My class enjoyed a week of fun at PGL Marchants Hill after a long, stressful week of SATS. This is what I thought…
The Marchants Hill PGL centre is the closest camp to London but is still far from the busy, bustling atmosphere of the City. It is set beautifully on the edge of the Devil’s Punchbowl (a National Trust site) and has 45 acres of amazing activities.
|One of the chalets|
We stayed in Frensham Ponds – one of the old fashioned looking chalets in the middle of the centre. Our room was fairly basic. It had: three bunk beds with a large drawer underneath each one, six coat hangers, a toilet, a sink and a shower. The room was small for six people but there was enough space and we didn’t spend much time in it anyway. It was very clean and our only complaint was that it was hard to keep the shower water off the floor. However, this might have been because we were getting changed in there! Luckily, we were on the top floor of the building, but the bottom floor isn’t great to sleep in because the ceiling is thin and therefore you can hear everything going on upstairs.
To my surprise, the food at PGL was quite nice. I had to get the vegetarian options each day and I was impressed by the variety and quality of the food. On our first day, I had stuffed peppers for supper, which was a delicious treat. Although I adored lunch and supper, I did not like breakfast as much. The mushrooms were slimy, the hash browns were tasteless and the veggie sausages were simply vile. I dislike porridge and I cannot eat eggs, so I had toast with jam or cereal every single day. They were fine, but it was a bit of a shame to be only able to eat those out of all the different options. On my last day, they served Quorn sausages for breakfast which (obviously) were great. Another annoying thing about meal times was that there is no toilet in the dining room and you cannot leave until you have finished eating.
The instructors were all incredibly friendly, enthusiastic and optimistic. They were all fairly young yet they knew what they were doing. They cheered us on and sang songs to us as we walked to and from activities. The only time our instructor was not as cheerful as the rest was when it was hailing chunks of ice larger than peas!
Obviously, the activities at PGL were incredible and the best bits of our trip. They made up for the bad breakfasts, the early mornings and the terrible weather! My top four activities were…
|The Giant Swing|
- ORIENTEERING I always thought that orienteering was something extremely tedious and boring but I realise now that it is not. Our group got split up into teams and we had a competition to be the first team to find all of the markers. When we got there, we had to do a forfeit. It was very funny! I enjoyed it because it was such a challenge.
- THE GIANT SWING The Giant Swing is -as you can probably tell from the name- a giant swing! You are strapped onto a metal beam by a harness and are pulled to the top by the rest of your group. When you are at the top, you pull a cord behind you and suddenly you hurtle down to the ground at lighting speed! It is absolutely amazing and I had two goes…
- THE TRAPEZE I loved the trapeze because it was quite scary but really enjoyable. You put on a harness and climbed to the top of a wooden beam. Next you have to jump off and either hit a big red ball or hold onto a mini swing (depending on which trapeze you are on) I had to hit the ball. The best bit was being lowered down to the ground.
- THE HIKE We went on the hike for half a day and although it was tiring, it was amazing. We were told lots of stories about the Devil’s Punchbowl and although we doubted that all of them were true, it was a truly fascinating experience. We played lots of games, walked up lots of hills and collected things from the forest. However the best thing of all was the incredible scenery.