Calshot 2021: Day 3

Another very busy day at Calshot. After a good night’s sleep everyone was ready to try some new activities on a cloudy but humid day.

Breakfast was the same as Tuesday with plenty of choice, and soon we were off on morning activities. For many of the groups this involved initiative tests and the team swing. The initiative tests were great because they really forced the children to work as a team and to think carefully. What really impressed me was how each team improved dramatically after a less than impressive start and one group produced the best performance I’d ever seen on the mushroom test.

The team swing consisted of two children being hoisted up on a giant swing and then released. This was a lot of fun, but appeared quite challenging and scary at first. Everyone had a go and many of the children went to the very highest setting before being released.

Lunch involved hot dogs and spicy wedges before a quick turnaround and an afternoon of sailing and kayaking. Conditions were perfect and the children (and some of the adults) had a great time before cooling off in the Solent at the end.

After a roast chicken (or pasta) dinner the children went off to either Rushing Rockets or the Egg Drop. By 8.30pm everyone was completed exhausted and needed a good sleep.

The final day will involve more skiing, climbing shooting and team swing before we have lunch and then head back to Liss for 3.30pm.

Calshot 2021: Day 2

Day 2 dawned at Calshot and the early signs were not good. The skies were grey and it was raining steadily. However, good news was not far away: Mr Parrott led the room inspections and was pleased to report that the standard of cleanliness was very good – particularly in the boys’ rooms (cue Mums fainting in shock all over Liss). The range of excuses were brilliant this year too. When one boy was asked why there were biscuit crumbs on the floor, he replied.

“They must have fallen from the ceiling!” Somehow I don’t think this room will be winning the tidy room competition.

By the time we walked down to the canteen for breakfast, the rain had just about stopped and the skies began to lighten. Breakfast consisted of bacon, sausage, beans, hash brown, toast, yoghurt, cereals and various spreads. You could choose as much or as little as you wanted.

The morning saw everyone down at the Sopwith Hanger as half the children (Gps 1,2 & 3) were sailing and the others (Gps 4,5 & 6) were kayaking. The children spent a very active and fun morning learning these skills and applying them in various games and challenges.

Lunch was a burger in a bap with potatoes and from there we moved indoors for the afternoon. Among the activities the children took part in was climbing, shooting, archery, skiing, laser climb and ringos. The afternoon brought some fresh challenges and the children were able to relate strong feelings of satisfaction from showing the necessary resilience, resourcefulness and reciprocity when we had circle time later that afternoon.

After a busy afternoon session we had dinner which was a choice between chicken curry or mac and cheese. From there we returned to Lawrence House where Mr Frost managed to rig up his laptop to a projector just in time to see the last 20 minutes of the football and England dispatch the Germans.

The evening activities were Epic Engineering for Gps 1,2 & 3 while Gps 4,5 & 6 had the egg drop challenge. Remarkably, two of the four eggs survived the challenge due to some well thought through designs.

By this time the children were absolutely out on their feet, so when we returned to Lawrence House most of them hit the showers and went straight to bed afterwards. Lights out moved forward 15 minutes to 9.30pm and within 30 minutes Lawrence House was quiet. A very busy Wednesday awaits.

Calshot 2021: Day 1

Hello everyone from Calshot. We had an excellent first day! We left a rainy Liss at about 9.45am and by the time we reached Calshot the sun was out and the day was heating up. We arrived and were met by Richard Birkinshaw, our course director. He gave the children a talk about what to expect over the four days with particular emphasis on staying safe with the covid restrictions. After running a quick fire drill and then unpacking, we went to lunch.

There is only one other school at Calshot (and they are leaving on Wednesday) so we had half the canteen to ourselves. Lunch was pizza and chips which appeared to go down very well. The afternoon sessions involved such activities as archery, climbing, ringos, skiing and laser climb. For many of the parents reading this ringos and laser climb won’t sound familiar at all. Basically, ringos is going down the dry ski slope in a big rubber donut with sometimes 3 donuts tethered together. Laser Climb was absolutely fascinating. A projector is used to project challenges onto a small touch-sensitive climbing wall and the children had to compete together or sometimes against each other to complete the challenges. They had a lot of fun.

The main course for dinner was bangers and mash before the children went off for their evening activities. Half took part in rampant rockets where they used water pressure to fire rockets at various targets. The other activity was Epic Engineering kits where the children had to construct the numbers 1 – 10 (trickier than it seems) and build the highest freestanding tower possible. There was some excellent teamwork and some very original (and strange) ideas.

All but a couple of children got off to sleep very quickly and everyone got a good night’s sleep ready for sailing and kayaking this morning.