From Wednesday 9th – Saturday 12th May 26 children from Prep 5O and 5F went on a 4 day residential camp in Dorset. It was run by Cumulus, an outdoor adventure company. Their home was based in a field by the coast far from any civilisation but walking distance to key places.
The children slept in a 5 metre bell tent and one night in a hammock. The meals were cooked on site using fresh ingredients and were delicious. They were given snacks during the day and were encouraged to drink water at every opportunity. In the evenings they enjoyed hot chocolate and marshmallows around the camp fire.
There were many physical and challenging activities that involved working together as a team and taking responsibility for others. There were competitions between the boys and girls and between the 2 classes. They learnt how to build a fire, cross a river with 2 planks and how to survive in the wild. The highlights of the visit were sleeping in the hammocks and abseiling down Dancing Ledge – a steep sea cliff. They had to assemble their hammocks in the woods and then figure how to get in and out of them! They slept like logs! There were lots of scenic walks along the coast and moorland. The children spotted deer, cattle, birds and other important landmarks such as Corfe Castle, Brownsea Island, Studland Bay and Poole harbour. Some of the children were a little apprehensive about abseiling, but they all overcame their fear and felt proud of themselves for pushing themselves out of their comfort zone.
The 3 Cumulus staff were friendly, knowledgeable and always well prepared. They explained the instructions clearly and helped the children to achieve success in their tasks. They cooked, drove the mini buses and were on call at night if needed. They had a good sense of humour and joined in the camp fire songs and riddles in the evenings. Mrs Featherstone and Mr Oakden joined in all the activities with much enthusiasm and competiveness.
The last day was spent walking to Studland beach and then playing in the sand and paddling in the chilly sea. This was followed by a delicious BBQ and then home for a much well deserved shower and some sleep!
Cumulus ran the residential perfectly and the children were extremely well-behaved and responsive. A lot of hard work had gone into making this trip such a success and so enjoyable. It was an experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives. A true adventure!