Hilltop November 2021
Where to begin with the adventures of Hilltop?! After the two-hour journey to Sheringham (that was full of singing of Christmas Songs, much to the despair of the driver), we finally arrived at Hilltop!
First on the agenda was being shown to our rooms, before meeting Maggie, our Hilltop leader, in our designated Games Room. Maggie talked through the Hilltop House rules and informed us of the itinerary for our stay. By this point, our tummies were rumbling, so we relaxed in the Games Room and indulged in our home-made packed lunches.
Soon after, we were layered up and heading off to our first (and most challenging) activity of the trip, 'Air Jump'. During this activity, we were leaping from up to an impressive 8m onto an inflatable air bag, ensuring that we landed in the correct position as shown by Harry, our second leader. In order to warm up, our next job was to scramble through cargo nets, make our way through hidden tunnels and rope-swing across the water-pit, as part of our second activity, the 'Assault Course'. To recover from the afternoon activities, we then returned to our Games Room where we busily played pool, table football and uno, while eagerly awaiting dinner.
Later that evening, we had the most wonderful time at the campfire, telling jokes, riddles and stories while enjoying a toasted marshmallow prepared for us by Dana. As we strolled back to our rooms, we gazed at the stars and were even fortunate enough to see a shooting star!! Lights were out by 9:30pm.
Despite an eventful night's sleep for most, we were up the next morning, ready to face even more challenges, however, first stop - breakfast! At 8:15am, we headed to the cafeteria and were treated to a wonderful variety of cereal, toast, fruit and a cooked breakfast!
With our tummies full, we were then ready to head to our first activity of the day, the 'Climbing Wall'. During this activity, the children worked well supporting and encouraging their friends to face their fear of heights and climb as high as possible. The children set their own targets using Hilltop's motto, 'Challenge By Choice' and showed courage to achieve them. A quick swap with the other group, meant it was then time to learn survival skills during our second activity of the day, 'Bushcraft'. We spent time gathering silver birch branches before learning how to light our own fire.
After a delightful lunch, we experienced an afternoon of, 'The Big Zipper' (giant zip-line) where we launched off the 'Hilltop', before posing in our best superhero positions on the way down. Later that afternoon, our Coton values were put to the test with, Team Games. Working on our communication, creativity and cooperation, we successfully crossed the 'pit' in the allocated time.
While awaiting dinner, we headed back to the Games Room where we purchased souvenirs and treats on offer at the gift shop and continued with a range of card and board games. Following another scrumptious dinner, it was time to complete, 'Next Stop', a navigation/orienteering task. The only catch was that it was in complete darkness! Much to the surprise of Mrs Baker and Miss Jarvis, there were no injuries! 🙂 Thank goodness for the torches!
After wearing ourselves out, and, as it was our final night, we headed back to the Games Room for a warm, soothing hot chocolate and some quiet games before bed - sleeping lions was certainly one of the teachers' favourites!
Following a much better night's sleep and our bodies full of energy from another delicious breakfast, we were ready to face our final day. Our morning began with us working on our aim and technique during, 'Archery' before braving the, 'Big Swing' where we were hoisted up to extreme heights and dropped with only a swing for support.
Our final afternoon saw us heading to the infamous 'Hilltop Tree-Top Trail'. Testing our balance, communication and courage, the trail saw us conquering our fear of heights as we clambered across stepping stones, crawled through tunnels and jumped over obstacles - all 10m+ in the air!
Feeling exhausted, we said our farewells and boarded the coach for, what turned out to be, a much quieter journey back to Coton! Overall, we had an AMAZING time.
I would like to take the time to thank Mrs Baker for accompanying the trip - the children loved having her there and she was simply fantastic! I would also like to thank the children; as I mentioned when we arrived back, they are a wonderful group whose behaviour was OUSTANDING! I could not be more proud of how well they represented our school. Finally, I would like to thank all of the parents for providing the children with the resources they needed to attend the trip.
Hilltop 2021 - a memory that will last a lifetime!