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.
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.