Over half term, the boarding students took part in a 3-day residential at Carreg Adventure in the Gower, South Wales. From the moment the students arrived at the centre they had a full programme of activities from tree climbing to Gower hikes and participated in a range of bush craft skills.
Carreg Adventure is located on a 16 acre estate which retains a feeling of wilderness, but at the same time offers excellent safety and security, providing the students with unparalleled access to nature.
Half term did not offer the best of weather, although the temperatures remained mild. So, the students did have to cope with wet weather and for those in the group not experienced at outdoor pursuits; it did challenge them individually in terms of self-motivation, determination and the ability to support each other.
The different tasks students had to complete challenged their willingness to overcome situations, for example, a fear of heights. The Tree Climb not only involved the students scaling a large tree but they then had to abseil back down. It is fair to say that some of the students were petrified, but the sense of achievement they gained from completing the task was huge.
Other activities like the buggy challenge saw students working in small groups where they had various materials with which to build a buggy that they then had to steer around the course. This sort of activity demanded students to exchange ideas, listen to each other’s suggestions and then work together to complete the task.
A lot of the activities involved the students getting dirty, no more so than in the obstacle course where students had to crawl through deep mud – again this was a totally alien concept for many. By the end of the residential every student had achieved something that beforehand they wouldn’t have imagined being able to do and all came home with a sense of satisfaction.
What the students don’t always appreciate but certainly the boarding staff observe is the great sense of camaraderie that exits between them, and that within the boarding house friendship circles are more inclusive and it adds to the family atmosphere in each house.
It proves a valuable experience and one that not only adds to individual characteristics but one that brings stronger values across the group as a whole.