After our sunny but slightly slow departure, we made good time and made it to Castleton in plenty of time to unload our bags and find the centre staff had taken pity on us and come to collect our luggage with the mini bus and trailer. This made the walk up the lane far lighter and quicker and we were soon walking up the driveway of Chez Castleton our accommodation for the next few days.
We were warmly greeted by our instructors and decided we had earned ourselves lunch – amazing what an appetite one can build up walking a whole ½ mile! The sun beat down on us as we picnicked and every morsel was devoured with great gusto.
After lunch and a tour of the centre, we received some tuition in bed making. This led to a few wondrous sights as the children set about making their beds. A number were all but eaten by their bedding and seemed slightly perplexed by adding sheets to their beds.
Once we had fought the bedding into submission, we set off for our first activities of the week, which went swimmingly (literally in some cases). Each group set out on their afternoon programme with great excitement. This included rafting, problem solving, assault course, weaselling and high ropes.
Each activity was well received and a tremendous amount of fun was had by all. The rafters managed to set sail before some sank to the muddy bottom of the pond. On the assault course, the unwary were caught out by its muddy ponds, who invited a few visitors before the afternoon was out. Over at the High Ropes everyone spent their time building the highest stack of crates possible, before taking on the Leap of Faith. Our budding weasels spent their time scrambling over boulders and squeezing through seemingly impossible gaps. Sadly, it wasn’t just seemingly impossible for your author!
After all the fun, there was time for a quick shower (yes, even the boys!) and change before we tucked into a hearty dinner of spaghetti and meatballs or a tuna pasta bake. Most people even ate their broccoli and had room for their desert. A pleasingly old school chocolate sponge! A great delight for the teachers and pupils alike!
After a quick change of clothes, we were ready for our evening activity, orienteering in the dark. Each group was issued with maps, torches and pencils and set out to locate the numbered posts around the grounds of the centre. Much hilarity followed, as each group made their way around the course carefully avoiding the hazards that loomed out of the dark. Two groups even managed to locate the post labelled Middle of Nowhere. The winning group managed to locate 28 posts, no mean achievement; with their head torches flickering they located some well-hidden posts! After 2 hours, we arrived back at the centre weary, but full of excitement for the fun to come tomorrow. After another wash (remarkable), we turned in for the night and not a sound could be heard by 10 o’clock! Well almost!
We’ll update you with day 2 news as soon as possible.
Follow us on Twitter for more updates @kibprimary