This is now the forth Summer of Adventure +, a kids holiday club run by Ellesmere College. They get me in to supply most of the ‘adventure’, and use other opportunities on and off site to provide the ‘+’. Although the club runs from Monday to Friday, I normally just get involved with the first four days, leaving them to do something like go-karting without me.
Monday involved a range of introductory games, followed by archery in the afternoon using the College’s indoor range. It’s a great facility, allowing the activity to go ahead whatever the weather and ensures no one gets cold.
Tuesday was a day of canoeing on The Mere in Ellesmere. We covered a few basic skills but lots of messing about, having fun and getting wet. Some days groups seem to just want to get wet. Others, they almost seem allergic to the water. This was definitely a ‘wet’ day, with most of the group up for anything that might mean they, or someone else, might end up going for a swim. One of the favourites proved to be the canoe see-saw that I built last year. It’s actually fairly stable, but pairs have to work together or else they both end up in the water. Today, they seemed to like to show that they could do it successfully, before making their partner fall in. This has the inevitable consequence of both going in – much to everyones amusement!
Wednesday saw us head off to the Llangollen Escarpment for a day’s hill walk. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t behave as expected. The forecast suggested that it would be overcast and start raining during the late afternoon, so the plan was to get cracking. In reality, it started raining shortly after we started our walk and got progressively heavier. Although a fair proportion of young people don’t like the idea of walking, the hope had been to take our time and enjoy the beautiful area we have on our doorstep, stopping fairly regularly to play games at nice spots including the ruined castle at Dinas Bran. However, in reality this wasn’t realistic due to the weather. We were forced to cut our walk short and headed down into Llangollen for a hot chocolate to warm us up. Even then, it wasn’t straight forward as there aren’t many places that would let you take 16 wet kids into a cafe. So we headed for the Mile End Mill, who’s normal customers are paddlers fresh off the river. They seemed more than happy to take my money!
Thursday was much nicer, and we took a trip to Llanymynech for a day of rock climbing and abseiling. We had the place to ourselves during the morning, but another provider (who shall remain nameless) turned up at lunch time with a group. It doesn’t happen very often, but I found myself slightly concerned by some of the technical things go on. Sure enough, just before we left, they had a bit of a ‘heart in mouth’ epic. No one was hurt, but I’ll bet that one young man won’t fancy going abseiling again. We, on the other hand, had a great day. Some found the rock harder to conquer that others, and a few couldn’t bring themselves to get over the edge of the abseil, but everyone pushed themselves and seem to enjoy the challenge.
As always with Adventure +, it’s been a lot of fun. It’s nice to do a variety of activities, and the kids are almost always great to be with.
I’m looking forward to next year already.