Hey, guys, I’m currently sitting in a small room, in a sort-of-caravan like style room, but with multiple separate living spaces for people – dorm rooms at a maximum size of 1o people.
(This is written over several days, including after I go home, so yes, the tense does change in the middle of this)
This is one of 9 Kingswood Facilities located in the UK (+1 in France), Dukeshouse Wood, Hexham. They are an adventure site for students & children, where you do activities such as zip wire, fencing & climbing.
The site is full of different activities such as rock climbing, zip wire, and a 3G Swing. We’ve been doing 7 activities a day, so this week has been extremely exhausting and demanding on me, but I would do it all again if I could.
Monday was the travel day, and even though the Coach was 5 hours long (And ended up 6 hours because of a road closure), it went much faster than what I thought it was going to go.
After the Coach, we were instantly put into the first of the activities. Fencing… Fencing was interesting because both I & my partner weren’t great at it, but it was a good bit of fun.
The rope activities then started, first one being AJB. This included climbing up to a high platform, then travelling across a seesaw, then jumping down in the harness for the first time.
Tuesday started with Indoor rock climbing, first up the wall like normal, then bouldering afterwards. I failed at literally all of it.
We then went on to the Nightline, where we got muddy, but surprisingly not too muddy, thankfully it hadn’t rained for quite a few days (It poured on Wednesday, we are all glad we did it on Tuesday), and so after nearly 45 minutes of walking around this tiny area, we completed that.
We then moved onto problem-solving, which is where our newly formed team started to come together. We created pyramids from balls joined together, had to cross an imaginary river with two unstable planks, and other random challenges.
We then moved onto what was definitely the most demanding of the activities from the whole week, Jacobs Ladder. The ladder steps get increasingly far apart, until the only way to get up is for your partner to help you to do it, which in turn creates a very challenging activity, which has by the time I’d reached the halfway point, I & my partner were exhausted.
Wednesday started with the leap of faith, and I doubted I’d be able to achieve it, I managed to pick up the courage and reached the top and managed to jump and reach the bar at hanging in front.
We spent two hours completing Bushcraft fire lighting, which was a lot of fun, being able to have a good break around the fire, while also learning what types of sticks you’d want for the fire, and collecting them, and then simply enjoying the fire we had produced.
The best thing about Thursday was definitely the 3G swing, having never had to do it before, and the rush of being dropped, and then the relief the swing is amazing.
We also made shelter & tools in bushcraft, learning how to use a knife to make the tools, and how best to protect a shelter from the outside… Ours wasn’t the greatest, but it looked nice!
We also did one of my childhood favourite activities, Zip wire, which actually turns out to be not as scary as I’d made it out then, either because I’d been up in the air all week, or simply because I’ve grown up since doing it at Pontins at 13!
We still had two more activities on leaving day, one called environmental art, where you quite simply make art out of things around us, which we made a 3g swing, which was the activity which all of our team reached the top without fail, so it was a good image to show how we had all overcome our fears.
The final activity was Abseiling, which I did twice, and would have done again if we had time, the feeling of coming down a wall sideways is so cool!
On the way home, there was a crash on the M6, so our 5 hour Coach journey (Already long enough as is!), ended up 7 hours, we ended up arriving at 7 pm, ready for a good few days off before heading to Chester Uni, for the second week of NCS!
– Thomas Robinson