As is always the case on the first morning of a residential trip, this morning was an early one! Some of the kids were awake a lot earlier than they would have been if they were at home and they were keen to let others know that they were no longer asleep!! This has meant a few very tired children today and I am fairly confident they will sleep later and longer tonight.
It has been an absolutely brilliant day! I know some parents were anxious about their little ones coming away but I have to say that they really have been superb. I don’t want to offend any parents but we have had no children at all upset because they are missing mum or dad, they have been great. Normally you get a small number of children who need a bit of reassurance that mum and dad will still be there when they get home and they will see them soon, but on this trip so far that has not been necessary.
As hinted at in the pictures below, breakfast was marvellous this morning. Anton staff always talk about which of our residential trips provides the best food and in the past it has been hard to argue against Stone Farm having that highly prized accolade. BUT on this trip the food has been terrific and I have to say that East Dene is now moving into first place foodwise! There is always a good choice and always seconds – so there is no excuse for anybody going hungry.
As you can see from the pictures, the children have been participating in a range of activities today. This has included Orienteering and Archery both of which went down well with the children. At this point I have to give Mrs McMahon huge credit for being the Anton Archery Champion. All the other staff took her on but she was not to be beaten – with her 6 arrows she hit 6 bullseyes and then as a piste de resistance she burst three balloons with her final arrow! Amazing! Mr Yates could literally not believe it.
The overarching theme of our activities here on the Island centre around Problem Solving and Team Building and there have been a number of challenges today that have focussed on exactly that. The Tyre Challenge, The Tightrope Walk, The Spiders Web and The Log Shuffle really tested the children’s ability to work together and help each other – some children were very good at this and we did see kids who put others before themselves; Impressive emotional intelligence from 8/9 year olds.
One of the children’s favourite activities today was Woodland Survival. The children spent this session deep in the woods. They were challenged to use material they found around the woods to build a waterproof den. The dens were a whole range of shapes and sizes and some were very creative. The children all really enjoyed testing out the ‘waterproofness’ of their dens at the end of the session when they were covered in water in the hope that the children stayed dry underneath! The second part of this session was spent teaching the children how to safely build a fire and again they really enjoyed this activity.
Without doubt the highlight of the day was the Rock Pooling session that took place this afternoon. Half of the cohort did this today and the other half will be doing it tomorrow afternoon. As you know we have been bringing parties of children to East Dene for nearly a decade and over the years there has been fierce competition between staff when it comes to catching crabs. I am proud to announce that this year one member of Team Anton has leapt to the top of the leader board with an incredible ten crabs in one session. Miss Croxford was unstoppable, she was completely focussed and as a result she produced the largest haul of sea creatures in the history of our visits to East Dene. In case you are interested here is the league table as it now stands;
Miss Croxford 10
Mr May 9*
Miss Paddock 7
Miss Yeates 6
Miss Reynolds 5
Mr Weatherall 4
Mr Rist 4
Miss Rogers 1
Mr Gunby 0 (but quite a lot of seaweed!)
* In the spirit of fair play it is important to point out that Mr May’s 9 was accumulated over 5 separate visits to East Dene, whereas the other statistics were all achieved in one trip.
A fantastic day and I hope you like the pictures. I have posted as many as possible tonight because I know it is going to be difficult to get too many on tomorrow evening – though I will try to get a few posted.
Here’s to a good nights sleep – we are all shattered.
Cheers for now,