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Linden Education Centre
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Linden Centre Isle of Wight Big Adventure

Day 1

  

  

Enthusiastic students arrived at school with their suitcases and sleeping bags. The Linden Centre’s Year 10 trip to the Little Canada PGL Centre on the Isle of Wight had finally begun. Sandwiches were made, games were played and excited conversations took place about what might lie ahead.

Eventually the two minibuses left the Centre in convoy at 10.30am, waved off by those staff and students who were staying behind. After an uneventful journey, we arrived in Portsmouth in good time for the 1pm ferry. Despite a very calm 45 minute crossing, there were some reports of seasickness from Linden landlubbers. We arrived at the PGL Centre at the same time as many other coaches and minibuses, containing hundreds of overexcited young people of all ages. The Centre has a capacity of 720! We walked down to the very small beach, and some students made sandcastles while others paddled, found shells or skimmed stones in the sea. Others found a rope swing in the woods. Eventually we were shown to our cabins, and the students negotiated with each other as to who would have which bunk bed. Our PGL leader, Steve (who looks like Russell Crow or Cap’n Jack Sparrow, according to who you ask), gave us a tour of the site. The highlight of the tour was the very large canteen, which has at least a dozen choices of food for each meal, including wheat-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and ‘fussy teenager’. After supper a game of football ensued at one end of the court, while robot wars took place at the other. Both teams were given a pile of old cardboard boxes and chip bags, and asked to dress up a team member as a robot. The two robots then battled it out with water, the aim being to get each other as wet as possible. Congratulations Ty and Jill for being fantastic robots!

At the time of writing (10.35pm), we are still waiting for some of the students to fall asleep.

Day 2

  

   

Everyone woke bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready for a lovely PGL breakfast which included our favourite hash browns. Our first activity today was sensory trail for group 1 who loved the opportunity to work together and achieved fantastic results in completing the course. The competition begins, Jade gains 10 points towards her dorm for her confidence, teamwork and encouragement. Over at the tracks group 2 were burning rubber on the dirt track on the quad bikes... should have seen them go. The instructors were so impressed with Kie's control that he gained 10 points for his team.

Our next activity was the zip wire, should have seen them fly. A further 10 points went to Elliot for his selfless behaviour and a further 10 points went to Dylan for an incredible show of patience. Then we headed off to lunch for some much needed carb loading. Great selection, well done PGL.

Next we did the cat walk. Not the kind where you walk down a runway, this kind where you tightrope across wires and planks higher and higher off the ground. Our very own 'spider monkey' Joe, gained 10 points for an outstanding performance and Courtney got 10 points for effort. The last daytime activity for group 1 was the quad bikes. It was so good to see them all encourage each other. 10 points went to Derek for best lap. Group 2 enjoyed a game of football and demonstrated great teamwork as the sun popped out through the cloud.

So we get to dinner. There was pie, chips, curry, chicken, pasta finished off by apple crumble. We finished off the day on the beach. We had a competition to find the biggest crab, rugby and some paddling, not to mention the beach fire. It turned out to be a tranquil evening.

Day 3

 

  

Today started with a bit of rain, however our amazing young people braved the elements to take part in Aeroball and Abseiling.

Group 1 quickly got the hang of Aeroball and bounced their way dry. This quick fire game played in enclosed trampolines was played outside, with one team attempting to score as many goals as possible by throwing the ball whilst bouncing into 6ft high nets. The rain slowly died away and the sun soon dried out all the wet socks.

Group 2 took on the challenge of the Abseiling Tower. Suspended high above Wotton Creek, they quickly got to grips with throwing themselves off the tower, whilst trusting the person below to safely guide them gently back down.

Jacobs ladder followed Aeroball for group 1, who swiftly scaled the heights of the high rope ladder. Helping each other to achieve their goal of reaching the top, the entire group used fantastic teamwork to impress not only the teachers working with them, but also to get a special mention from the PGL leaders for being such stars.

Group 2 completed the Aeroball activity with such enthusiasm, the goals came quicker than the rain, which made a very brief appearance just before lunch.

After lunch our happy students enjoyed the sunshine and quickly changed into dry clothes for the afternoons activities.

Group 1 completed the Challenge Course in record time, we believe setting a new course record for PGL.

Group 2 all joined in with the Jacobs Ladder activity, once again working outstandingly as a team and helping each other. Both groups excelled at this activity

Group 1's final activity today was beach combing. They boarded the mini bus with delight as they had really enjoyed last night’s beach visit. A great time was had by all in the sunshine, looking for firewood to compete against the teachers and find out who could build the biggest fire

After a well earned hot meal, our evening activity was called photo challenge. We quickly split into two teams, boys versus girls, and began the task of finding random objects to photograph. We had to use the objects around us to complete challenges set by our PGL leader. For example a bendy blade task saw the boys team photographing grass bending over, and the girls creating a giant, by standing on top of each other.

We are looking forward to our last full day at Little Canada tomorrow

Day 4

  

Today we woke up to sunshine for the first time. We are getting good at our morning routine and managed the quickest breakfast run this week.

After breakfast we quickly got into our groups.

Group 1. Our first activity was the giant swing. When we first got there the task looked impossible. We were faced with a giant rope swing. The task was to work together to hoist two members of the group up to the top of a very tall tower and then pull on one rope to let the rope swing go. This was both exhilarating and really scary. We worked together to ensure our group were able to complete the activity and ensure we all got to experience the thrill of being dropped safely from a very great height.

Group 2 had another session in the Aeroball arena. This provided a highly competitive and fast session, as we all knew how to get the best out of one of our favourite activities so far.

For our second activity of the day, Group 1 completed a problem solving task. This involved solving problems based around a hula-hoop. We had to work together to lift the hoop as a group using verbal and non-verbal cues.

Group 2, All Aboard was our activity. We were sceptical to say the least as we had no idea what challenge we were about to face. We met our instructors for the session and were taken to one of the tallest towers on site. Once we had our safety briefing and put on our harnesses, three members of the group at one time climbed up the tower, and then tried to make the other two people lose their footing. The aim of the game was to be the last remaining member of the group standing on the top of the tower.

Finally we made it to lunchtime. Today was pasta for lunch which was enjoyed by nearly everyone.

Group 1 took on the challenge of outside climbing; another height related activity. By this point we had got very good at putting on our harnesses. However this was a seriously high outside climbing experience, which once again we faced with the positive attitude which has seen us complete every challenge with ease.

Group 2 faced giant swing.

Our final activity session of the day saw us completing very different challenges.

Group 1 boarded the mini bus and headed down to the beach for a circle time activity, whilst group 2 faced the outdoor climbing challenge.

Our evening activity saw us all visiting the beach for one last time, and having the opportunity to play games and explore the beach together.

Tomorrow sees us leave Little Canada and head back to the Linden Centre.

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