Monday 9th April - Day One
An excited fervour buzzed around as we boarded the bus earlier this morning. The bus driver admitted he'd never seen so much luggage but we persuaded him that all the wellies and walking boots were necessary and, as it turns out, they have most definitely been put to good use!
The journey was smooth and the children enjoyed games of "eye spy" or spotting animals in the beautiful green fields of Somerset as we approached Kilve. The friendly introduction from the Kilve Court staff saw the children listening very carefully as they eagerly awaited the dorm list. Once again, the excitement levels rose and the smiles got even bigger as they found their luggage, found their friends and set off upstairs to make their beds and to unpack.
After a hearty lunch of chicken burger, jacket potatoes or various salads, it was time to get ready for the afternoon's activities. Archery; grass sledging; mountain biking; climbing and team building exercises kept us all busy and the rain most certainly didn't stop us. We had some very wet and muddy children coming back in for their snacks at the end of the afternoon, but all were chatting happily because they'd enjoyed their activities and the mini competitions within them.
As the familiar "I'm tired" phrases started to become common parlance, it seemed that the down-time in dorms was very welcome. Kilve Court became unusually quiet around 5pm. On inspection, the children were busy playing games in their rooms, reading, unpacking or simply enjoying the company of their friends.
The noise levels soon rose again in the dining hall as vegetable lasagne and cottage pie were devoured and talk of the evening's activity began. A walk around the grounds followed by an energetic session in the maze should see some very tired children heading to bed around 9pm this evening. The question is: will they sleep?!
Tuesday 10th April - Day Two
Silence finally descended on Kilve Court around midnight last night and the dawn chorus of Christ Church chatter began a few hours later. Sleepy, but nevertheless raring to go, the children got themselves ready in plenty of time and headed down to the breakfast hall. There, waiting for them, was a vast array of cereal; toast; jams; juices and hot options including scrambled eggs and hash browns. Yes, some children had a three course breakfast.
All kitted out with waterproof coats and trousers, the morning activities began with a flourish. Some children headed off to the beach for rock pooling and fossil finding, while others stayed on site and honed their archery skills; climbing skills and mountain biking technique.
Another tasty lunch under their belts - literally - and the children were ready to test their team building skills for the afternoon. Problems were discussed diligently and solved superbly, even if it took a few instances of trial and error!
Showers aplenty during downtime to remove the mountains of mud on shins, faces and fingers followed by yet another hearty meal will prepare the children for the evening's orienteering activity and hopefully a good night's sleep! Will we be waking them up in the morning?
Wednesday 11th April – Day Three
“Time to wake up” was a phrase we never thought we’d have to say almost 49 times this morning. Nearly everyone needed waking up! After a few reminders about what needed to go in the suitcase and what needed to stay out, the children were rolling their suitcases down the stairs ready for their last hearty Kilve breakfast.
It wasn’t long before three groups were trundling down the lane, heading for the beach. After a brief introduction from instructor James, the children were avidly fossil hunting and “devil’s toe” hunting. Fifteen minutes in to the search, a tremendous roar filled the skies and as we looked across the beach, part of the cliff was tumbling in to the sea. Awe and wonder mixed with a huge sense of relief that we were nowhere near came flooding across all of us! It really was a once-in-a-lifetime sight to beheld. Dramatic.
Fossil finds ticked off the list, wet slippery rocks scrambled, rock-pools fallen in to, we began the trek back up the lane with bootfuls of water (no exaggeration) and some very tired children. The chatter was saved for the lunch hall, where the pasties went down a treat and our thank yous were given.
All was quiet on board the coach as the tiredness turned to slumber and then the smiles returned as we approached school and familiar faces returned. No doubt there will be some baths run, showers taken and washing machines on this evening!