On Wednesday 25th September, 120 Year 5 children arrived at school with a mass of suitcases and were full of excitement ready for their 3 day residential at Danbury. The day started with a few fun activities in their classes before the coaches arrived and were loaded up ready for the short 30 minute journey up to Danbury. Once we arrived, the children were sorted into their tents and then gathered together for lunch before their first of two activities.
Some children found their way around the caving simulator, some conquered the knee-wobbling heights of the aerial trekking and others learnt the art of bush craft ending with some tasty hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows. After they tucked into a very tasty dinner, they had some time to sort out their tents and play on the field. The evening was taken up by a night hike around the site, where the children walked through open fields and into the woods past the large ponds of Danbury Commons Wood. After the 2.5-mile hike, the children and some of the staff were ready for their beds! They all settled ready for the next day’s activities and eventually the camp was quiet.
Thursday morning the camp woke nice and early! After breakfast, the children were greeted by their instructors with four more thrilling activities. Some learned how to navigate using a map in orienteering whereas others worked on their team work skills on the obstacle course and low ropes. They then refuelled with a hearty lunch before completing two more activities to round up their day: the children zoomed along the zip wire whilst others were tested on the ‘Leap of Faith’ conquering their fears. This was followed by yet another tasty dinner before some free time to play on the field. As the sun was setting, we gathered around the campfire for a sing song and a few stories before settling down for the night. With everyone warn out, the camp fell silent very quickly on Thursday night.
On Friday morning, the camp woke to a wonderful sunrise and after breakfast the children had two more activities: some scrambled up the climbing walls and vertical obstacle course and the others tried to score the highest score at archery. We had one last meal before the children loaded their bags back onto the coaches and headed back to school – rather tired!
Over the three days at Danbury, all 120 children showed great determination, acceptance of adventure and great improvement with team work throughout all the activities they took part in. All the staff were extremely proud to see the children thrive in the outdoors, tackle their fears and demonstrate resilience and courage as they attempted the activities. It was also encouraging to see the children build friendships amongst their peers ready for the successful year ahead.