Bathampton Scouts visit to PGL Liddington 2011

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This weekend was Bathampton Scouts annual visit to an adventure center. This year, for the first time, we went to the brand new PGL center in Liddington, outside Swindon.

We arrived, after fighting our way through the rush hour traffic, at the center at 5:30pm on Friday. We quickly put our kit in our rooms and met Kain, our groups instructor for the weekend. We then went down for a early dinner of which I chose Tuna pasta bake, chips and waffles in toffee sauce. We then went back up to our rooms and got appropriate kit on ready for a wide game called "ambush", were one team hid and had to ambush a hunting patrol before the hunters found them. This turned out to be quite interesting, especially the radio conversation between my patrol (Merlin's with Kain) and Ashley's patrol (Eagles with Simon and Hannah) in which there were a lot of lies given such as Hannah being halfway up a eucalyptus tree. We were confused even further after seeing two people who looked just like Simon and Hannah walking in the wrong direction. In the end we decided that it was a draw and at 10pm we went to our rooms for lights out at 10:30pm

The next morning, we woke up at 7:00am ready for inspection at 7:40am, which went well. We then went down for a breakfast of veggie sausages, scrambled eggs, baked beans and toast (there was also "normal" sausages and bacon) at 8:00am. We then went to our dedicated classroom for around minutes because we were early, Kain got giant twister for us.

We then went into the courtyard to meet our instructors, My patrol were doing abseiling first with Simon and Alex, and Ashley's patrol were doing areoball. We went off to the abseiling tower with our instructor - Andy, who tried and failed to get us to sing on the way.
Simon went first followed by Alex and then me down the abseiling tower. This was quite difficult due to the fact that the side of the tower was extremely wet, it had been raining all night, and was very slippery, Tom virtually slid down the entire tower. Unfortunately, the last person to go down the tower was very scared and therefore took quite a long time which meant that everyone only got one go :(

The abseiling tower
After our hour and a half of abseiling we then swapped with the Eagles and went onto areoball. In areoball there are four people on a trampoline which is divided into four. The outer netting of the trampoline has holes in it which the person opposite has to shoot the ball through - its a lot more fun than it sounds!
After swapping around a few times we had a grand final, Simon and Katie vs Me and Alex. Simon scored three points against me and Katie scored zero against Alex, Alex scored three against Katie and I scored seven against Simon making me and Alex the winners!
We then went inside to get changed for lunch at 12:15pm, I had a cheese slice but there was also traditional Cornish pasties and sausage rolls. We then got our kit for the next two activities our of our rooms and Kain managed to find a table tennis table to keep us entertained seeing that we were early again.

We went back out to the courtyard and met our instructor for Jacobs ladder. In Jacobs ladder your, and your team of two other people, have to climb as high as you can up a giant ladder made out of logs for rungs. Me, Tom and Ben made in to rung 5 with our arms over rung 6, we also got to belay the other teams, I was belaying Simon which I think scared him a bit!
Jacob's Ladder
Jacobs Ladder
We then swapped over with the other team (without taking off our harnesses to save time) and went to do climbing. Everyone (including me which absolutely amazed me) made it to the top of the climbing wall (except the person who was scared on abseiling), although I did take quite a long time and fell off a lot too. Alex on the other hand, who goes to climbing club at BCS, got up to the top in just 45seconds and Simon in just 1min 12secs! We then did some bouldering (seeing how well you can hold on to the climbing wall) and the person who didn't get to the top (and who Simon promised to make a patrol leader if they won because he was so confident they wouldn't) won!
Mount Everest Challenge training session
The climbing wall (we used the right hand side)

We then took off our harnesses and got changed out of our outdoor cloths for a dinner of breaded haddock and new potatoes, with a pudding of either waffles (which I had) or some sort of sponge cake.
We then went into our room and played some more twister before Kain took us to the tuck shop. Afterwards, the leaders gave the prize to the room that won inspection which was the girls room.
Everyone then went to the evening activity which was a disco for everyone on site. After being cornered by some scary guides, me and Alex decided that we'd rather do some cheese and wine tasting with the leaders (without the wine of course). When we got back the disco had almost finished and we found that the rest of the scouts had made a early escape just after us to the room with the table tennis.

We were then asked by Kain about various things that PGL could do to improve as part of our feedback. The leaders then decided to go to "the library" so I organised a indoor wide game of sardines from about 8:45 - 9:00pm - Kain also gave me the keys to the rooms which the leaders had asked for. After that, everyone went into the rooms that we were sleeping in until 10:00pm when I said they had to go back into their own rooms. Then at 10:30pm, as I was telling everyone to turn their lights out the leaders returned from "the library" and I went to bed.

The next morning we got up and were ready for 7:40am inspection again except for one of the rooms, when Simon went in to get them to hurry up, he found that they were still asleep - they automatically came last in inspection, We then went down to breakfast again and I had veggie sausages, hash browns (actually there was only one :( ) , spaghetti and toast.
We then got our kit on and went to the courtyard where we played splat whilst waiting for our instructor (Simon was first out every time)
Our instructor (Nicky) then arrived to take us to milk crates - where you stack (you guessed it) milk crates, to make the tallest tower possible. The people that aren't on the top of the tower are either belaying or passing the crates up and generally helping to build the tower. Me and Tom got up to a stack on 13 milk crates although a one point (I had Simon belaying for me), he yanked the rope so that I had to stand on my tiptoes and completely lost my sense of balance.
After we had cleared away the fallen milk crates we were praised by Nicky about how well we were at getting our harnesses on without help and generally making her not needed :)

We the swapped with the other group to do archery with another instructor called Emma, we played lots of games including, the pizza game and the cutlery game. We also played a game of penalty, archery style which Simon (the archery instructor) lost!

We then were taken back to the courtyard to meet Kain (who was late because he had cut his leg). We then got changed and had a lunch of Pizza and chips with a tomato soup which had way to many herbs in.

We then packed up everything that we wouldn't need for the rest of the afternoon and went downstairs for our next activity - fencing, which was great fun although it was boiling hot and the downstairs windows didn't open. I drew with Simon and Alex although the best bit was slapping Simon across the face with my glove to challenge him to a duel.

 We then swapped over and went to our last activity - Zip wire. When we arrived we were told to get our harnesses on immediately and as quickly as possible by the other group, while we did this we were told by the instructors that there was a record for the amount of goes in an afternoon session (3 hours) that a group got. The record was 97 and we were trying to beat it. The other group (in their 1hr 30min session) had got 48 goes (6 each), so we would have to have 50 goes (6 each and two people have 7) to beat the record. We soon had a swift operation and order, taking the rope back to the tower and having a personal pit team when you came to the end of the wire (we were going so fast that just before my 4th go my harness fell off but luckily there was time to fix it!) In the end, because it was only fair that we all got the same amount of goes, we got 7 goes each! Smashing the record up to 104 (I was 103)!

We then went back to meet Kain and spread the good news to the other patrol. We quickly put our uniforms on because we were a but late and were told that my room had won inspection and got a large bag of maltesers for winning. We then were dismissed, and went home.

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