Yenworthy 2016 - Day 1

Dear Mrs Hawkins,

We are here! We know you weren't quite sure we would be when the coach was a bit late this morning... Miss Manley was actually thinking she might have a week on Exmoor all by herself when you messaged her to say the coach hadn't arrived yet! But thankfully, once we had navigated our way out of Oxford, we made pretty good time and surprised the team as we backed down the drive.

Our coach driver was very nice and even let us vote on the DVDs we wanted to watch. UP was the first winner (don't tell anyone, but Miss Piggott was a bit sad about this as she didn't vote for it - but being the lovely person she is, she only sulked for a little bit before settling down and watching too - we think she actually enjoyed it really!) We stopped off en route at a service station to stretch our legs (and have a biscuit) and then set off again... Then we had to face our first challenge of the week - the A39! As the coach wound its way round the coast road, several of us decided to see if we could take on the characteristics of a chameleon and change our face colour - sometimes several shades in just a number of seconds. Thankfully, almost all of us decided we preferred our pink cheeks to our white or greenish cheeks and came through unscathed. Even if we opted for the green, we recovered quite quickly with the aid of Magic Mints!

Miss Manley and Pete came out to meet us from the coach and we took our bags into the boot room, settled in the lounge and met some of the other members of the Yenworthy Team. Then it was time to find out who would be sharing our rooms for the rest of the week...

We didn't have long to settle before we were asked to bring our lunch to the work room. We tucked in hungrily after our long trip and then Becca (one of the team here) talked to us about what we could be recycling this week and then it was up to us to put everything in the right containers. Not as easy as you might think. There aren't just 2 containers here - thank goodness we brought most of St Barnabas' Recycle Squad with us! After that it was up to the Kit Store to get all our outdoor / wet weather kit... We think we are going to make VERY good use of the wet weather kit this week and in just one day, we have put it through its paces not once, but twice! Did you know that here, there is no such thing as "Indoor Play"? We could hardly believe it when Pete told us we'd be going out on the ropes course even though it had begun to rain. Still, we are pretty hard core in Year 6 so we got stuck in...

We climbed over, under, through, round and between ropes and tyres and got ourselves in all sorts of crazy upside down, tangled positions. Our Year 9 leaders did a great job of guiding us through and giving us all the tips they could remember about how to do things. Some of us showed extreme determination - even if we kept falling off, we just got back on and had another go! By the end of the course, we were completely soaked, some of us had ACTUAL MUD on our HANDS!!! Pretty exhausted from all the physical effort of staying on wet, slippery ropes, we came in and hung up our waterproofs to dry. Mrs Hawkins, did you know that waterproofs don't actually hang themselves up and that if you just try and hold them in the air and then let go, they just fall on the floor in a heap? Even greater amazing discoveries have been made here today, Mrs Hawkins! If you leave your waterproofs on a different peg, someone else ends up wearing them and before you know it, at least 3 people have to swap trousers before we can even get going!

Tonight we had the luxury of being allowed to choose whether we wanted a shower - those of us who did had a chance to practise Speed Showering while those that didn't enjoyed some free time. After a yummy dinner of pasta bolognese and meringues with raspberries and cream for pud, we sort of thought it might be time for bed. How wrong were we? We put on those waterproofs again and headed out on to the moor. In the rain. In the wind. In the PITCH BLACK! Every so often, Nic would ask us to switch off our torches and comment on what we could see. We saw some amazing constellations tonight. She asked us to look in the distance to see the next strip of light we could see... We thought it might have been Lynton...but it turned out that the next lights we could see in the distance were actually in WALES! By the time we reached the top of the moor, the rain was horizontal, but we didn't care! We even stopped for photos by the standing stones!

Back inside, all warm and cosy, our pjs went on, our lovely Year 9s made us some yummy hot chocolate while we watched today's photos on the slideshow and then we read another chapter of Goodnight Mr Tom. Amazingly, we made sure everything went very quiet in the lodge very quickly tonight... Maybe we were exhausted after all that rain....or maybe we are just pretending to snore... time will tell!

Quotes of the day:

"You know the prize for the room inspection? It is a proper prize, isn't it? Not like a hug or something?"

"If I have to share a room with someone, then it has to be tidy!"

"So, actually, we'd much rather use our time to play table football than waste time having a shower."

Night night!

Lots of love,

Year 6 xxx