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Bracelands Adventure Centre

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The plan was to leave Coln House School and arrive at the Forest of Dean at around 16:00 hrs where we would take part in an adventure outdoor weekend.  When we arrived we were greeted by Alison and Tony, owners of Bracelands, and Mike, our Adventure instructor for the weekend. All staff and pupils were shown where they would be sleeping and the vehicles and kit were unloaded.

Mike spoke with the group and went through the itinerary of our action packed weekend. Pupils and staff were up for the challenges that lay ahead. But first everyone fuelled up on lovely homemade spaghetti bolognaise before heading off for our first challenge of the weekend. 

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Day 1 - 500 metre tunnel walk:

Ten minute drive into the forest to arrive near the start of our tunnel walk. Everyone kitted out with hard hats and head lamps, everyone through the tunnel. The challenge was now to return back through without any lights on. At first everyone didn't seem keen but all pulled together and guided one another through. Great team work shown on this task, and a feeling of achievement for all involved.

Day 2 - Viaduct Abseil 50ft drop and gorge walk:

Up early for breakfast then straight on the minibus, everyone ready for a forty minute drive to South Wales. On this activity lots of staff and pupils conquered their fear of heights. Well done especially to Scott and Miss Saunders for showing resilience and completing the abseil and the same goes for everyone else.  Short stop for lunch then all kitted out and prepped for the 3 hour gorge walk. Considering the time of year and temperature of the water everyone gave it their all on this task. Each took it in turns to slowly guide the team up the gorge mapping the best route up the slippy rocks and fast running water, dodging the deeper pools and loose or sharp stones. During the ascent we had to scale three waterfalls aided by climbing ropes that Mike had hooked up. Considering the height and cold running water rushing into our faces from the top of the falls each and everyone one of us managed to complete the task at hand. Great team work and perseverance. Once back at Bracelands, everyone showered and warmed up before tea. Mike returned later on in the evening with wood and chisels for the pupils to try their hand at wood carving. Everyone had a good go and although did not finish, were allowed to bring their carvings back to school to finish off in DT.

Day 3 – Bush craft:

All up for breakfast before Mike arrived to lead us on a trek through the forest to collect tinder and dry wood to build a fire. All pupils collect a good amount of suitable wood and return to base. Mike guided everyone through how to build a fire and how to light it using flints and also sticks rubbed together. When the fire had started to roar nicely, all pupils cooked pancakes and toasted marshmallows. Everyone then relaxed by the fire talking about highlights of the weekend and personal achievements.

Staff: Mr Wilson, Mr Luce, Miss Samuels, Miss Saunders, Mr Davis,

Pupils: Chris, Kaya, Scott, Kieran, Lucas