An action packed day has drawn to a close which has seen amazing achievements, sterling collaboration and records broken. It was always going to be a challenge with both groups taking identical challenges: Leap of Faith, Problem Solving, Giant Zipwire, Jacob's Ladder, Bouldering and Nightline.
The activities themselves are easy to describe, but the experience is an entirely different thing. Having conquered the cave last night, today saw the children take on their high ropes activities. Those with a phobia of heights should stay well away; however every Year Six child took part at some level. Kingswood's 'trial by choice' policy means that the children set themselves goals which they aim to beat; be it reaching the top or putting on the harness. No more is this evident than on the leap of faith: a daunting climb up a narrow telegraph pole, which shakes in the breeze, only to throw yourself off at the top. Year 6, however, more than rose to the challenge, with everyone reaching their goal and daring to step out of their comfort zone to take another step, reach for another goal. Their bravery was only rivaled by the cheering and encouragement from below.
This continued through the Zipwire and eventually the Jacob's Ladder, which, for the first time that Mr Duckett has ever witnessed, saw a child stand on the highest rung in the canopy of the trees and proclaiming, 'This is not Jacob's Ladder; it's Ruby's Ladder!' Everyone cheered in awe as the new queen of the jungle conquered a challenge on which most of us could only touch the half-way point.
Problem solving is an activity which caters for those who like a puzzle which involves collaboration, lateral thinking and a physical challenge. And once again Year 6 did not disappoint. Mrs Mowbray and Mr Singleton's group were the first to manage 4 different challenges completed in the hour; whilst Mrs Urmston and Mr Duckett's group managed the tyre crossing without using the eight on offer, but just four! It was truly wonderful to see the children pull together and watch some come to the fore.
There have been so many highlights, proud moments, personal achievements and comical incidents today, but want parents probably want to know most is that we are having an amazing time, we are rising to challenges which some of us never thought we could, we are growing as a team and we are all safe and sound.
We will be back tomorrow to tell you everything and to bless you with our dirty washing, so be prepared.
Time for bed now so that we are ready for breakfast, packing, climbing and archery.
Year Six have arrived in Kingswood and have thrown themselves straight into the challenges, as we are sure you would expect. Both groups have been to Caving this evening, but more about that later.
The journey was short and mercifully void of Year Six or Mr Singleton singing. As we crossed into Wales the blue skies began to appear greeted by lots of smiles and a few sighs from the mud lovers.
On arriving, the children met our group leaders (Jess and Tara - who also led last year's group), before being shown around the site and into our dorms. As ever we have some lovely pictures of children struggling to master the fine art of the duvet cover, with many vanishing inside. In case you are wondering what happened to Ruby, she managed to hit herself in the face trying to make her bed - we didn't think this was the activity with the most risks this week; Ruby had other ideas.
It was then free time before off on our first challenge: Caving. The activity is surely one of the most daunting and physically demanding so it was brilliant to hear and see both groups supporting one another through the narrow gaps, tight spaces and occasional darkness. Cameron really knows his stalactites from his stalagmites.
After Caving it was off for some much-needed tea and a coffee for Mr Duckett, then on to Hotspots. The giant twister always throws up some strange poses, strained expressions and comical antics; this year was no different. We have uploaded just a few pictures for you to see.
We are now tucked up in bed having filled up on sweets and other healthy choices. Tomorrow is our busiest day with 6 of our 9 activities. Mr Singleton and Mrs Mowbray's group are taking a blindfolded wander through the forest after breakfast, before taking on the Leap of Faith. Whilst Mrs Urmston and Mr Duckett's group will start with the high ropes activity before going bouldering.
We would love to say we are missing you lots, but we are having far too much fun.
Stay tuned for more tomorrow.