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Kingcott Farm Camp

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In partnership with www.youngbristol.com three intrepid pupils and six members of staff spent the camp week of 2013 in the woods above Bristol.

Here we experienced the joys of wild camping, sleeping in a hammock, cooking over the fire and no running water. We also completed many challenging activities.

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On our first day after we had built our camp, fetched water and gathered firewood, there was time for some mountain biking before settling to bed. This proved to be none too easy for certain pupils who suddenly found the woods a dark and spooky place and could not settle to sleep on their own. This resulted in much moving of bedding until all were comfortably settled.

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Day two saw the start of the activities with the high ropes challenge, Miss Andrews volunteered to take photos as she was 'not good' with heights and everyone else donned the gear and gave it a go. Star of the show was Kieran J who surprised everyone, including himself, with his daring exploits. After a quick lunch of hotdogs cooked over the fire we tried our hand at archery, this time it was Lucas who was the star winning the overall shootout and even beating Mr Aiuto. In the evening we visited an old Victorian swimming pool in Bedminster to cool off after our day in the sun and enjoyed chicken and pasta round the camp fire.

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Day three saw us climbing into the minibus for our trip to the limestone rocks further south in the Mendips for a spot of Gorge walking followed by caving. The gorge walking was up a fairly steep stream bed led by Ryan and Kieran until we reached the water shoot where a rope was rigged to aid ascent. This was where Mrs Alderman got a trifle wet sliding down the slippery surface instead of climbing straight up! Soon all were at the top, hot, sweaty and triumphant. After a short lunch break, eating the sandwiches we had made in camp earlier, we explored Goat Church Cavern. This was a new experience for some and Mrs Rose did well to overcome her claustrophobia, it was cool and damp in the cave and very dark, we all sat in a circle and turned off our helmet torches just to see how dark it was and were glad to turn them back on. Lisa, our guide and instructor, was great and she took the boys off to explore the depths of the boulder cavern whilst Mrs Rose and Mrs Alderman waited. It was an eerie experience to sit in the semi darkness of the cave hearing the voices of the rest of the party receding into the distance.

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Day four brought the hottest weather yet and we were right out in it completing the orienteering course round the Ashton Court estate, all pupils did well at this especially given the heat and conditions. We returned to camp to cool off and have a snack before leaving for Weston Super Mare for the rest of the day. The boys enjoyed time on the pier and on the sands having fish and chips for tea before returning to camp very late for our last night in the woods.

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Friday dawned fair and the great clear up began, striking camp, packing it all away in the bus, picking up all the rubbish and generally making it look as if we had never been there. We left a good stack of firewood for the next folk to camp and left with a sense of having accomplished things. We had an enjoyable time, had all tried something new and all managed to do things that we had not thought we were able to. A big thank you must go to the staff of Young Bristol for providing the venue and the instructors who were all great fun, we will have to come again another year and try out some of the other activities they offer. Well done to the intrepid campers, Ryan Lucas and Kieran you were awesome.

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