On Tuesday the 12th of September, with the Junior Certificate results still looming, the Syntax group of 2017/18 set out on their Outdoor Education Trip to Rostrevor, Co. Down. Julian Jimenez Ospina was there for ‘Clongowes Digest’…
Starting with a splash
Having arrived in Rostrevor, we split into groups and were pitched straight into the activities. Our team drove down to the beach where we got changed into wetsuits for some kayaking. We had great fun in, on (and out of) the kayaks. Then we raced the boats back to shore where we went on the banana boat. One of the instructors drove a jet ski which pulled the boat along the water and the five people had to hold on tight as, every time the jet ski turned, we had to lean in the same direction or else we’d fall. Back ashore we walked down to the pier where we jumped into the water from a wall. People did forward-flips and dive-bombed. It was lovely sleeping in the warm and cosy room that night, knowing that the next day, we might not be so lucky…
Frisbee Golf, Exam Resuts and Camping
The first activity for our group on day two was frisbee golf, which involved throwing a frisbee so that it fell into a metal basket. We then progressed to the driving range for the real thing. Back at the hostel, we had lunch and then gathered in the common room to receive our Junior Cert results. Each of us found a private space to open the letters before going out to the top of the hill to (for reception) to call home.
Most people were happy with their results and there was an excited chatter as we prepared to go camping. Pitching the four-man tents involved a lot of teamwork because they were big. We then collected firewood, got a fire going and had dinner – a lovely stew – beside the fire (with enough for seconds!). We all had a good time talking around the fire and putting marshmallows over it. After a short night hike (in very muddy conditions), we had some supper, retired and soon fell into a deep sleep.
Next day we had some breakfast al fresco, left the tents ready for the next group and headed back to the hostel. After lunch we got wetsuits and made our way to the rivermouth, where we lay down in the fast-moving part to get some water in our wetsuits to keep us warm and then we began our river ascent. As we made our ways upstream, we backflipped, pencil dived and dive bombed. It was great fun and that night, we enjoyed a warm and peaceful night’s sleep.
Learning the Ropes and Teamwork
We had a go on the zipline on our last day, after which we did some rope climbing. The challenge was to climb up the rope, go across a high rope and back down. The next thing was team building. The hard part was when we had to solve a puzzle as a group and then complete it in one minute.
After lunch, the clean-up began then we got on the buses and drove back to Clongowes. We had had one of the best experiences together and we truly enjoyed it. Thanks to Mr O’Donoghue, Mr McCormack and all the staff for a great trip.
If only we could go back next year…
Julian Jimenez Ospina