Form 3 visit Bala

Last week, Form 3 went to Bala in North Wales from Monday to Friday. We left promptly after taking the annual whole school photo, so we could arrive there at 8pm, which was a suitable time… We arrived on schedule and set up. Whilst we weren’t camping, it wasn’t an all-inclusive experience either, and we had lots of roles and responsibilities. We got split into groups and retired to our dorms for the night.

The next day, we woke up for 7am and had breakfast before being briefed for our activities. That day, I had kayaking and paddleboarding in Bala Lake. The day was not too cold and relatively clear. Kayaking was good, and not too wet… The same can’t be said for paddleboarding, though. Whilst I (and all, bar one) fell in, it was great fun! You can actually see a photo of me falling in on the official Concord Twitter ha-ha. The next day, I had climbing and abseiling. It was hard work, but amazing. And the views were to die for! The Welsh landscape is beautiful, especially since we were in a National Park. Abseiling was so fun, and really was an adrenaline rush. It did rain, but we didn’t let that rain on our parade. That night, we had a competition to see which group could make something that would keep an egg intact when dropped. Our contraption had a parachute and cut-up paper bits for cushioning. We thought we were so original doing this (spoiler – we weren’t). But, the egg didn’t shatter, and that’s a win in our book.

The next day was our ‘choice day’, which meant we got to choose what activity we wanted to do. I chose to sail instead of canyoning, caving and mountain biking. The others sounded fun, but I love activities on the water. Sailing was fantastic, and the day was pretty perfect. The wind was good, and the lake was like a mirror. I wish I had my phone to take some photos. The wind subsided near the end, so I needed a tow to shore, but other than that, perfect. Later, we had a (surprisingly serious) LEGO competition in which we had to recreate a masterpiece. My group made a giant tower. We didn’t win, surprisingly enough!

Onto the final day. The entirety of Form 3 went to the lake (after packing, of course) and enjoyed various watersports. My group went canoeing. We got to go around the lake and saw the other groups too. I don’t think anyone capsized their canoe, but we did watch the other groups fall in, in their activities. We then did final checks, ate lunch and left.

Although we experienced no signal, cold weather and damp wetsuits over the course of the trip, these ‘lows’ could often change in an instant, and weren’t dealbreakers. This trip surpassed my expectations massively, and I had high hopes anyway! I know next year’s Form 3 students will love it, and thanks to everyone at the Rhos y Gwaliau centre and thanks to all the staff too.

Nathaniel – F3