What a brilliant time we all had at Lockerbrook, including amazing weather. The Wednesday morning started with the luggage being loaded up, photos taken and collecting our packed lunch. Any anxieties had soon gone and we were excited about what adventures lay ahead
Lockerbrook is approximately half way between Sheffield and Glossop. It is an outdoor centre owned by the Woodfolk Trust and provides full board accommodation and outdoor activities to groups.
Lockerbrook Farm where we stay is actually a mile away from the main road along an extremely bumpy track that is littered with potholes and sheep wandering lazily around. The site is set up on a large hill and its panoramic views are breathtaking. Way down below in the valley you can see Derwent reservoir.
It’s not long before we are all settled into our rooms with our beds made and our luggage stowed away in corners. Teddies, torches and pyjamas are all set out ready for the night ahead. The first job of the afternoon is to get us all into three groups.
Then over the next few days in our groups we rotate the activities, so that everybody gets to do everything eventually! There was crate stacking, which is a very exciting team building activity where 2 children in harnesses are supported by their peers to build a crate stack while they are standing on the crates! The pair to stand on the most crates were the winners. Fourteen crates high was the record, a super achievement from those who managed it without their legs turning to jelly!
‘Weaseling’ took us off site where there were more stunning views and lots of fantastic challenges. We pretended to be weasels by clambering over, under and through massive rocks! Some of the spaces to crawl through were really quite tiny. We also went rock hopping, leaping from rock to rock without touching the ground.
The final activity was caving in Giant’s Cavern, which was just on the other side of Castleton. We wore protective suits and helmets, each with its own head torch. Going inside the cave isn’t for the fainthearted, it took courage and bravery, with a sprinkling of determination. Every Brabyns child excelled in this area and thoroughly enjoyed the new experiences of total darkness, meters below the earth and ‘worm holing’ through very tight spaces.
Evenings were spent having scrumptious meals, which were made by Eric the resident chef and his sister Rita. We then had an opportunity to have showers and then have some time in our rooms. We then played team games, gave out awards, lit a bonfire in a fire pit, toasted marshmallows and drank hot chocolate before it was lights out and sleep time. As you will all know by now, when there are 29 very excited children on a residential holiday…..sleep is the last thing on their minds!! The second night was bliss as all the children were so exhausted they slept like hibernating bears!
Our final day was just as much fun as the other two days had been. We packed our bags and vacated our rooms, leaving them as tidy as when we first arrived. We then paired up and played ‘Blindfold Challenge’ in the top forest. One child wore two blindfolds as the other gave instructions to help them successfully complete a course. They then swapped over and carried out a different set of challenges.
The final activity was a long walk through the forest down to the reservoir. We ate our lunch under a huge tree, we then tried to achieve our target of skimming stones, so that we could tick that off on our ‘101 Things to Achieve Before Leaving Brabyns’. Some of us need to work on this particular skill, but it was still fun trying! Eating ice lollies was the next important mission on our agenda, before climbing back up the steep hill to Lockerbrook.
All said and done, it was a fantastic trip and every one of us got a lot out of the experience and the chance to engage in such a wonderful opportunity.
View photos from the Year 3 & 4 Lockerbrook Residential here
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