we were staying in was in the middle of the wood and not accessible by vehicle. We had to walk all our kit in. To help with this we had three wheelbarrows but it was very muddy and tough going. Having just done the music competition the group were full of energy and high spirits but still slightly intimidated by the darkness of the woodland. With head torches blazing and everyone loaded up with their bags, the adventure began.
A light in the woods signalled our arrival at the hostel and shelter from the elements. The pupils settled into their rooms for the night whilst others helped out making supper. The weather was grim outside so we had a brilliant talent show indoors before hot chocolate and bed.
Saturday bought much appreciated sunshine and after a good breakfast the group got ready for their first activity. Harnessed and helmeted up we headed out. Just behind the hostel there is a rock face offering lots of different opportunities for activities and challenges. The first challenge was a scramble Via Ferrata style, this involves clipping onto ropes fixed in place to protect yourself. The group did a fantastic job of supporting each other, developing their teamwork and communication. After a short break we moved on to another rock scramble this time up to and through a cave, the option of a tight squeeze then an exposed ledge up to the top of the rock face. From here there was then the option of two different abseils back down to the bottom, a 20m steep bank or through a hole and down into the cave. Everyone was keen to have a look at the one into the cave and to our amazement all but a couple of pupils decided to give it a go. They all challenged themselves and their comfort zones and we were very impressed with their personal achievements and support for each other.
A communal effort in preparing lunch and tidying the hostel up before celebrating the birthdays of the weekend with cake and pass the parcel. It was then the mammoth effort of taking all the kit out to the bus before the last activity. The pupils worked brilliantly together to get all the kit back onto the wheel barrows, through the mud and up the hill.
It was then time for making a campfire and roasting marshmallows. Whilst the fire was being made by one group the others were setting themselves challenges of getting across the small stream. Developing their team work and having a great time in the woodlands.
The weekend was a great adventure, thank you to all who came on it and made it so.