So the last full day is past! Another busy day and again it remained dry which is a boost. Rain is forecast for tomorrow but we will all keep our fingers crossed!
Today was another busy day and the children were in full swing as they know the routine and are getting up to the task of being prepared for all the different activities! Well, most of them!!
The adrenalin kicks in on day 3 and you start to think….we will be going home tomorrow!
So another day and up nice and early. Most rooms needed wakened up today as the tiredness catches up! Breakfast was consumed and packed lunches were made! Then it was back to the rooms to get ready for the day and to start thinking about packing up for tomorrow! Just be prepared for cases not coming back packed in the way they went away!
The morning had two groups problem solving, two groups kayaking, one group biking and one group canoeing. The wind was up again and conditions would continue to make it difficult to canoe or kayak up the loch but great for coming back down stream. It is hard work fighting against the current and the wind but character building! Some of them got a tow from the boat which helped!
The kayakers got instruction on land first about using their paddles and then ventured out in single or double kayaks to the choppy water. You could see from the video they saw tonight that they coped well with the conditions.
The problem solvers went round the site taking part in a variety of physical and mental activities to test their team working skills and ingenuity! A lot of the practical challenges are very popular and they can become quite competitive!
The cyclists were out on the road and took the long route round the lochans, along the Feshie River and then back through the sculpture park to see the amazing creations of a local artist! Their only complaint continues to be having to cycle, or push, their way up the hills! The bikes have been very popular and some have been talking about ‘googling’ them when they get home to see where they can get one!!
Lunch was a chance to have a breather, get caught up and changed from the wet activities or ready for the next one! Mr Imlah joined us today and Mrs Dyke went home. We would like to thank her for her hard work and enthusiasm and it was good to see Mr Imlah join us for the last two days.
In the afternoon groups were biking, canoeing, kayaking and problem solving. The cyclists went in one large group and then split into two groups giving them the option of going on the scenic route or the all action route! I’m glad the bike was still charged up for the two sessions today!
The other groups got to the shop this afternoon and then it was time for the ‘indoor BBQ’ as it was quite cold outside. Soup was again on offer, followed by burgers in a bun, drumsticks and sweetcorn with options for salads and other additions.
After the BBQ it was time to start packing in earnest for tomorrow and hopefully they have managed to plan out what they need for the morning! We shall see!
The evening was the ‘Wide Game’ which they look forward to with great excitement every year! They hear the stories from the ones who have been before and they can’t wait. They moved it to a new location this year which was a lot flatter and you could see the whole area they were ‘let loose’ in to defend their flags! When the whistle went it was like a scene from a movie as both teams charged at each other ready for battle! Who won……well……that doesn’t matter they all had a great time.
When we got back to the boathouse we were just in time to gate crash the other school’s activity in the ‘Ptarmigan’ building that used to sit once on top of Cairngorm! There we all got to see the movie of their adventure over the week produced by Johnny who has been filming them all week! The video was great and they loved reliving the moments they had had over the week.
We finished off with birthday cake for Cole and Ashton whose birthday it was today!
The excitement for today was being away with the bikers and leaving our bikes by the river to have a break and an explore to come back and find three highland cattle taking a great deal of interest in them! They particularly liked the handle bars but could not get the hang of the pedals! We told the children to stay on the rocky beach while we tried to ‘shoo’ them away…but they were not for budging! And who are we to argue with large beasts with even larger horns! So the instructor and I gradually got each bike from around them and moved them to a distance away at which point we could get the kids on the bikes and away again! The section of the ‘School Trip Handbook’ on dealing with Highland Cattle on a path is missing….but we can now add it in for next year!
So, one more activity, tidy up, pack up and then get the bus tomorrow afternoon for the journey home. A few will sleep on the road home…..including some of the children as well!
Day 2 Can be a long, tiring day after the excitement of the first day. There are three activities so it is a full day and some of the children can find it quite tiring. The fresh air and activity can be quite hard! However, everyone has worked hard today and the groups have done well!
Mishaps of the day? Well, one girl managed to avoid an accident on her bike when a stick got caught in her back wheel and took some of the spokes out! She took Miss Gordon’s bike and Miss Gordon was collected from half way round the run!
The fire alarm went off twice today! The first was before 7.30am and so that was ok as we were up for early breakfast – but the other school looked a bit shell shocked at having to troop out just straight from bed! The alarm then went off at lunchtime! Some of the girls thought it might be a good idea to put damp clothes on their heater and to try and dry their wet shoes with a hairdryer! An ingenious idea…….but not the most sensible one! Anyway, no harm was done apart from the alarm going off!
Today was a good day of weather. It was grey and overcast in the morning but as the day went on it cleared although it was blustery. However, those on the water scored as the wind helped the sailors and the kayakers! Some of the groups went quite far up the loch and although it was hard going upstream against the wind it meant they had a great journey back down the loch with the wind behind them. The sailors were towed up the loch by the motorboat and then wove their way back down!
All the groups had raft building today and they did it in two lots of three groups. They also discovered how cold the water was but that didn’t stop them having great fun when they tried them out. The three groups in the morning made three great rafts and they managed to get quite far out from the bay. One group, the Lions, probably made it the furthest up the loch I have ever seen on a raft! The groups this afternoon had mixed results! Some design faults meant that the barrels didn’t stay in pace for long and one group had to have last minute updates made once they got it into the water.
However, they all had great fun and the raft building is always one of the most popular activities and one where they really get to have a bit of fun in the water.
This morning a group was cycling, a group was problem solving and a group was sailing. The mountain biking was good fun and they have new bikes for this year and I managed to get hold of the electric bike once again! If you are doing four lots of cycling then you need every bit of help you can get!
So today the drying room was heavily used as the raft building really means that they get a good soaking with whatever they have on and so the fun will be seeing what it is like tomorrow and then for Friday when it needs packed away!
Two groups went to the shop this afternoon before tea but the stock seems to be being run down and so there was not the usual choice of items. Tea tonight was tomato soup, pizza or sausages and chips and pancakes and ice cream for pudding. They had some down time after tea before the evening activity and then we were out for the last activity of the day. Tonight two groups were cycling, two were canoeing and two groups were doing archery.
Today we had a birthday …..Skye….and so she got a rousing rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ as we had our bed time drink and biscuit.
Tomorrow is the last full day! It will be busy and then they will need to start packing at night which is always stressful! So, a great day all round and we hope that we can have another good day on Thursday!
Due to difficulties with our slideshow creator we have just attached a zipped folder with the photos for you to look at!
So Loch Insh time is here again! It never seems like a year since we were here the last time. But we are here with a new group who are as excited as ever about the week ahead.
Everyone was at their school earlier than requested which is not unusual and some were apparently up very early which would account for some wanting to sleep on the bus and some wanting to start their lunch at 9.30am!
We were left Strichen by 8.45 which was great and we seemed to get along the road very quickly and by 10.15 we were at Aberlour for the toilet stop and a ‘carrry out coffee’ for the staff!
We arrived at Loch Insh around noon and soon had everyone sorted out to their rooms apart from those in the chalets as they were not ready! Jess came to give the introductory talk and then it was time for lunch. This was greeted with great excitement as only a packed lunch can!
Afternoon activities go from 1.30-4.00 and so we were ready and down at The Boathouse eagerly waiting the fun to begin.
Two groups were sailing, two were kayaking and two were skiing in the first round of events.
The sailors went out in three groups. Two groups were on a bigger sailing boat each and a group of eight who had sailed before went out in the smaller boats in pairs. The loch was very windy and presumably they put those who had not sailed in the bigger boats to ease them in while those with some experience soon were flying down the loch! The difficult bit was turning into the wind and coming back up the way again!
The kayakers were out in single or paired kayaks and spent some time in the sheltered bays before heading out on the loch for their journey! Again, one way if the journey would be easier than the other due to the wind and so they would have to work harder as they kayaked into the wind. But they seemed to get the hang of it quickly and they too were soon off on to the expanse of the loch.
The skiers had to navigate getting boots and skis first before hitting the artificial slope! Getting the boots to fit, getting them on and then getting the right skis takes time and is a challenge. Then walking in the boots is the next challenge before finally getting the skis on and trying to manoeuvre about on the slope. Some had been skiing before and so they had a little more confidence. The rest took time to get going and when you first come down the slope even the slowest speed seems very fast to you!
We have early breakfast and tea which means breakfast at 7.30am and tea at 4.30pm! It will be interesting to see what they will be like tomorrow morning!
Tea was sweet and sour chicken with rice or baked potatoes with a variety of fillings. There was soup and then a choc ice to follow.
The evening was taken up with two groups skiing, two groups doing archery and two groups sailing. The evening session is only 1.5 hours which is a shame as they may get an activity in the evening which they would really like for a 2.5 hour session!
At the end of the day everyone was quite happy although we did have a few feeling a little ‘home sick’ and missing their ‘mum’!! But all are asleep now and we look forward to day two!