Grafham Exploits!

8th May 2019
Day 1... beds made, bags unpacked and ready for action!
Day 1...Soggy, soggy day of cycling. Our cycling leader said it was the worst conditions she's ever had for the tour of the lake - wind, storms, hail! But they all did it AND with good cheer - amazing!
 
High ropes, low ropes and the formidable Jacob's Ladder for the rest - amazing stunts on the slippery high wires!
 
Right now...the marvelously muddy Grafham Challenge! Aaaaaaaaaargh!

Day 1 continued... Last night’s Grafham challenge was fantastic. The centre have completely rebuilt the course, extending it and replacing all the older obstacles with a range of new hazards and traps to thwart our young (blindfolded!) adventurers. Needless to say, after the rain of the day, this was a bit of a mud fest, but everyone valiantly completed the course amid howls and hoots and shrieks of laughter. We finished this with some games on the field including the fantastic ‘Yellow Flag’ game which will certainly be imported back to Meldreth’s own playing field in the coming weeks!

Hot chocolates, a story from Mr Jones and 32 weary, yet happy children flopped into their bunks (the Kestrel Spurs nuts even had time to hear news of Tottenham’s miraculous Champions League win - leading to one final dance of delight, from Oscar, Tom, Max and Lukas) - then ‘Lights Out’ for a deep and peaceful sleep for all!

Day 2... 5.30am and Quinn is showering, effectively beginning a new day for all in the boys’ dorms! All nodded off last night by eleven - so that would be considered ‘a good result’!
 

Since telling Quinn it’s still three hours until breakfast, it’s all gone mercifully quiet again.....at least for now!

Day 2...The sailing was simply fantastic! Two groups together this morning on a breezy, chilly Grafham Water, trussed up in our wetsuits and buoyancy aids (these alone took some time to get on!!).
Very naughty Mr Jones went out TOO SOON with his crew of Henry and Harry BECAUSE HE HADN'T BEEN LISTENING TO INSTRUCTIONS, but before long we were all whizzing across the water (and falling in!!) with great cheer. Some chilly children by the end – but an absolutely joyous adventure for one and all!

Day 2 continued... All activities are now in full and constant swing – we’re all so busy we don’t know where to turn! Everyone has now been sailing (and some dunked) on the lake and another group has been cycling, while all have now been on the high ropes with plenty of daredevil tales to tell all round. Much better weather today and a wonderfully happy feel within the group.

Meldreth have been picking up compliments galore from the activity leaders, cooks, cleaners and helpers for their friendliness, manners and helpful ways. Archery and climbing wall for some this afternoon…..stunning stunts and plenty of ‘Merrie Men and Women” showing off their skills with the longbow.   A truly surreal but uplifting talent show tonight – a real abundance of talent this year, though the highlight for many was Henry’s prolonged version of The Quartermaster’s Stores, with a verse for practically all of us. All joined in with gusto…..as we do with EVERYTHING!

Day 3...

Well they were very tired after the talent show - as I thought they would be - and were all asleep by half past ten.  We are looking forward to another busy morning- not a peep yet from any of them - not even Quinn! 

All safely home and rested now, I'll just add a note on our final experiences of Grafham for 2019. I should also note that if you feel there are fewer pictures of your own child than you'd hope, it will be because one of the Ipads, that went with one of the three groups, has not been willing to share it's photos, but I will post these when I manage to crack that nut!
Unsurprisingly, on Day 3 no one woke the adults up......we had to wake THE CHILDREN up; and eventually the staggered wearily out of bed to pack up their things and wobble off to breakfast for the energy boost required for yet another session of activities.....Archery, Climbing and Cycling. Unbelievable how a bit of sunshine and a gentle breeze can transform the Herculean labour of the cycle ride of Wednesday to the delightful spin round the lake of today. However, this trip is full of hazards and late on, Alfie took to the air on a steep down hill slope, grazing hands, chin and sides and effectively writing off his steed. Some expert first aid and mechanical wizardry from Georgie - our group leader ensured Alfie was able to stoically continue - without a word of complaint. 
A final lunch, then sad goodbyes and thankyous and a painless coach trip home, with many exhausted snoozers on board.
What an utterly life-affirming and uplifting three days we have had. Your children are amazing - I am so proud of every one of them and we have all been absolutely delighted and impressed by their determination, resilience, have-a-go-heroism, support for one another and gratitude for the fantastic experiences they have had. We are also tremendously grateful to Steve and Maggie for giving up SO MUCH to support and assist in all areas of the trip. Both have been absolutely fantastic guides, and leaders - we simply couldn't have done all this without you!