Thirteen pupils from Years 4, 5 and 6 attended an outward bounds residential trip at Abernant Manor Adventure in Mid Wales. They left at 12 noon on Wednesday 6th April and came back at 2:45pm on Friday 8th. They participated in nine activities; Obstacle Course, Abseiling, Nature Trail, Zip-wire, Raft Building, Fencing, Evening Walk, Bivouac Building and Archery. All thirteen children were accompanied by Mr. Roberts and Kinga. They all had a fantastic time and thoroughly enjoyed every second of their trip!

More to come soon.

Abernant Lake Hotel

The Assault Course

Guess the mystery tyre person

Mr. Roberts is now much thinner!
Mud glorious mud!
Challenging the wall!
Being warned about Crocoducks!
As hard as it looks
Zip-wire fun!
More zip-wire fun!
What are these for?

Making a raft...
...which did not sink!

Mystery masked fencers
Lunge, parry and reposte!

The 2 and a half mile evening walk

Our lovely hotel

Making a bivouac

The two bivouacs

A troop of Robin Hoods

After spending all day on Monday and Tuesday looking at the rain and praying for sunshine, we all awoke on Wednesday morning to see sunshine. We packed up the bus, weighing it down with our heavy cases and left Llanharan at 12 noon. An hour and a half's journey full of "Are we there yet?" soon passed and we arrived at Abernant Lake Hotel, the home of Manor Adventure. We were met by Jessie who took the children to their amazing rooms with en suite bathrooms and walk-in showers and gave them a tour of the site. Next came a fire alarm drill to allow us all to know what to do in case of a fire.

So, onto the first of the nine activities... and what better a way to start than to roll around in puddles of mud! Jessie took us all down to the Assault Course, walked us through the individual sections and off we went! The over and unders were followed by the underground tunnel, a multitude of rope climbs, swings, balances high climbs, suprisingly tight tire tunnels and then... then came the mud. So much mud! The first encounter was through tyres full of muddy water. The final obstacle was the cargo net tunnel, two routes with the same gigantic muddy puddle going straight through the middle. Those who chose to wear white now appeared to be wearing a combination of brown, grey and black as once clean children now magically transformed into mud-monsters. The only thing that shone from our children at this point were the smiles on their faces. The mud was so all encompassing that we all (Mr. Roberts and Kinga included) had to roll on the grass to try to remove as much as we could and then needed to have a hose pipe to wash us down.

A very quick change and we then headed off for our evening meal. There was a choice of three main meals to choose from, curry, BBQ chicken or sweet and sour chicken, accompanied by vegetarian selections and side salads. We then headed off to the activity which was the most anticipated and the most feared... the Abseiling Wall. Steve and John were our instructors for this activity and they both helped us put on our harnesses and helmets, gave a demonstration of what to do and talked us through the safety instructions. Much encouragement was given and the first volunteer, Jordan, climbed the stairs and started 'walking down the wall'. Another followed another followed another and soon there were children hanging horizontally, walking backwards down a wall, all with the instructions ringing through their ears of 'Sit down on the toilet, then stand up'. There were those who needed a few attempts and those who found the activity too much, but again, the smiles lit up the increasingly dusky evening. After a rapid introduction to Manor Adventure it was time to return to rooms, shower, have a quick story and discussion about the day's events before lights out and time to sleep.

The wake up call arrived from Mr. Roberts and Kinga at 7:10am and we all headed down for a delicious full 'Welsh' Breakfast of bacon, sausages, tomatoes, hash browns etc... Mrs. Price then joined us for the day and we put on our walking boots and headed off on our Nature trail with the very entertaining Alex. We walked around the site looking for insects, leaves, trees, lambs, horses, animal tracks, geese... but all anyone wanted to do was look out for the mysterious crocoducks which Alex warned us about. We headed down to the lake and Alex pointed out Crocoduck Island, where these strange creatures lived, and the effects of their residence was clear to see by the nervous reactions of the geese. A further walk and few riddles later and we returned to the hotel, changed and headed off to Activity 4.

We arrived at the Zip-wire to be met by Swinny (the Pooh!), Sally and Katy who helped us into our harnesses and helmets, talked through the safety instructions and demonstrated what to do. The biggest obstacle of this activity (for Mr. Roberts at least!) was the rope ladder climb to the tree house before we were attached to the zip-wire. Upon reaching the tree house, Swinny ambushed everyone with questions ranging from "If you were a biscuit, which type would you be?" and "If you were a squirrel, what colour would you be?". After the fun of the climb came the very very quick descent down the wire and back to earth. Time for lunch and again, three choices, by far the most tempting proved to be the pizza.

Activity 5 was the activity which needed the water-proof clothing, towels and a spare change of clothes - Raft building. Buoyancy Aids and Helmets were worn and Vinny talked us through what we needed to do. We were given six big yellow barrels, 6 ropes and 1 guide rope and four long planks of wood. The discussion began of the best way to make a raft and then came the arduous task of actually making it, which proved to be very tiring! The group was split into two groups of 8 and 7. The group of 8 (with Mr. Roberts included) were the first to step onto the rafts. After a tentative paddle out onto the waste deep water of the lake, we could all see that our efforts in mkaing the raft were worthwile as we floated happily around. The ease and the comfort of the raft was not matched by the skills shown in paddling as it became so erratic that poor Vinny, who was holding the guide line on dry land, did not remain on dry land for long... oops! After a few splash landings into the water from Jordan and Jack, the final test of the first group came through all eight members being asked to stand up straight and start singing and performing the actions to 'Heads, shoulders, knees and toes'. Mr. Roberts found it quite difficult to stand up, not through any fear or uncomfort felt, but mainly due to Tia puching down hard on his helmet to keep herself steady and balanced! Charlotte needed a little encouragement and a slight lift, literally, to get her to her feet. Not all eight reamined dry as Jack and Jordan again found the lure of the water stronger than the safety of the raft. Group two came next, including Kinga. Again, the raft held firm and the paddling was equally as erratic, so much so that by the end of the session, the four paddles was reduced to two. The challenge of standing up and performing 'Heads, shoulders, knees and toes' was called upon, only for the toes to be replaced by 'jump'. Again, two people felt the splash of water upon them as Ashley performed the most beautiul swallow dive (8 out of 10 was the general consensus) whereas poor Chloe sacrificed her drynees to rescue one of the paddles which was heading towards Crocoduck Island. With everyone back on dry land, the job of raft making changed to raft breaking as all materials had to be returned to the shed. A quick change was needed and wet clothes were collected and placed in the 'Dry room' to dry off and then we headed to actitivy 6.

Katy was our instructor again as she led us through the art of fencing. The heavy equipment was worn, which made identifying children practically impossible and activities in lunging, parrying and reposting were carried out before the fencing 'foils' were carefuly handed out. Mrs. Price had to say her goodbyes at this point as the group continued to fence away, battling each other with combinations of lunges, parrys, repostes, counter repostes and more parrys. After a thoroughly enjoyable session we all headed off to change and went for our evening meal with a choice of Goulash, Lamb or Beef Hot Pot.

Activity 7 and the last activity of the day was the evening walk. Vinny, with a new pair of borrowed dry trousers (again... oops!) and Rhogan led us off on a two and a half mile walk around Llanwrtyd Wells, showing us important features and giving us facts and information on the village, including the tale of the Red Kite statue. The walk went from track to pavement to field, to path to road and back again. Some parts were flat, other parts were very steep! This proved quite tiring for the group, no more so than for Ashley who battled on with a severe limp picked up the weekend before the trip. We returned as the sun was setting and showered, changed and sat down for the 'Abernant 2011 Awards'. Lights out came earlier as the children found sleeping a very welcoming activity!

DAY 3 - FRIDAY 8th APRIL 2011
Wake up was again at 7:10am and bags were packed and placed in our holding area for the bus when it arrived. A full breakfast was eaten again and outdoor clothes were worn as we headed off to build bivouacs. The group was split into two by Sammy, who entertained us with stories of one of her best friends 'Wagner' from X-Factor! Both groups then had to build the best shelter that they could. Mr. Roberts' group went for a massive Celtic Round house style shelter whereas Kinga's group chose the more decorative 'Squirrel Paradise' shelter. A squirrel did appear at one point, looked over, and the darted up a tree. Animals can be so judgmental! Sammy then talked us through how we would go about making a human shelter using just one plastic sheet and a rope.

Activity nine followed in the glorious sunshine as Alex (a different one) instructed us in the skill of archery. We then took aim and (most of us) began hitting the target. We were disrupted at one point as two sheep and a lamb thought it would be a good idea to enter the field. Alex taught us how to aim for the gold in the target and we soon discovered some natural Robin Hoods in te group who all picked up 9 scores; Tia, Charlotte and Erin. This increased the pressure on our resident archer, Jordan. Our lunch followed before the sad task of saying goodbyes, heading onto the bus, where the staff had already packed our cases onto, and the journey back to school arriving back at 2:45pm. Next came the most necessary activity of the entire three days... SLEEP!