After what seemed like an eternity (well, nearly 3 years!) waiting for Covid -19 to eventually fade into the background – it was official – Chaigeley Year 10 Duke of Edinburgh residential trip was finally on!
Willow form group took their first tentative steps on the hallowed ‘Coetmor Mill’ cold stone slab floors and the residential was on!
Day one saw the group ascend the dizzying heights of the Zip World Safari in Betws-y-Coed Forest – an adrenaline packed journey through the tall pines of the forest, swinging, clambering and flying (almost!) the course. After returning to the mill – tea was to be served on the sea front at Llandudno. We had the weather, had specially selected our Chippy of choice – to make staff feel jealous, obviously! – we picked our spot on the seafront before what can only be described as being bombarded with seagulls as soon as we unwrapped our hard earned meal! Fortunately we had a ‘seagull whisperer’ in our midst and our very own ‘bird man of Chaigeley’ took one for the team sacrificing his last few chips so staff and pupils could all finish what turned be excellent Fish and Chips. Day One eventually staggered to a conclusion in the early hours of Friday morning following numerous games of hide and seek, tuna being eaten straight from the tin, attempted midnight walks and an immeasurable number of jam sandwiches .
Day Two started with bacon butties and packed lunches being made before cleaning up and saying goodbye to the mill and leaving Paddy’s TV in the lounge – yet again – if you know, you know! Now to get to the serious D of E bit! The lads now sporting new nicknames – Gordon, Crystal, Steven and Pepper had to navigate their way on two loops around the Ogwen Valley using just their whit’s, sense of direction and inner Bear Grills – Oh yeah and a map too! To say it was windy was an understatement. The often calm tranquil mountain tarn had become a wave bound, spray strewn cauldron – hair was blown out of place – not mine obviously! – ego’s were windswept but everyone fought on through adversity and lack of sleep to complete the walks in record time. A great time was had by all – plans are already being discussed about the size and scale of next year’s residential.
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