The bradwellian adventurers arrived safely and all managed to take their own luggage to the dorms! After meeting the instructors, for orientation and a safety brief, the children tackled the first major task.... making their beds!!!
After a hearty lunch, the four groups set off on their first activities! The Sharks pulled on their waterproofs and jumped aboard a boat for their crabbing trip. The spring tide made it impossible to make the crossing to Mersea, but all of the sharks enjoyed piloting the boat around the bay before mooring up and working as a team to catch a total of 68 crabs!
The Swordfish mounted their bikes for an all-terrain mountain bike trail! The 7 mile ride was definitely not easy and the group encountered no less than THREE punctures along the route. They were determined to make it to the village shop and this kept up their motivation throughout the ride! All of the swordfish successfully completed the ride and were rightly proud of their achievements.
The Stingrays and Barracudas braved the windy conditions to scale the infamous high ropes. All of the children had a fantastic time competing against their own fears and getting as high as they possibly could.
At the end of the day, the staff and pupils sat down together to enjoy a home cooked meal of spaghetti Bolognese, followed by chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce. This was well received by all. Most went back for a second helping, so it must have been good!!!
Tonight's entertainment was a loooooooooooooong hike along the sea wall and through the countryside. The adults were hoping that the children were work out and ready for bed.
It was Tyler's birthday today, so we all enjoyed celebrating with him with chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate.
So, as I write (11.30pm), all is quiet! We daren't quite hope that all are asleep before midnight....... but it seems to be true! The prize for the earliest to bed goes to the girls floor, who were settled within minutes of lights out! They will most definitely be on the adults good side in the morning!!
Today's diary entries:
Willow Jessup (Swordfish)
Today I went bike riding. It was so windy when we did it, I was nearly blown over. I also very nearly ran over our instructor, Matt! I went cycling down a hill and couldn't quite steer.......or stop! I was heading towards the fence when Matt jumped in front to stop me! I did fall over.....but I was fine. We did have a few problems and bad luck seemed to follow us in punctures. Ethan and Sophie both had punctures and Mr Turner had a flat tyre. It was a weird but fun day! I will report back to you tomorrow. See you soon.
Dominic Kanssen (Stingrays)
Today started off quite slowly, but as soon as I got on the high ropes it zoomed past! At first, I walked up a balance beam and grabbed onto the metal bars sticking out. Smiling like a clown, I scrambled up as fast as I could, until I reached the second level. After I had finished on the high ropes course, I tackled the wobbly 'leap of faith' tower!
After a long night and VERY EARLY morning, the staff and pupils assembled ready for breakfast. Three loaves of bread and several cereal bowls later, the group enjoyed a cooked breakfast of sausage, beans and hash browns.
Today, the sharks and the swordfish set off in the minibuses for a day's canoeing! They worked well in teams of three and paddled to the lunch stop, where the weather was kind enough to allow us to enjoy a lovely picnic in the countryside. The bravest amongst the crew tackled the weir and despite the rumbling thunder rolling in, also dared to jump into the water and enjoy a splash around! One adventurer also decided to let go of their paddle and took a quick dive to retrieve it - although that wasn't one of the activities on the day's agenda! The staff and instructors were all thoroughly impressed by the teamwork and determination witnessed throughout the day!
The Barracudas went crabbing and are currently in the lead with a total of 97 crabs caught! During the afternoon, they enjoyed a cycle ride and, just like the swordfish, encountered a puncture along the all-terrain route which added to the adventure.
The Stingrays went cycling and then crabbing. Nobody fell off whilst cycling and the group made it to the tiny chapel. Stingrays were also the first group to go crabbing at Mersea, although Miss Nicholls was very nearly lost overboard, when a freak wave caught her by surprise during the trip back to the centre! Two visits to the shops in one day ensured that all of the children were spent out!
After a busy day, the children sat down hungrily to a dinner of pasta and pizza, followed by ice-cream sundaes. This was enjoyed by all (several children even went back for a third helping!).
Tonight's evening entertainment was a quiz night, which was won by The Pointless Braniacs (Heather, Sophie, Leo and Aidan) with a grand total of 82 points.
The children were then sent off to tidy their dorms for an impromptu inspection, which resulted in an amazing improvement all round.
Lights out was due to be at 9pm, although the staff were amazed to find several children already asleep at 8.45pm! After a good night's sleep, we are all looking forward to more adventures tomorrow!
Today's diary entries:
Thomas Ayton (Swordfish):
Today I awoke at 5.30am, mostly excited about the challenge of canoeing. After a hearty breakfast, we set off to the canoeing river, thirsty and eager to start! We had a quick demonstration of how to canoe before we knew it, my canoe, including Sophie and Ethan, was paddling with pace down the calm river.
Exhausted, we had a refreshing lunch (a roll, sausage roll, apple, cake and drink). Rapidly, we zoomed down the weir with success and I deliberately jumped out! I froze! I really enjoyed today and am excited for tomorrow's adventures here at Bradwell.
Madison Collins (Stingray):
Today, we did two adventures. The first one was off-road cycling - it was really fun! We also saw where the world war II planes would go and their runway too. After, we went to the shop. I bought three packs of tasty biscuits! Then we had some delicious lunch and we set out for our crabbing adventure.
We had a boat ride to Mersea. For the first few minutes I didn't catch anything, but after a while I caught loads of crabs. After, I washed my hands. We were then lucky enough to go to the shop. It was a fun day!
The Bradwellians did themselves proud with a ‘peaceful’ night and good, long sleep all round………..…much to the delight of the grown-up Bradwellians!!!
We gathered for breakfast, which included the usual cereal selection and mountain of toast, followed by a cooked breakfast of bacon, waffles and spaghetti hoops. This was thoroughly enjoyed by all and set everybody up for the day’s activities.
Today, it was the turn of the Barracudas and Swordfish to enjoy the day-long canoeing adventure. The group were very excited when they arrived to launch their canoes and they eagerly listened to the instructions from the two Bradwell instructors! Despite a little squabbling amongst some of the crews, all made it successfully to the lunch stop and enjoyed a picnic lunch. Much fun was had at the weir and lots of children took the opportunity to get WET!
The Stingrays headed across to the pontoon at Mersea and managed to catch an incredible haul of 279 crabs – The winning team for crabbing 2015! All of the children took their turn at piloting the boat and came back with beaming smiles to join the Sharks for lunch at the centre.
After lunch, the Stingrays braved the high wires and, once again, astounded the adults with their determination to get as high as they possibly could. Mrs Bloomfield (who had reached the first wire last year at Bradwell) got a HUGE cheer from her team as she climbed to the very top beam this year! Fortunately, everybody got to climb before the heavens opened and a heavy shower of rain fell over Bradwell.
The Sharks spent their morning today on the high wires. It was a 100% success rate for Mrs Finch’s team, as each and every one of them reached the dizzy heights of the top! They were particularly noted for the way in which they encouraged each and every team member to make it to the top! Even Mrs Finch reached the top……………and descended BACKWARDS!!! Of course, this threw down the gauntlet to her team, who duly followed with a second ascent and an upside-down dismount!
During the afternoon, the Sharks headed out on mountain bikes and enjoyed a fast ride around the local area, stopping at several points of interest along the way – including the beautiful chapel! They were really looking forward to spending their money at the shop today, as the choppy waters and high winds had prevented them from reaching the shores of Mersea on Monday afternoon!
Despite having to endure a heavy shower AND hail, the Sharks returned to the centre with huge smiles and the satisfaction of knowing that they had all successfully completed another Bradwell challenge.
Tonight’s dinner of ham, egg and chips, followed by fresh fruit salad and cream was hungrily devoured. The inclement weather during the afternoon and evening led to the children voting for a movie night, rather than a beach scavenger hunt. This was enjoyed by everyone (including the grown-ups, who were very tired!!!) . The children voted for ‘The Nut Job’ and are currently sat enjoying the movie and their shop goodies, allow us to write an early blog!
Today’s diary entries.
Emily Vokes (Sharks):
This morning I did ‘High Ropes’. I really wanted to complete it, as I didn’t last year. I was so worried when I got to the top. It was so high and so windy and I thought I was going to fall. However, my team, Sharks, encouraged me all the way! I did complete it and on my 2nd time, I even came down upside-down! I was so happy!
After lunch, we went biking. We took the long route but I still enjoyed it. It took a long time to get to the shop but on the way we kept stopping and learning all about the history of the places that we visited. The only bad thing was that it hailed on the way back – but it was AMAZING!
George Coe (Barracudas):
Today we went canoeing. I was in a canoe with Adam and Leonie. When we got to the weir, Adam, Jay and I decided we would turtle the canoe! Just before going down, Adam shouted not to turtle. At the end, Jay and I turtled!
Going back, Ruby jumped into the river from the canoe, closely followed by Jay. It was hilarious! Afterwards, Francis tried to jump in and succeeded on the way back.
On the way back from the weir, Daniel Francis and James’ canoe sank (renamed Titanic II).