Benmore 2011

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Benmore 2011!

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Great memories!

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Benmore Day 5

My final post on the P5/6 page.  Sniff.  What an amazing time we all had!  Thank you to Miss McNicoll and P6 for letting me join with your class for the week at Benmore.  I really enjoyed working with you.  🙂

I took 181 photos of camp so I can’t upload them all, but I’ll pass them on to Miss McNicoll and I’m sure some will appear on your blog over the next few weeks.  Here are a few favourites out of many.  Sorry if you’re not included.  I’ve tried to put in a good selection.  Others will follow.

Mr Devereux

About to descend into "Cave X". Clearly terrified by the prospect...

Yes, that's me JUST squeezing through the narrow St Thomas's Passage. Only possible by breathing out, and shoving hard. This is where the children have the advantage.

Coming home on the ferry was a lovely surprise for us all.

We were all quite tired coming home.

Some of this group were pretty tired by the time they reached the top of the hill.

The girls' dorm at the end of the corridor was astonishingly tidy and organised. Emily's bedside table was even colour co-ordinated.

Later in the week Miss McNicoll opened a hair salon.

Everyone got a shot at belaying their friends - a very responsible job.

Pleased with the success of her hair salon, Miss McNicoll then opened a beauty parlour.

After a busy day's activity, there was the chance to chill out in the dorm.

Doesn't Miss McNicoll look cool?

Relaxing on the way home

Here we all are. What a great camp!

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Benmore Day 4 (part 1)

Mr Devereux

The sun smiled, the air was warm and the children were happy. Every day has been brilliant. Today was perfect.

This morning I did caving for the second time. Yesterday I managed to squeeze through the gap at the end of St Thomas’s passage head first. Today, I just couldn’t negotiate a route through the crack. It must have been the roast beef and Yorkshires from last night. In the end I fitted through feet first on my back. This unfortunately meant going through 4 inches of muddy water so I was very wet. At least I managed to get out! I also tried to break the speed record for the high ropes course by running it. It kept the belayer busy, anyway.

Enjoy the posts. Notice how the children seem to work in feet. What happened to all our work on the metric system? Oh dear. Number of words this evening: 2,500+. Gosh.

Food still seems to be pretty high on the P6 agenda judging by the latest comments. But so have the activities. As I type the building is shaking with the beat of the disco. Nearly there. Be prepared for stinky clothes. And lost socks. But very happy children.


Today was another amazing day. I had a great sleep. Once we got up we tidied up for the inspection. And we got a 10 so that was good. After that it was breakfast. I had toast and coco pops. After that we went on the gorge walk. That was really fun but you got very wet. Then it was lunch. We had soap and bread and biscuits and a coco bar. After that it was the ropes course. Whee!  That was extremely fun.


Today I received my 1st letter from my mum! I started crying when I read it. I really miss my mum, and my sister, and Leo (my horse). Today we went gorge walking. AHHHH! It was sooo wet. We were clambering up waterfalls and sliding down rocks with water gushing along them! Next it was the high ropes course. We had to climb up tall platforms and catch the bar! I think they were about 35 ft tall! I felt happy to accomplish my fear of heights!

Love Martha


It was our last day today and my group went to the high ropes course in the morning. It was very scary but I did it. In the afternoon we went canoeing and Mirran and Evie capsized. It was very funny. On the high ropes course we (me, Rebecca, Evie and Kara) went up to a podium (but Rebecca came down) and jumped down. It was very scary and high. Afterwards my group (Kara, Evie and Rebecca and me) went on the catwalk which is two logs about 10-15 apart and some staples in logs to climb on. The canoeing was quite good but my canoe (Kara, me and Rebecca) kept on going off course.


First thing we did was the rope course. It was really fun. We did the small rope course first (I was bad at it). Then we went on to the big rope course. It was more fun. My group went up a log then we went up to the ropes then we had to go along it then we went up to the vines and you had to go along that and then we jumped off. That was the best part. Then we did the canoeing. It was really fun and we got WET!!!


Last night we had a questions sheet and we had to find the answers. I worked with Connor and Liam and Jamie from a different school. When we went to bed we were chatting as usual. When we woke up I made my bed then had breakfast. I had a bacon roll then our first activity was caving. It was dark and cool. Then I had lunch. I had soup and a tuna roll. Our second activity was high ropes. It was so high up. When I got back I had a game of football then had tea. I had spaghetti bolognaise then for dessert I had peach crumble.


Today I woke up and was excited for the ropes course because I heard that it was fun, so we got ready for breakfast and it was bacon roll. YUMMY! So we went to the ropes course and we got to do the trapeze and monkey bars. Then we went for lunch and we had tomato and basil soup. Then we went to do canoeing at the end. I tried to get quartz out of the loch and me and Evie capsized. It was cold. Then we went home and had tea.


Today was one of the best days this week (probably the best). In the morning we went gorge walking. It started off quite easy, but then we found the keyhole. We had to squeeze through a small hole with a waterfall running through it. After that we found a massive puddle and jumped in. It was SOO cold. I was thinking about sprinting back and having a shower, and the worst was still to come! There was this big rock with a tiny passage like an underwater cave. I had never been so cold in all of my life! There was a big slide at the top that only worked when you made a dam and let the water floor.

The gorge was the best activity yet, but soon to be beaten by the Ropes…

First was the low ropes course which was a bit like an assault course a metre off the ground. The high ropes though were about 30m off the ground. It was REALLY scary, especially when 4 of us had to stand on a trapeze and do things like leaning backwards. As we got up, Mr Devereux soon knocked us all off, but I stayed on and laughed at them from the top. LOL. Well, that’s basically all that happened this week, so goodbye!

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Benmore Day 4 (part 2)


Today was amazing. I did the ropes course. First we went on the small one. That was ok but the big one was super. On the platform I was nearly at the top but I began to cry. So Scott lowered me down.

Then it was the second one which was the catwalk. IT WAS SCARY.

Then it was the caving. At the half-way point I needed to go to the toilet.

It’s the disco tonight.


Today we went caving. For lunch I had ketchup sandwich. Then I went on the ropes course. The trapeze was amazing to jump off. The Kyle fell off the trapeze. LOL. For tea I had spaghetti.


Today I really enjoyed the rope course. It was really high. I enjoyed the trapeze. At caving I went on a rope down a shaft. It was really fun. It’s my last night. I can’t wait to get home. Here are the things I’ve achieved:



surviving sleep deprivation


Today in the morning we went caving. It was really dark as my torch didn’t work. It was also sooo scary.

Today in the afternoon we went on the ropes course. We had to jump off a 60 foot high trapezium. Then we had to do big climb. There are 3 angels on my bed. Lots of love,



Mhairi’s wonderful quiz! It was soooooo fun. We had lots of questions like how many trees are in the redwood avenue?

The activity in the morning was the high ropes course. We did this after a breakfast of bacon rolls. It was YUM! The high ropes course was so fun. First we walked to the course then did the low ropes course which was lower than the high course. It had stuff like tyre swings, an imaginary Titanic boat, postman’s walk, monkey bars, rope swing and lots more. On the high ropes there was stuff like: a trapeze, a catwalk, a slopy thing, a hanging bar and other stuff. The catwalk was really fun. I did it with Morven belaying me and Scott (not in my class) helping me. I was doing ballet on the top of the catwalk because we were doing ballet with Scott and Mhairi! I really enjoyed it because I was really scared when I started.

For lunch it was yummy tomato soup with a ham roll. It was YUM! The second activity was canoeing. We all got very wet. Before we went we had to clean our waterproofs because none of us wanted them for canoeing!

The canoeing was down at Loch Eck. I was in a canoe with Morven and Rebecca (and me!) It was really fun. We were going really slow. We were in a two seater boat with 3 people so it was really hard! We had to collect plastic balls!

For tea it was spaghetti bolognaise! It was so yum! Then it was diaries then the DISCO!


Today we went caving in these big tunnels. My favourite tunnel was the Diddy Pit. It was really tight and fun!

Lunch was the same as usual. After lunch we went to the ropes course.

Me and Robbie did the trapeze. It was really fun. I was able to grab on.

For dinner I got spaghetti bolognaise. For dessert I got peach crumble.


Today I went gorge walking in the morning. It was the best activity so far. We got to jump in really deep water which was up to our waists.

We had lunch then went to the high ropes course which was the best overall. We went on the trapeze and everything. I really loved today and tonight it’s the disco.

Love Brigid


Today we went on the high ropes course and the canoeing!!! We went to the ropes course in the morning. We went with the instructors Jo and Scott who were both very fun to be around. We went on the small ropes course first to get the hang of it. We then went on the high ropes course where we did the catwalk. The catwalk is when you go on a harness and walk on long logs about 55 feet! We had to do dance moves! Then we did the trapeze which was on a platform about 35 feet! Me and Rebecca were on the platform and had to jump onto a bar in the air! It was very scary!!!

Then we did the canoeing which was fun and me and Mirran capsized! Mirran was looking at a crystal in the water when it tipped! Then we went swimming and my feet were like ice cubes. Then we came back and had tea and cake and then packed (I actually packed surprisingly neat!). Then we went down for dinner! Now we are going to the disco!

Evie x x x

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Benmore Day 4 (part 3)



Day four – our last day of activities, dun, dun, dun!

Bacon rolls this time for breakfast, as usual delicious.

First activity: high ropes course = awesome. We had to start on a lower course and the move on to the high one. We had to climb up a beam, get on to a very small platform, link arms with three other people and lean outwards. Scary.

Second activity: canoeing. A good activity and not supposed to be wet but still fun. It was Robbie, Andrew and me in a boat. At the end we got bored and just went in for a swim. Mistake. Really, really, really cold.

Today our evening activity is the disco. That comes right after this.


Today I woke up at the same time and by the same person, talking to Kyle. Our first activity was the high ropes course. It was AWESOME! Me, Robbie, Conal and Mirran were in a team and we all had to hold hands and lean back.

Then we had a shot of a really high course. Our second activity was canoeing. It was AWESOME! Evie and Mirran capsized. It was so funny! Then we were allowed to jump in the water. IT WAS FREEZING! (The coldest water I’ve EVER BEEN IN!) As 8.00 it’s the disco. I am NOT looking forward to this.


Last night we had a quiz for around the house. I went with Martha and Mirran and two people from another school. Their names were Emily and Melanie. We came joint second! In the morning we went gorge walking. You jump in to really deep puddles. There were about 2 ft deep! It had lots of climbing and getting wet. In the afternoon we did the high ropes course. I went on the trapeze with Brigid.

Then I went on another platform with Martha, Emily and Brigid. On this platform we all had to lean out. We had to trust each other a lot.

It was soooo tight and wobbly. It was soooooooooo scary.


Today was out last day and we went caving which was very scary! And we did the ropes course which was my favourite activity of the week. I went so high! But it was so scary. We are having the disco tonight and Miss McNicoll is doing our hair. For tea we had spaghetti bolognaise and I really enjoyed it because it’s one of my favourite meals!


Today we did the gorge walk. You started at a church then we walked up the gorge – then you slid back down the gorge. But the water was freezing. In the afternoon we did the ropes course. It was so scary. It was so scary. It was so high, me Connor, Dan and Mr Devereux fell off. See you tomorrow.


Today we did caving. It looked really scary and I panicked and turned back but it was actually reallay easy! I slipped through ‘the slot’ which is a small slot. I felt amazing after doing all the caves.

Then we idd high ropes course. It was so good. I climbed a 50 ft – 60 ft. trapeze. Then Saorise came up too. It was mega scary. In the end we missed the bar and had to be lowered down. After that I did the catwalk (a long plank), the postman’s walk (two ropes) and the vines (rope hoops dangling from a rope and a long metal bar to walk on). I managed all of them but they were scary (x100). I belayed Jemma on catwalk, postman’s walk, vines. It was very fun but also scary.


For breakfast we had a bacon sandwich (it was all right).

First activity was gorge walking. Gorge walking was amazing. We had to fit through a hole called the keyhole. We also jumped into massive puddles and slid down water slides.

The next activity was the rope course (the best yet). It was amazing. We jumped from a 60 ft drop onto a trapeze (obviously a harness).

We also went up this sloping log thing. It leant up to ropes to balance on.

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Benmore Day 3 (part 1)

Hello there,

Miss McNicoll and I have just finished typing up the Day 3 posts (two and a half thousand words of them!).  Because the school is having to run a tight ship with staffing while we’re away, there won’t be anyone free from now on to put all these comments onto individual posts, or upload any photos.  If we try to do it on the equipment at Benmore, we’ll be up all night, so we’ll just have to put everything on as two big posts.  Sorry about the lack of photos.  Miss McNicoll will make it up to you with some great stuff when she gets back.  So here we go…

Mr Devereux

We had another amazing day today. Everyone was really positive about their different activities. The group I joined today ALL managed to navigate the narrow St Thomas’s passage in the cave system which was a fantastic achievement. I managed to squeeze through too – just! I’ll pop up a photo for you to see how ‘just’ it was.

In the afternoon the group was so fast at the gorge walk, they got to do it in reverse and slide all the way down again, using the rocky channels as water slides. No group from Yester has done that before. Just don’t expect all the joggers to come home in one piece.

The weather has been really good today. And so have the children who have thrown themselves into everything – literally in the case of Loch Eck.

Everyone’s going to sleep well at night. But don’t tell them I thought so…or not yet anyway!

Everyone is being toptastic! We’re having a great time.


Today we went to a nice breakfast, which consisted of cereal and toast. Then we did an amazing forest walk; I learned lots about lichen and rotten vegetation. Then, in the afternoon we did climbing and abseiling. I climbed up a 50ft rock face then abseiled down it. Tomorrow we are doing the high ropes course and caving. The caving looks really hard, but I m sure I’ll manage it!


Last night we did a scavenger hunt. I worked with Andrew and Daniel to find lots of stuff! When I woke up this morning I made my bed then had sausages and beans for breakfast. Our first activity today was forest walk. I nearly fell down a hill, but Alan caught me! After that we had lunch- lentil soup and a tuna roll. This afternoon we went rock climbing and abseiling. It was awesome! When we got back I played football and made friends with a boy called Daniel. We had roast beef and fruit salad for tea which was delicious!


Day three started as usual with a delicious breakfast of toast, sausages and beans. After brekkie we set off to our first activity- caving. We climbed a hill before coming to the first of the caves. You had to be lowered down and then go along a narrow passage and up a ladder back into daylight. When we were in the second cave we went down an even narrower passage called the St Thomas passage. Our second activity of the day was definitely the wettest- gorge walking! We made our way up the gorge, climbing through waterfalls, going into and underneath them. From then on it was our usual routine on dinner, playing football and writing this…


This morning we woke up and went for breakfast. We had a room inspection and got 10/10! Then we went down to the common room and were told what we were doing for the day. Our group were doing caving in the morning and gorge walking in the afternoon. We headed off to collect our caving equipment and then set off in the mini bus. We got there and climbed up a hill, it was tiring! We got to the top and slid in through the gap to get through to another cave. Once we had eaten lunch, we went on the gorge walk. It was very cold! We had beef for dinner then spent some money in the tuck shop.


Today was amazing! We got up and did all of our chores then went for breakfast. I had coco pops then sausages with beans. This morning we went canoeing which was great fun. We got back just in time for lunch. We had lentil soup, bread and some biscuits. After lunch we went caving. I really enjoyed it but there was loads of spiders which I didn’t like so much! At dinner time I had Yorkshire puddings which were delicious!


Today we went on a forest walk, which was good fun. I had bread and apples for lunch today! In the afternoon we went rock climbing and abseiling. The rock face we abseiled down was 70ft! For dinner I had roast beef, which was delicious!


This morning went quite well. Stuart woke everyone up with his singing of ‘Fireflies’ and we started throwing basketballs at each other! Our first activity of the day was canoeing. Scott, Connor and I were in a three-man canoe, with Cara and Brigid in a two-man canoe and Martha and Emily in the other. We raced Cara and Brigid to the other side of the loch and won! Martha and Emily couldn’t really get the hang of the steering, so they were a bit behind (going round in circles).

After lunch we went caving in the Paper Caves. We crawled into this really small cave and then went through a tiny tunnel. I went last and all I could hear from the top was “SPIDER”. LOL. We had to scramble up a small cliff to get out and we had random conversations while we were waiting. We had an awesome game of football in free time which I’ll tell you more about tomorrow, but now I must go buy a weird slinky thing…


I was woken up this morning with Stuart singing Fireflies! (It was very annoying!) Then we got dressed and went down for breakfast. I had sausages and toast. After that we got dressed into clothes suitable for canoeing. When we got to Loch Eck, we got into the canoes and paddled across to the other side. It was great fun and fortunately we didn’t capsize! The afternoon activity was caving. I LOVED IT! The group were all scared of the spiders because they were huge!


Today we went on a forest walk. It was ok but not the most exciting activity we’ve done so far. We had sausages for breakfast today- they were lovely! Our second activity was very scary- rock climbing and abseiling. I was first to abseil down the 70ft rock face. I had coffee at snack time- it was lovely! In free time I went out to play football.

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Benmore Day 3 (part 2)


Last night after the tuck shop we did a night activity. We had to do a sort of scavenger hunt. We went in groups of 5. I was with Brigid, Ailsa, Morven, Jemma and me. Me and Brigid managed to get a bit lost. We had a list of things to find. Our groups decided to split up to count the trees in the redwood avenue. The path seemed to go for ever in the dark, and me and Brigid were getting very scared. At last we found our way back.

This morning we all woke up after a good night’s sleep. For breakfast we had sausages, baked beans and toast. It was very yum. My first activity was caving. I was a bit scared but it was fine. First we had to climb up a small hill and find the cave. It was a small cave but it was bigger than the second cave. We climbed in then got lowered down on a rope. We walked through the cave for about 15 minutes then found daylight! The second cave was called Diddy Pit because it was a small pit that had formed a cave by landslide. We had to go through a tiny slide and it was wet and rocky! That cave was very small.

When we got back it was lunch, lentil soup and a roll. After that it was gorge walk.

The gorge walk was sooooooooooooooooo wet. I slipped TWICE!! It was very slippery. Then when we were coming down I fell over AGAIN! I was wet, cold, bruised and COLD. FREEZING!

For tea it was roast beef, potato, Yorkshire puddings and carrots. Then it was diaries.


Today Stuart woke me up AGAIN singing Fireflies. For breakfast we had sausage and beans. Man, I feel like a king or something here! For our first activity it was caving. It was SOOOO FUN! The first cave had a small hole as the entrance and then Joe (our instructor) lowered us down a hole. It was quite scary, but it was AWESOME! I was second to get out the cave. The second cave was even MORE TIGHT! After lunch we went gorge walking. I was soaking wet. When we got back I was freezing.


Last night we had a music quiz. It was great fun. Me, Evie and Saorise were in a team. In the morning we went canoeing. Brigid and me were sharing a canoe. We were really good. We worked well as a team. In the afternoon we went caving. It was really muddy. We went through this crack called the letter box. It was very claustrophobic. It was really tight and then it opened up a bit. The letter box had loads of SPIDERS! AHHHHH!


Today was a packed day. In the morning we did canoeing. It was very fun. We went out to Loch Eck. No-one capsized or fell in. In the afternoon we went caving!! It was awesome. We went to the cave called the paper cave. The spiders were huge. Every day we have tea and cake. Today the cake was sponge. For tea we had roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. We have got one more activity later. PS Don’t embarrass me, please.


Today I went on the forest walk with a new instructor called Jill. We started off on a minibus and noticed that all the minibuses have different coloured writing on them. We went in a red one.

When we got to the car park we got to a really wee cave. After we explored we went in to the forest. We saw all the different plants and animals and we went through a massive bog . We got to a stream with a waterfall and we got our hair wet (a lot). We had a picnic with awesome hot chocolate. We finally got to the end of the trail but we got to go through a tiny tunnel with water through it. Me and Alan were the only ones to got through it. I got soaking.


Today we went caving and then gorge walking. We went caving first and I quite enjoyed it! I was worried that it would be scary, cold, wet and tight squeezed but it was fun! We went through a tunnel and then traipsed through muddy puddles. We went on a gorge walk which was very…COLD! We went through a waterfall and also climbed up them! I got a lot of water in my shoes. Me and Kara got very wet, but still had fun!  We got back and washed our shoes and waterproofs and then went up to our dorms! I had a great time!

See you soon,


x x x


Today in the morning we went on a forest walk. In the middle of the forest walk there is a massive mud puddle called the sticky mud puddle of doom. I got so muddy in it. Robin got so STUCK. We had hot choc at the top!!!

Today in the afternoon we went climbing and abseiling. We abseiled off a 25 metre cliff. IT WAS SCARY!!!

There are 3 and a half angels on my bed.

Lots of love, Saorise x/x

(Tomorrow I am doing caving in the morning and ropes course in the afternoon) (Don’t forget to write on the blog)


Today I went canoeing and caving. The cave was FULL of girl (and soot) scaring spiders! The canoe was was F-F-F-F-FREEZING.

Missing Leo sooo much.

Martha x x x


This morning I did canoeing with my group. Fortunately none of us fell in. I was in a canoe with Cara. We actually did pretty well! We canoed on the loch and went to the beachish thing on the other side. On the beachish thing we had hot juice. Yuck!

After lunch we went caving which was really scary. In the cave there were massive spiders.

When we got back we had tea which was roast dinner which surprisingly is my favourite. In all my spare time I mucked around with Morven, Ailsa, Jemma and Kara.


Today my group went caving and gorge walking. The caving was quite scary but it was really good. We went into two caves. The first one we had to get lowered down to the ground on harnesses. The second one we went up to a loft and went down a tunnel from the loft. After lunch we went gorge walking which was really good but it was quite cold. We went through the keyhole which is quite scary but fun. By accident I left my watch on but fortunately it didn’t get broken. We came back from gorge walking very wet and muddy. We got changed and then went downstairs to have tea and cake. The cake was very nice. After that we had free time and I spent most of it with Kara, Brigid, Ailsa, and Jemma. After free time it was dinner time which was Yorkshire pudding, roast beef, carrots and peas and salad and potatoes.


First thing we did was caving and we went down a cave that was quite far under the ground. We had so much fun walking about the cave and it was WET!! We went to 2 caves (the first one was better). Then we came back to have tea and cake (it was very nice). After the tea and cake we went to go gorge walking. We got very wet and my boots were full of water. We went up waterfalls and rocks. It was really good.


Today was fabulous. I did the caving and gorge walk.

The caving was great. These are my feelings I felt: scared, happy, stressed, excited, stuck, fantastic. OK, that’s a lot, I know.

DON’T get me started with the gorge walk. OK, I will. It is amazingly cold, fun, scary, adventurous.

There were lots of waterfalls and hard bits to climb.


I had a really good sleep last night, better than the first night. Today we had a nice breakfast. The food here is lovely! We went on the forest walk. It was okay. Our second activity was climbing and abseiling. It was really scary! But when I had done it, I felt proud! I thought I was going to fall but I didn’t. Tomorrow we are doing the high ropes course and caving! I am a little bit claustrophobic so might find it hard.

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