Hinning House April 2019
Thursday 2nd May
Today has been our last full day of activities at Hinning House. Despite the light rain this morning, the weather soon brightened up and we made our way out for another morning of exploring. Charlie’s Chimps took part in the ‘Lost Walk’ and after Mrs Mills’ famous last words, “Don’t worry your group will make it back fine from here.” Of course, Mrs Davies’ group got lost on the easiest point of the trail and she had to run after them at full speed to try and stop them from walking all the way to Coniston! The Throw-do Boggins’ took part in the orienteering trail near to Birk’s Bridge. Mr Kruze nominated a leader and by the first checkpoint the whole group was hopelessly lost. After a short while, the group realised where they had gone wrong and swiftly made their way to checkpoint eight. However, that’s when things went from bad to worse! Mr Kruze met eight confused children and ‘helped’ them to find the right way. Nevertheless, they all ended up wandering deep in to the forest and through bog after bog until it was time to radio Joe to rescue them. Disaster. After refuelling for a quick lunch stop, we headed out to the nearby hamlet of Seathwaite to explore a beautifully quaint church and the mesmerising bluebell woods. Along our scenic walk Charlie told us lots of interesting facts about how the hamlet produced its own energy as well as stumbling across a huge ant colony and some baby newts. Just before the walk came to an end, we undertook a daring challenge (the best experience of the trip) which was to make our way under a large bolder, in to FREEZING cold water and out the other side. Sounds fun right? Nearly all the children gave it a really good go and some even went for a little swim in the icy water. Even though the children had soggy wellies and kit, just as we were getting near to the minibus Charlie gave the children the green light to jump into the river after crossing it on some stepping stones. It wasn’t long before the children were plunging into the water as if it was the middle of Summer. It was a great afternoon and one the children won’t be forgetting in a while. The children have organised their bags and bought their souvenirs ready for our journey back tomorrow. We managed to fit in a quick game of bingo and of course Mr Kruze won first prize (it wasn’t a fix). All in all, a fantastic last full day had by all! A few tired faces at the dinner table tonight… hoping for an early-ish night.
Wednesday 1st May
What is it about the boys who sleep in Harter Fell? Every year they are the last room to go to sleep and the first room up early in the morning. This morning was no different. At half six on the dot their dulcet tones could be heard reverberating around the upstairs corridor. Up, dressed and raring to take on the challenges the day had to offer. Everyone else was slightly slower out of the blocks but by 9.00am breakfast had been eaten, jobs completed and the children were sat in Cosy Corner listening to Charlie and Joe explain what our morning activities were.
Mr Kruze and Mrs Mills swapped groups for the morning to enable Mr Kruze to spend some time with the other half of his class. They undertook the Lone Journey with one group setting off from the house and making their way down the valley and up the fell to The Grandstand. It was a self-lost walk without incident which is totally unheard of in Lowton J & I history. In fact, when Mrs Mills and Mrs Davies returned from trying to get all 12 of their group in the same place at the same time after finishing the orienteering course (the phrase herding cats springs to mind) Mr Kruze was sat looking rather smug enjoying a cup of tea in the warmth of the house.
A delicious lunch of pizza and various salads was quickly devoured by the ravenous children – the afternoon’s activity was ghyll scrambling and anticipation was building! Mrs Davies had advised everyone to pack a swimming costume in the hope of being able to go in the river on a lovely warm evening. In the absence of any of these Harley decided he wasn’t going to waste the effort of packing them so duly donned his swimming shorts to scale Hard Knott Ghyll. Mrs Mills discovered him encouraging all the boys in his dormitory to put theirs on too as they were the best thing they could wear for “swimming” up a waterfall!! Mrs Davies felt rather overdressed in her waterproofs, jogging pants, t-shirt and fleece!
Tea was the best so far this week according to the children – chicken fajitas, savoury rice and salad followed by chocolate cake and chocolate sauce. Everyone was feeling a little tired after the day’s activities and full of delicious food so a quiet evening of indoor games and a quiz kept the children occupied.
As much as I hate to tempt fate the upstairs has been in total silence for the last 40 minutes, so an early night could be on the cards for us all. Good night, sleep tight x
Tuesday 30th April
“I’m a bit worried Mrs D – when I was just sorting my eyebrows and eyelashes out in the bathroom a couple of my eyelashes fell out”.
“Hold on – what do you mean, when you were sorting your eyebrows and eyelashes out?”
“Well I like to check my eyebrows and make sure they’re all straight and tidy and my eyelashes are all pointing in the right direction!”
Y5 boys are full of surprises J
Another very pleasant surprise was that the staff managed six hours sleep and some of the children even had to be woken up at 7.15am.
After an exceptionally hearty breakfast of cereal, fruit and yogurt followed by bacon rolls and finished off with toast and jam, it was a wonder anyone was able to get up from the table to complete morning jobs before the real fun of the day began.
Mrs Mills and her “Throwdo Bog-ins” set off to scale Border End where they were afforded fantastic views out to Irish Sea and Hardknott Roman Fort. They completed a “no hands” climbing challenge which was won by Emma C. Mrs Mills perfected the graceful art of sliding down the mountain on her backside much to the children’s amusement.
After a couple of abortive attempts to set off down the valley on mountain bikes Mr Kruze and Charlie’s Chimps finally left Mrs D behind to deliver bike lessons on a flat piece of grass by the river to two reluctant cyclists. On the way back through the fields Cameron somehow contrived to abandon his bike and by a “complete accident” jump into a five-foot-deep bog! Thankfully he managed to escape to live another day.
The afternoon saw the groups swap activities and Mrs Davies got to go further than 10 foot down the valley road on her mountain bike!
This evening the children have spent two hours running round the fields trying to locate aliens and remember their names and numbers for when they got back to the house. Mrs Mills and Mr Kruze employed every tactic they could think of to try and put them off their mission.
Everyone is now in bed and lights have just been switched off – will they sleep is the question? Does lightening ever strike twice??
Monday 29th April 2019
The journey was the most peaceful and uneventful trip Mrs Mills and Mrs Davies could remember. Normally we haven’t travelled the two miles down the East Lancs to the M6 before someone asks if we’re nearly there, however today there was just a low hum of chatter and excitement as we made our way up a very quiet M6. The coach was swapped for two minibuses at Grizbeck garage and the journey continued. Much to Mrs Davies’ disappointment there was no need for her to practise her rally skills on the way down the valley to the house as we had been provided with two minibus drivers.
After eating our picnic lunches the party set out to explore the woods and forests around the house. Given the lovely weather the staff fully expected not to have to use the drying room on their return. However, it was a very short lived expectation as the children undertook the bridge challenge. Jack was the first one in the river quickly followed by Katelyn, Jayden and Callum. The children in Mrs Mill’s group quickly decided that there was no point in messing around trying to complete the challenge so they all just jumped in anyway.
Tea was sausage, mash, veg and gravy followed by apple crumble and custard, the majority of the children somehow managed to fit in seconds of both. As did Mr Kruze who devoured six sausages before he admitted defeat.
After making beds and unpacking the children spent a fun-filled hour and a half completing the photo quiz in the fields around the centre. Much to Mrs Mills’ amazement some groups were coming back with the correct answers even though the objects in the photos were no longer there! It took a little while for Mrs Davies to work out that whilst one of the group engaged Mrs Mills in chatting about their next clue the other member was sneakily looking over her shoulder at the answers! This is one competitive group of children.
All the children are now in bed, whether they go to sleep soon or not is another matter. Hopefully it’ll be before 1am.