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In 2010 the Junior Residential took place on the weekend of 13 & 14 March. Four leaders – made up of Baytree staff members and a Baytree volunteer – took 12 girls (aged between 9 and 12) to Blackland Farm in East Sussex.
Scroll down for pictures and further details about the Junior Residential in Spring Term 2010.
The group departed from Victoria train station at 10am on Saturday morning and after a short train ride and a taxi journey they arrived at Blackland Farm, an activity centre in the Sussex countryside. The group stayed in Restrop Cabin – dubbed Baytree Bungalow for the weekend – which included a dormitory of bunkbeds for the girls and a living area with an open fire.
After some of the girls helped the leaders to prepare lunch, the group tucked in to cheese, ham & tuna sandwiches and discussed some ground rules for the weekend including:
After lunch it was time for the first activity - Bouldering. Everyone attempted to climb along the wall without touching the floor. Some found it easier than others but everyone tried hard and encouraged each other.
Next the group went to meet Nathan, a member of Blackland Farm staff, who ran the Teambuilding activities. From keeping a ball off the ground using pipes to getting everyone safely through the ‘spider’s web’, the girls learnt how to communicate better and work as a team to achieve their goals.
The final outdoor activity on the first day was Tunnelling. Crawling through pipes buried underground was dirty but enjoyable. The entire group pushed themselves to try and reach an exit further and further away from the entrance, and in spite of the dark and cramped conditions they all managed it.
At the end of a long day of activities the group returned to the ‘Baytree Bungalow’. While some girls helped the leaders to prepare dinner, others helped collect firewood and watched as a leader showed them how to build a fire.
After a delicious dinner of spaghetti bolognaise the group played games based around the themes of trust, sharing and inclusion.
To end the day the group undertook some arts & crafts and enjoyed hot chocolate in front of the open fire while they made Mother’s Day cards and friendship bracelets.
On Sunday morning the group got up early, some girls helped the leaders to prepare breakfast while the others helped to tidy up the cabin.
Following breakfast the group headed out for their most anticipated activity - the Zip Wire. Although some people were initially quite scared, once they saw their new friends enjoying the wire everyone decided to have a go. Even the leaders got harnessed up and zipped down the very high wire!
Finally the group returned to the cabin to enjoy lunch, think about their experiences as they filled in a short evaluation and then help to finish tidying up the cabin for departure.
At 2pm on Sunday a tired but happy group waved goodbye to the ‘Baytree Bungalow’ and Blackland Farm and headed back to London where their parents awaited their return.
Facts & Figures
At the end of the Residential the girls’ evaluations showed that they had all:
5 girls named the Zip Wire as their favourite activity, 3 said tunnelling, 1 teambuilding, 1 bouldering, 1 helping with the cooking and 1 said all the activities were her favourite!
When explaining what the best thing about the trip was, girls said:
"Doing different activities..."
"it was fun..."
"making new friends..."
"...it was all brilliant!"
When asked what she enjoyed most, one girl said: "all the fun we had together" ...which sums up the residential perfectly!