Upper Sixth conquer the Peak District


It’s been an epic week in the Peak District with the Upper Sixth. Full of fun and challenge. Many boys conquered their fears in a wide range of various outdoor activities, learned new skills and made some lasting memories. We stayed in the Hathersage YHA, which was perfect for our needs and put up with us with good grace. The boys in general behaved well and apart from a few boys who were sadly ill on day three, most participated in the events.

Day one was a travel day. Day two was a big hike. There were grumbles at the start as raindrops fell but the boys soon got it into and despite a very wet day, spirits soared. Over 30 Bruern boys “treated” the Derbyshire hills to renditions of Jerusalem. The “crack of doom” challenge of squeezing through a long, narrow rock formation galvanised the troops further and Mr Bedwell excelled himself with some mountain-goat-like fell-running to catch up with the group.

Day three was canoeing and raft-building on a lovely, local lake. The weather was great for most of the day apart from a midday downpour and the boys loved the fun games on the water, especially world domination and the tennis ball challenge. Not all the boys’ rafts passed the lift or float test. There were some comedy moments as barrels and ropes loosened and crafts collapsed in the water, leaving boys giggling hysterically in the water and scratching their heads as to how they might modify their designs to improve buoyancy.

Mr Banbury was everyone’s consultant nautical engineer, and his knowledge of knots and physics really came into their own.

Day four started with climbing. There were three routes of varying difficulty, and the boys gave it a good go. Alex DT was especially agile. Abseiling was a mental challenge and for some, the idea of leaning backwards over a cliff and trusting a complete stranger was too much! For others, it proved a great challenge and Noah B. faced his demons and managed to get down, albeit with bruised knuckles. Perhaps one of the most successful activities was gorge walking. Getting a gaggle of Bruern boys into wetsuits was quite something and after the torturous “walk of whinge” down in all the gear, it was a relief to cool off in the cool water.

The boys loved it. Climbing up waterfalls, jumping into pools…it was really fun.

Day five started with Theo T’s birthday celebrations. Thanks to Mr Wagstaff for supplying lots of birthday goodies! By the time you read this, the Bruern massive will have travelled back and be ready for a weekend of rest and recuperation after a fun-filled, exhausting week!

A big thank you to the excellent instructors, especially the comedic Mr Bing Bong diddly doddly Smith and to the staff on the trip: Mr Banbury, Mr Bedwell, Mr Wagstaff and Mr Overend.