Activity Group 7 (Miss Collier)
- Finlay W
Activity Group 8 (Mr Laidlaw)
Activity Group 9 (Mrs Murrell)
- Finlay CN
Monday 26th September
We arrived at Benmore very excited for the week ahead. After juice and biscuits we met our instructors. Our first task was to make our own bed. It was easier for some than others! After a quick tour of the house most groups then went to the equipment store and got their waterproofs for the week and boots/ wellies if needed.
All groups went on a explore of the local area and the Benmore Botanical Gardens. This was a great opportunity to start working together as a team and to allow our instructor to get to know us.
Our evening activity was the nightline. We worked together in our activity groups, with someone leading and communicating with our group. We walked through the forest in the dark following the rope. We got very muddy! Once we had completed the two trails together as a class we walked up to the viewpoint and started to get our bearings. We all had to get hosed down when we got back to the centre. After that it was getting ready for bed 😴💤
Tuesday 27th September 2016
After a yummy breakfast of cereal or porridge, fruit, and our hot breakfast of bacon, hash brown and toast we were fuelled and ready to face the day! We had to complete our daily duties and then we had our dorm inspection. All groups did well, but room for improvement tomorrow!! We all met in the common room to hear what we doing for the day.
Please read below to read what each group did today. After dinner, we visited the tuck shop and started our diaries. Our evening activity was a quiz around the Centre. We had to work in trips to find answers about Benmore and the surroundings.
Group 7 went shore scrambling this morning. Scott gave the group a challenge where they had to walk using different points of contact! Once the group managed to get to the end of the course they got the chance to jump into the loch! Everyone took the challenge- well done Group 7!
This afternoon Group 7 went mountain biking. We navigated our way through the infamous Puddle Lane get soaked and muddy! We learned how to use the attack position and started doing some basic tricks. Once we were confident we started tackling trickier single path tracks through the forest, obstacle courses and streams!
Group 8 started their day with mountain biking. Our first task was to be the slowest person down the hill- easier said than done! We made our way up and down hills, through puddles and forests. One of our trickiest tasks was completing the mud loop. It was very challenging and hard to stay on the bike all the way round!
This afternoon Group 8 completed the climbing wall. They started off with off bouldering, then climbing with harnesses and abseiling. Everyone tried to go out of their comfort zone and giving all challenges a go!
This morning after a bumpy road ride in the minibus and a 15 minute hike up the steep hill Group 9 entered the caves! We were lowered by ropes into the darkness, where they scrambled to the other end of the cave. We then had to climb out using different techniques.
This afternoon Group 9 were forest walking. The group were up through Puck Glen: drinking from the waterfalls, scrambling over some rocks, eating Woods sorrel, taking in the beautiful scenery and all the sedimentary rocks, getting knee deep in muddy bogs and getting lost in the trees on the way back. Lots of fun was had by all!
Wednesday 28th September
What a busy day for all! After breakfast, we had our dorm inspections. Well done to the girls dorm who were awarded a 10!
After dinner we wrote in our diaries. It was very heavy rain outside and we decided to have a chilled evening so that we could make the most of our last full day. We opted for a movie in our pjs and munching on sweets from the tuck shop. After that it was brushing teeth and bed!
Group 7 started their day with a forest walk. They got a couple of options about what they wanted to do- but they chose to make a fire! We went up through the Botanical Gardens finding out a lot about lichens and moss. We saved some Old Man’s Beard and tried to dry it out to use of the fire later. We went up to a Chilean style hut. We went about trying to start the fire using flint and steel. When this didn’t work we added some petroleum jelly, and eventually some cotton wool. We got it to light and learned about the fire triangle. We used it to boil water to make ourselves some delicious hot chocolate.
In the afternoon we went climbing and abseiling. We started indoors in the climbing wall. We played sharks and learned about our centre of gravity. First we did some bouldering and then we used the ropes to either climb or do the belaying. We all tried abseiling from the indoor walls. Group 7 then went outside and some of us tried the outdoor 50ft abseil down the rock face.
Group 8 went orienteering this morning. They started off learning about maps and how to orient a map. They were given challenges in small groups to use the map and locate themselves. Outside they had to find posts and scan them in order to successfully complete the challenge using their map as navigation.
This afternoon Group 8 tackled the gorge. They navigated their way through lots of natural obstacles on their way up the gorge. Some tried and succeeded through the keyhole, which is a small opening between rocks and pushed themselves up through the water. Everyone got wet, but a great time was had!
Group 9 were canoeing this morning. There were groups of two and threes in the canoe. The pairs worked together to steer and power the boat. In the trios one had to steer, and the other two had to power. All roles were swapped over so everyone got a chance. They paddled across the loch, explored the reeds and challenged themselves over logs. They also had to work together to rescue Pedro and Witek’s boat when they got stuck! They made a raft with all the boats tied together, and then they had to do their balancing acts and stand on the edge of the boats. They all jumped in!
This afternoon Group 9 were mountain biking. They followed the forest trail, tackled the muddy loop and jump. They also played on the river skimming stones and found a baby toad. They finished on the infamous Puddle Lane!
Thursday 29th September
Today was Nicholas’ birthday! We had decorated the dining hall with birthday banners and balloons. We sang him happy birthday and then tucked into our breakfast. Great work on dorm inspections this morning!
At tea and cake time we had a special cake for Nicholas and sang him Happy Birthday! Tonight was the disco. After writing diaries and visiting the tuck shop we threw some shapes on the dancefloor! We were impressed with everyone’s dancing, original moves and everyone had fun!
Group 7 spent an exhilarating morning on the gorge. After a large downfall through the night so the water had a fast current. We carefully navigated our way up the the gorge, went sliding, put mud paint on and climbed up a rock face with ropes.
Group 7 pulled all the skills they had been working on over the week with their final activity which was orienteering. They learned some map skills and use these to correct navigate themselves around. They scanned the posts to check in on their route.
Group 8 went for a forest walk this morning up at Puck’s Glen. They took in the beautiful scenery and identified some of the wildlife around the glen. They learned about the trees and plants. At the top they enjoyed a yummy hot chocolate.
This afternoon Group 8 went caving. We made up our way up the mountainside and found our way to a narrow opening where we managed to all squeeze our way through. This was a great practice for the cave. We had to sit down and lower ourselves into the cave. With our headlights on we found our way through the cave. We all had a sense of achievement.
This morning Group 9 were also in the gorge. Have a look at what Group 7 did for more details.
Group 9 were rock climbing and abseiling up and down a 15m rock face. The group found it challenging, especially as the rock was slippy and the rain didn’t help! There was part of the climb up where they had to use their body weight to pull themselves up without any grip for their feet.
Note from Miss Collier, Mrs Murrell & Mr Laidlaw
It has been a fantastic week at Benmore. Everyone has behaved well and acted responsibly throughout our time here. We are all very proud of how the pupils have handled themselves in unfamiliar and challenging situations. They’ve all coped really well and supported and encouraged each other. Hopefully they have come away learning some things about themselves and their classmates. It’s been an absolute pleasure to take such a great group away. Well done Primary 7!