For our S1 venture trip my tutor group (101) and I went to Benmore outdoor adventure centre. We (101 and I) went with tutor group 107, Mr lynch, Ms Reid, Mr Ferguson and Mr Jardine. We set off on Monday 28th September and returned on Wednesday 30th September. We weren’t with 107 the whole time only on the bus, at meal times and during night time activities.
I was in a dorm with Isabelle, Evie, Alanah and Lauren. Our dorm was called Islay and it was right at the top of the tower. All of the dorms were named after Scottish islands. There was only one other dorm on our floor and it was called Colonsay. There was also a bathroom that only our dorm used because Colonsay had an on suite.
My activity group was Alanah, Lauren, Ewan, Charlie, Ronan, Kester, Jozef, Mac and me. Our instructor was called Morna. Our first activity was canoeing. We had to wear red waterproofs that made us look like firemen.
We took the minibus to loch Eck where we went canoeing. As well as Morna we were accompanied by Mr Jardine. I was in a boat with Charlie and Kester. Three is not the best number of people to have in a boat because the two people paddling on one side will overpower the one that is paddling on the other but Morna taught us how to do it properly. One person was to paddle on each side and one person was to steer by using their paddle as a rudder. My team wasn’t very good at this and we ended up going round in circles whilst the rest of the group was a long way away where we were supposed to be going. Luckily when I switched places with Kester and took over steering we improved a lot.
Our first night time activity was a scavenger hunt where the aim was to find things that matched the description on the sheet. For example three things we had to find were something old, something black and a rhododendron leaf. We then had to do a quiz though my group didn’t do much of it because we had taken too long with the scavenger hunt.
Our second activity was gorge walking. Gorge walking was probably my favourite activity that we did though I really enjoyed all the activities. The main target of gorge walking was not to fall/walk in the water and instead climb around the rocks at the side. We learned what parts of the rock were slippery and how to recognise what they are by the colour of the rock. One hard park was when we had to climb along an actual rock face rather than being able to just walk along and step onto different ledges. The other hard part was doing what they called the Rock of Africa. To do this you had to crawl through a small space between a rock that is shaped like Africa and the stone ground. To make this even worse the group that was in front of us were making dams and every time they broke the dam lots of water would come pouring down and the space under the Africa rock would be filled with even more water than it had originally. We didn’t have to go under the Africa rock but I decided to do it and almost got stuck because I didn’t move my arm when I should have therefore making it harder to pull myself forwards.
Our next activity was the high ropes course. Before we went on the high ropes course we practised and did some team building exercises on a low down version. One activity we did on the low ropes was to get the entire team and a big bottle of juice over some of the obstacles without touching the ground. We managed this pretty well and it was good fun. The high ropes course consisted of three different parts. They were; the catwalk, the trapeze and what we just called the high ropes course which had some of the obstacles we had done on the lower course except higher up. I have a fear of heights which when I went to Dalguise in primary 7 prevented me from managing to do the trapeze. To do the trapeze you climb up a wobbly pole then jump and grab onto a trapeze. Because I had someone else with me on the trapeze (you go in pairs) I was able to do it this time and I think it has helped me get over my fear.
The last activity we had was a forest walk. We walked through the botanic gardens on the way to the forest and Morna told us about a few of the plants. We climbed up a stream to get into the forest as another team building activity. The aim of this activity was for us to all get to the top of the stream and meet up with Morna again at the same time and without leaving anyone behind. After that we all drank some hot chocolate then played some games. It was a nice and almost relaxing way to finish our time at Benmore.
After that we took the coach back to school to be reunited with our families. I feel as though I learned quit a few new skills in canoeing and got to know all of my classmates a bit better because we did a lot of team building activities. I had a great time at Benmore and enjoyed every second of it. Hopefully I will look back on S1 and remember how much fun I had at Benmore.