Ullswater 2018

After the tribulations of Common Entrance, Year 8 set off on the annual outward bound trip to Howtown on the banks of Lake Ullswater in the Lake District. Upon arrival the group started activities immediately, first doing some team building activities on site before eventually running down to the lake and jumping in. As they had all been in the sea at Skegness the previous week, it made a nice change to jump into water of a different colour. Once they had warmed up, the group then did a communication exercise whilst blindfolded, something that proved very challenging, not least for the nameless individual who did not know their left from their right without looking at their hands!

The following day saw the group take the steamer to the other end of the lake to collect some canoes which had been fastened together in pairs. The group was then split into fours to canoe the boats 6km back to Howtown.This proved more challenging than the blindfolding initially as not everyone was paddling in the same direction. A lot of chopping and changing of the crews took place over the morning though one group took this too far by leaving Harry stranded on the shore at one point. Just before the end of the journey everyone got off the canoes to do some coasteering, culminating with jumping off the end of the rock face back into the lake and discovering that the lake had not get any warmer overnight.

Wednesday started with another water based activity, this time climbing up a gorge. The team work shown throughout the activity was excellent with eeryone supporting each other to make sure they reached the top for lunch. Then, after a quick change, the group set off on their expedition. The plan was to climb Place Fell and then bivouac at Devil’s Chimney before walking back to the centre the following day. Though this was achieved, an unexpected guest in Storm Hector, made the night more eventful with the girls’ bivouac eventually collapsing and the emergency shelter being erected.

The following day everyone walked back to camp with both very wet packs and a strong sense of achievement though ironically it was not weathering the storm but that the poo tube had been used twice (breaking the previous record) which they were most proud of! After cleaning themselves off, the group then went tunnelling for the afternoon, challenging in a very different way as Storm Hector had kindly left a lot of water in some of the tunnels. The evening was then spent making camp fires and roasting marshmellows.

The final day saw the group go rock climbing with everyone persevering until they had completed all three challenging climbs. The news then came through that everyone had passed Common Entrance - a great way to finish the week but not surprising given the grit and determination they had shown all week.

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