Our time at Woodlands is flying by! We all had a good night's sleep last night so were ready for another busy day. After breakfast (porridge/cereals, bacon/veggie rolls, fruit) and room inspections, which included some hilarious entertainment, we got ready for the day's activities. Mrs Reaney's group had a lovely walk to the caves, with wonderful autumn colours in the countryside, lovely views of the valley below and the town of Crickhowell. Several of the children were quite nervous about the prospect of caving, but all succeeded and, in many cases, achieved so much more than they thought they could. The good news is that several of them want to bring their parents back to go caving ...! Mrs Joyce's group had a great day on the tranquil canal. Successfully completing a two-mile journey, the children worked in pairs to navigate their canoes successfully, managing to avoid too many zigzags into the bushes. Most of the children were successfully building on skills learnt at Kilvrough. Those for whom this was their first time were really quick to learn the skills needed to make progress along the canal. Canoeing is a great test of communication and the children all did really well. The children who are with Miss Timms and Mrs Atkinson this week thoroughly enjoyed a day in the centre grounds, on the high ropes course, the climbing wall and the zip wire. Many of them really challenged themselves and all achieved personal success. On Thursday, Miss Timms' group will be canoeing, which all the children are looking forward to. Mrs Reaney's and Mrs Joyce's groups will be doing high ropes and climbing. Mrs Atkinson's group will be caving. Thursday evening is so busy, getting packed and doing our shopping that it's very unlikely that we will be posting any news. By the time we leave on Friday, we'll all be looking forward to getting home with tales of all our adventures. Best wishes from all the Woodlanders 2019.
Tuesday Newsday! We all had a good night's sleep, which meant that everyone was refreshed and re-energised, ready for a good day ahead. We even had to wake some of the children at 7.30am, which, on the morning of the first full day of activities is probably unprecedented. Tuesday dawned clear and dry, but intermittent rain soon arrived, and it was cold too. This didn't dampen our spirits though. As they say in the great outdoors, there's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing. Our day got under way with a hearty breakfast of cereals/porridge followed by various options on toast: scrambled egg, jam or Marmite, along with tea, milk or water to drink. All the children were encouraged to eat more than they would normally do at home for breakfast, on account of needing to keep warm and keep those energy levels up during a very busy day of outdoor activities. You would be pleased/amazed to see the immaculately presented bedrooms, with points for tidy clothes, well-made beds, bins having been emptied and the floor vacuumed! Extra points were also available for having settled down to sleep quickly last night. Miss Timms and Mrs Joyce headed for the caves with their groups. It was a good day to be underground, away from the rain, but there was plenty of water in the caves and the children probably got wetter than the canoeists on the surface! Miss Timms reported that her group worked well as a team, waiting for and supporting each other without being asked. In one challenge, the children 'commando crawled' along for a distance, before hoisting themselves up to a space at a higher level wehre they could stand up again. They also all 'posted' themselves through the rock formation known as the letterbox. Mrs Joyce's group also embraced the challenges of the caves individually and as a group. They were all incredibly supportive of each other. Mrs Reaney's and Mrs Atkinson's groups went canoeing, going on a journey of about two miles along the Brecon and Monmouth canal near Talybont. The children who had been to Kilvrough did particularly well, building on the skills learnt there. That said, those new to canoeing picked up the skills with impressive ease. They all enjoyed their day. After hot showers, we had pasta bake, garlic bread and salad, followed by chocolate mousse for dinner. Our evening activity was photo orienteering in the grounds. Hot chocolate and a story completed the children's day and they settled down to sleep really well. We're now really looking forward to our second full day, when children in groups with Miss Timms and Mrs Atkinson will be based at the centre, doing climbing and high ropes. Mrs Joyce's group will be canoeing and Mrs Reaney's group will be caving. Best wishes from all the Woodlanders.
Greetings from Wales!
After a good journey, we enjoyed exploring the centre, finding our rooms and making our beds. Then it was time for lunch (pizza and fruit, as well as the famous Woodlands homemade flapjack). In our activity groups, everyone had a busy afternoon of problem-solving activities in the Woodlands grounds. The children were enthusiastic and had plenty of energy, and were also very impressive with their skills of team working, supporting and encouraging each other with a range of challenges. Our evening meal was fish (or a veggie burger), chips and peas, followed by fruit in jelly. Everyone ate well, having healthy appetites from an afternoon of outdoor activities. Then it was time for an evening walk, up the hill behind the centre. The children were all tired and settled down to sleep impressively quickly. We are all looking forward to our first full day of activities tomorrow. Mrs Atkinson's and Mrs Reaney's groups will be canoeing, whilst Miss Timms' and Mrs Joyce's groups will be caving. The children are doing incredibly well so far and we are looking forward to a really successful week. Best wishes from all of us at Woodlands.