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G4 Tonglu Trip

School News June 15, 2019
G4 Tonglu Trip

Grade 4 have just returned from an exciting trip to Tonglu. 

Before we set off, we gathered at the school and having followed the packing list carefully, everyone was prepared for the fun few days ahead. After a briefing from Mr. Jacobs about the rules and expectations of the trip, everyone was told which groups they would be in for their activities through the week.

The children boarded the buses to start the four-and-a-half-hour trip to Tonglu. After a couple of rest stops and eating a snack box, we arrived in Tonglu in the afternoon. Lunch was provided as soon as we arrived, which was  a welcome sight after our long journey! We were then introduced to our guides from Indier who would be looking after us for the next three days; the rest of the afternoon was spent getting to know our guides and playing a variety of team building games.

Having returned to the hotel at 5.30pm, children were given a briefing about expectations and rules when in the hotel, before dinner. There was a schedule of team meetings to discuss plans for the following day, before some free time in rooms, then lights out at 9pm.

The next morning, we all rose early, at 6am, eagerly anticipating our day of abseiling, hiking and caving. After making beds, cleaning rooms, and packing day bags, breakfast was served- a hearty spread of cereal, noodles, eggs and toast, to provide valuable energy for the coming day. Before departing, all children made their own packed lunches comprising of sandwiches, fruit and crisps. Each group then departed for different activities.

The first group worked on their compass reading skills, being tasked with finding different clues around the campsite; a challenge which proved to be more difficult for some than for others!

The abseiling group were all very brave; after a safety talk and the donning of all the essential safety equipment, they scaled rocks and peaks, before abseiling down a rock face. A fantastic experience for all, if not a little scary!

On the eco-hike, the children learnt about different types of insects and rocks in the local area, with some incredible views of the local scenery being taken in!

The final activity was caving, where all the children put on helmets and headtorches, before making their way through different passages in the cave system nearby. Some children had to overcome their fears of making their way through the dark passages and tight corners, but all did fantastically well.

Back at the campsite, children set up their own tents and cooked their own dinner of spaghetti bolognese on the camp stove, a novel experience for many of the children.

After an action-packed day, the children were understandably excited by their first night camping! Many woke up with the daylight and some even before, in order to pack up the campsite. After a hearty camp breakfast, we set off to Daqi Shan National Park for a hike up into the hills. The children enjoyed the waterfalls, rope bridge climbing, and steppingstones across the river.

Our group leaders held a final meeting with their groups. They all agreed that the children had learnt valuable skills over the past three days: the importance of working together as a team and encouraging your teammates.

At the end of the hike, we were all treated to some delicious pizza, which we enjoyed on the bus on the way home! Reflecting on our adventure, I think it can be said that the children faced new challenges, dealt with difficulties and conquered fears. They learnt about teamwork and adapting to your environment regardless of discomforts. Overall, a very successful, character building experience for all involved!