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Kilvrough: 15th - 19th April

Tuesday 16 April: 9pm
Ok folks here it is - the final intstalment of this year's Kilvrough blog. The children are currently racing through the various rooms at the centre collecting up their paraphernalia which has gathered in shower rooms, drying rooms, clothing and kit stores through the week - they seem to have a fairly clear idea of what they are supposed to be doing but to the untrained eye it might look like chaos. I have taken a few moments out from picking up stray pairs of pants and socks decorating the boys' shower room floor to write this.

Once again another successful day with Mrs Brown's group body-boarding, Mrs Robert's & Mr Hatz's group climbing and my group canoeing with Mrs Corradi's group. Great fun was had when we met half way along the canal route and a mass water-fight ensued. The weather has cheered up at last and there is a beautiful sunset in the distance. Bedtime last night was slightly more successful with everyone alseep by about 10pm. Tomorrow we are all taking part in a day at the coast, rock pooling and building sand-sculptures. The children will be given a hot lunch here at the centre before we leave and we are aiming to be back in Steeple Aston as near to 5:30pm as we can.

I'd just like to minute my thanks to all the centre staff here, whose expertise and skill in providing the children with the very best in outdoor and adventurous activities is never less than excellent. Interestingly the staff here are all off on a conference tomorrow afternoon to discuss the future of Oxfordshire's Outdoor Education Centres, in light of the money saving measures the government and LEA are currently proposing. I can't empahsise enough how important this type of experience is to all the children that come here and I feel that it is difficult to put a price on the value of retaining top-quality instructors and qualified teachers in centres such as this one. What a huge shame it would be if we compromised the quality of provision that children from all over Oxfordshire currently enjoy or worse still lost it completely.

Thanks also to all the Dr Radcliffe's team (Frances, Becky, Karen & Tuck) who have worked so hard this week looking after the children and making sure they are all safe, well & happy. See you all tomorrow.

Over and out..GUY

 

Wednesday 17 April: 7/8pm

Good evening everyone. I've just finished dinner (cottage pie, spaghetti bolognese, quorn bolognese) and I've nipped away to bring you the latest installment of the Kilvrough blog. Just while I'm on the subject of food - I have to say I'm seriously impressed by the amount of food Dr Radcliffe's children can put away in one sitting! Not a single complaint or fussy eater to deal with so far - which has made mealtimes much easier to manage, although perhaps conversation over the dinner table could ocassionally be a little more refined.

Sadly my prayers for sunny weather were not answered to day and my and Mrs Robert's groups braved the icy cold waters for body boarding and surfing. I don't think my hands have ever been so cold. The children managed about 30 minutes in the water and really enjoyed the activity and it wasn't until the instructors pointed out that it was only actually Becky and I that were left in the water, with all the children sitting looking rather mournfullly at us from the beach that we realised it was probably time to go. Later in the afternoon we went for a lovely walk to a local beach and the children got to take part in the ultimate sand dune, downhill steeple chase. There should be a short video of this appearing on line soon - so watch this space.

An earlier bedtime is planned tonight, as the last of the boys finally went to sleep at 11:15 yesterday night and the girls 12:00 midnight. The eventual confiscation of a number of iPads, iTouches (other portable storage devices are available) and a torch helped us through that one! Tomorrow the Canadian canoe beckons for my group which is usually a great day - the only thing that would make it better is some sunshine and a bit less wind, so keep your fingers crossed.

Right must dash as the evening activity is about to start. Take care and see you on Friday.
Guy & The Team
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Tuesday 16 April: 9pm
Hi folks - well it is 7:45 and I have taken a few moments away from this evening's activities to bring you tonight's blog. At the moment I can hear the children just below the window of the room where I'm typing this, competing in a scavenger hunt around the grounds of Kilvrough Manor, the highest points in this challenge are awarded to the team which can find the largest beetle - so I'm ducking out of that one! Allthough I have just heard Mr Hatz shouting '500 points for the first live monkey,' so I may be wrong.

Today has been a good day! The temperature seems to have warmed up a lot and we have had a fairly glorious day of sunshine. This was especially welcomed by the two groups that went body-boarding and surfing today! My group and Mrs Brown's group have been climbing all day and practising their abseiling skills which included the ulimate dare-devil challenge of climbing and abseiling blind-folded, with the children using only their sense of touch and their groups instructions to help them climb the rock face. Mrs Roberts group have been canoeing and once again Mrs Roberts and her paddling partner won their Hawaii 5-0 style race - who said we don't have a competitive staff?!

Dinner was a triumph tonight with a choice of curries and sweet and sour chicken. All the children have eaten well and are looking slightly sun-kissed after a full day outdoors in the sunshine. I am prediciting a quicker bedtime transition tonight, having had a few bouts of home-sickness and some tears last night; although to be honest once we had settled Mrs Brown down she was fine in the end!!

I am hoping that the good weather will continue tomorrow as I slip into my wetsuit and brave the waters of the Bristol channel. I have included just a few photos to whet you appetites. Hope all is well in Steeple Aston and The Shire.
More tomorrow!! Best wishes, Guy & The Team
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Tuesday 16 April: 2pm

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Monday 15 April: 11pm
So the team building and bonding process began in earnest with all groups staying on site today and taking part in different team games and problem solving activities. Mrs Brown and Mrs Roberts competed with each other and their teams over an obstacle course carrying a bucket of water and seeing who had the most water left at the end; remember 'It's A Knockout'? (That comment may age me I realise). Tomorrow climbing and body boarding in the sea off the Gower Peninsula - could be interesting if a little cold!!
All the children have been fed and watered and are now in bed. We are just waiting for the last of the stragglers to drift off. In a new innovation we have a choice of breakfast and dinner menus tomorrow, what luxury! Weather forecast for the week looks like it could be promising with full sun on Thursday. We will keep out fingers crossed. I will try and post some photos for you all to see tomorrow. Until tomorrow...

Monday 15 April: 12.30pm
Arrived safely at the Kilvrough OEC! Children currently unpacking and trying to make their beds.
Will update you all on today's activities later tonight.
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