This afternoon, I had the great pleasure of joining Tara to celebrate her 13th birthday at the Adventure Rope Course. With a group of friends in tow, we’d arranged to spend a couple of hours having some fun on a variety of activities where the girls could work together.
Due to the recent strong winds we’ve been experiencing across the country, I arrived good and early to carry out a thorough check of the trees and the supporting structures. As it turned out, I could have done with being even earlier as Tara and her friends arrived before all the setting up was finished. However, it gave us a good chance to chat while I finished everything off.
We started off on the Climbing Wall, which gave everyone a chance to get to grips with how to use the belay devices and carabiners. The wall tends to look relatively easy but, in reality, most people struggle to get to the top. That combined with the generally cold conditions meant that only three of the girls made it all the way, but everyone gave it a good go and started to build up a bit of trust in the ropes.
After the gentle introduction that the Climbing Wall gives, we headed onto the High All Aboard. The climb to the top of the pole is very straight forward, but then getting yourself onto the platform at the top is not as easy as it looks from the ground. The fact that the pole wobbles slightly (although nowhere near as much as it feels!) can make it a really daunting prospect. Trying to get onto the platform when there are already three people stood on it can seem almost impossible. However, with a great deal of team work, co-operation and a willingness to grab on to others everyone managed to get to the top before holding hands and leaning back to create a star shape. It must be the first time for a long while that I’ve seen everyone that’s started the High All Aboard actually complete the challenge. Congratulations!
Having done two activities involving heights and ropes, we ventured into the Adventure Tunnels. This is very different from most of the activities at the Adventure Rope Course and involves the group finding their way through a maze of tunnels. They come across dead ends, trap doors, various obstacles and the dark before trying to figure out how to escape from the end. Having split themselves into smaller groups, some found their way through relatively quickly while others seemed to be going round in circles for a while!
The Adventure Tunnels finish at the top of the main tower, meaning that the fastest (and scariest) way down is to jump out of the door on the Parachute Simulator. All you have to do is step out of the door, which sounds really easy until it’s your turn to step out into thin air. Once again, I was really impressed by how brave the girls were but, being a wimp, I prefer the stairs!
With the daylight starting to fade, we decided to finish our afternoon on the Giant Swing. The girls were great at getting themselves organised and pitching in. With two at a time actually strapped into the swing, it’s down to everyone else to lend some muscle power to winch them up and the girls didn’t hold back from doing their bit. The Giant Swing is released by the pulling of a quick release cord, which results in a brief weightless feeling, usually combined with lots of screaming! This lot certainly kept up the tradition.
It was a fantastic afternoon. Given that it’s the middle of December, the weather couldn’t have been better. The girls were great fun and really supportive of each other, making it a brilliant afternoon for me as well. Thank you girls.
One last thing – Happy Birthday Tara!