On Wednesday 20th October around 80 Year 11 students participated in a residential to Carlton Lodge, where they learnt teamwork, leadership skills and had plenty of fun along the way!

On arrival, we all gathered to find out who we were bunking with for the next two nights. After we set up our bedroom, unpacked our belongings and made our beds, we gathered in the sports hall to find out the groups that we would work with to grow in character over the next three days. That afternoon, the 7 teams competed in ultimate frisbee, shoot ball, and catch ball to bond and engage in a sense of unity with each other. After we cleaned up, we attended a revision session which included different tactics and tips for revising for exams – many students agreed it would benefit us in the long run. Following this, there was a bonfire held for the students to talk and relax, while roasting marshmallows, ending our first day.

The next day, after organising ourselves and eating breakfast, we were introduced to the site worker who would lead our activities for the day. This included raft building, bush craft, problem solving, crate stacking and zip wire. Each group did 4 of the 5 activities, 2 before and after lunch. These activities pushed us out of our comfort zone to try and experience something new. For example, in zip wire and crate stacking, many people faced their fear of heights. Alternatively, in bush crafting, people got over the fear of trying something new with the option to taste crickets, meal worms and nettles. There was a range of challenges and difficulties to overcome, and everyone could agree they had overcome something unfamiliar. Later in the evening, while senior prefects had a meeting to discuss the new plans for the school, the rest of the students problem solved and played team games. Throughout this, individual groups went out to a second roasting of marshmallows. As the final activity of that day, we did a carousel which included trust-based activities and blindfolded obstacle courses where we learned to trust our team members.

On the final day we mainly packed, however some activities were still included. This was hot chocolate making with a transport set and tent building. From doing this we gained skills in things we had never tried, allowing us to expand our horizons as well as necessary survival skills. Once we had completed our final activities, we went to our rooms and cleaned, leaving them as tidy as they were when we arrived. Although we were sad to leave, the memories and lessons remain.

In our opinion, the residential was a learning experience which can help build on our skills for later life. We were immensely glad to have attended the residential as we had a joyful experience which allowed us to build new relations. Anyone who is presented the opportunity to go on a residential should take it and enjoy this experience as you will benefit from many skills and have a blast at the same time.

By Urvi Motolall and Eleanor McQuillan

For more photo’s of the event please click here to go to our photo gallery