With some super support from Mr Grafton and his colleagues, we made our way from Hedge End to Poole via Eastleigh (and an unexpected detour to Southampton Airport for Mr Hayman) by train, arriving at Poole Railway Station at around lunchtime. When doing our risk assessments, Mr Cownie and I reckoned that it would take about 30 minutes to reach the quay. However, our wonderful children responded very well to the challenge of making their way through Poole and we managed the trek - laden down with all of our bags and provisions - in under 10 minutes flat. After a quick toilet stop, a spot of lunch and a clamber on a bit of modern art, we boarded our ferry to Brownsea Island. The boat ride gave our children a super view of Brownsea Island and Poole Harbour and we were all very excited by the time we got the our destination.
While Miss Halton marched our children through the island to our lodgings, Ella and I made our way there in the front of an old Land Rover, with all of our bags and belongings in the back. The children - and particularly the staff - were amazed when they saw our home for the next week. The view from the lodge was simply stunning. Indeed, Mrs Watson was speechless! After unpacking, setting up the tents, a quick maths trail challenge in the large field and a chat about the rules for the week, we sat down to a splendid dinner of Spaghetti Bolognese and garlic bread.
As the sun set, we ventured out for a walk to the famous scout camp and stone, wandered past a small lagoon, spotted some deer and made our way back to the lodge along the beach. With the moon and the stars twinkling above us, it was the perfect end to a brilliant first day away - and the first night of any residential I can remember where none of the children seemed homesick whatsoever (I am amazed!)
A story (and some of Mrs Andrews famous cookies) was followed by a quick wash and a brush of teeth (for some children a new experience!) and it was bedtime. Five intrepid children camped outside in a large 6-man tent (with Mr Hayman relegated to a tent too - but, thankfully, his own personal tent!) while the rest of the adults and children bunked indoors. I use the word 'bunk' advisedly as not a great deal of sleep was had by anyone! However, with archery, low ropes, orienteering and survival skills on the menu for today, I feel sure we'll all be tired out by nightfall!
Roll on Tuesday...!