Once again the children in Year 6 took part in a residential visit to the Diocesan Youth Retreat Centre at Alton Castle in Staffordshire, as part of their continuing faith journey. The centre offers the children the opportunity of taking part in some really exciting outdoor activities whilst focusing on the wonder and awe of God's creation and how it impacts on their own faith.
Our arrival at the castle was greeted by glorious sunshine and we were all excited to begin our stay. The first day was a day for the children to take part in exciting activities that encouraged the whole group to get involved in trust games and work together as a team to solve problems. One of the children's favourite activities was a blindfolded walk, where they had to learn to trust a partner when their gift of sight was taken away by the blindfold. Our theme was 'Journeys', and each fun activity gave the children a chance to reflect on the days theme.
After the days activities, the children were eager to get to their rooms and have some free time. They were all very excited to be staying at the Castle. After a well earned dinner, the friendly castle team led the children in night time activities ranging from astronomy and bench-ball to meditations. It really was a fun and thought provoking day.
Over the next two days, the children had the opportunity to take part in three activities each. Biking was a firm favourite and called on the children's strength and courage to go off-road across fields and along a disused railway line. The final hill was very steep but they all managed to get back in time for tea! Other activities included Rock Climbing, Trekking, Adventure Course, Survival and Archery.
Each night, the children took part in night prayer; rooms were set to be peaceful and calm, with candles burning and quiet music playing. All the children were involved and eager to take part praying for their own families, friends and concerns.
Mass was the culmination of a wonderful few days where everyone involved had been touched, in some way, by the events which took place at the castle.
Our trip was a real success, and we are now putting our improved team work skills to use in school.
Can we go again... please!