Home Page

Y4 Fellside Residential (Summer 2011)

Year Four had all their stamina and spirits tested by their outdoor adventures on the Caldbeck fells. There was no warm summer weather to soften the frequent icy downpours driven by strong winds - and this was in May!
Thanks to the experienced and skilled staff everyone showed they could cope with adventure and still come up smiling. It was good to have Zuzia and Adam Clarke, our friendly photographer, along. No one will forget how Arran stood calmly smiling, feeling the smooth motion of the sturdy canoe raft as we powered with our paddles across Bassenthwaite.


We will all remember the ghyll scrambles, where resilience drove the groups to success through chest high pools and slippery slopes. The first group had the worst weather as the stinging rain drove them to consider giving up, as they struggled against the wind. Amazingly, when they got to it, they found the ghyll sheltered and so they did get to have fun and leap through the waterfalls. No one minded the wet water in their fleece suits , wellies and waterproofs, as it was better than the wild, ferociously windy track.


The bad weather gave everyone the opportunity to test out the ‘state of the art’ Keswick Climbing Wall, where surprising individuals took risks as human flies as they went for the highest holds, with their ropes safely held by their teams. Archery was a new activity for most of us, as were some of the teamwork problem solving puzzles and orienteering courses. All the problems tested our listening, cooperation, ingenuity and resourcefulness -especially as the cool, wet weather meant we had to work that extra bit harder in our waterproofs! We were grateful when the instructors rewarded us with extra hot chocolate drinks.


Our canoeing on Bassenthwaite really showed how our relationships had strengthened. The weather improved - it even stopped raining! Team work was needed to constuct the canoe rafts, paddle against the wind, attempt the games that involved balance and control, and then return safely to shore. One group had the extra excitement of helping a team member who slipped into the water, but who was quickly retreived thanks to excellent safety gear and efficient instuctors. They certainly had a tremendous story to tell the others when they arrived! Then more team work was needed to return the canoes and gear to their racks way above the shore line. Wherever we were, the instuctors expected us to give our best - not easy in the teeth of a gale.

Of course we can’t end without mentioning the tasty food, warm beds and friendly atmosphere of Fellside. Yes, there were loud whispers, teacher’s patrols, spooky tales, restless sleepers, lost socks and bumps in the night. . . . . but that’s the fun of staying away!
My last residential - fond memories!