After a safe journey Year 5 arrived at Bushcraft, Cholmondeley Estate, Cheshire. There was much excitement as the children found out about their tribes and their tents. Tribes are the groups the children spend the day activities in, and their tent buddies are the ones the children chose together before they left. Alice, the Bushcraft leader, welcomed Blue Coat and introduced the tribe leaders. Then it was off deep into the forest to find camp.

The tribes got to hang out under their camp yurt, and after a safety briefing they went off to explore their new surroundings. Who knew that finding a stick to play with could be such fun? No need for an Xbox!

The first activity was laying a fire to cook lunch on – there were burgers of various sorts with fried potatoes and courgettes. Mr Ish was very proud of the Forest School skills the children were calling on! The tribes made flags and invented a song and dance routine before making shelters and lining them with soft bedding – some braved sleeping out under their shelters later that evening!

The next morning the first signs of life were heard around 6.30am but many children were still sound asleep when the breakfast gong sounded at 7.30am. After a hearty breakfast of pancakes with a hot berry compote and cinnamon sugar a busy day followed. Bushcraft first aid skills were taught and practised, whittling skills (making a wooden tent peg) and lots of games and singing.

Lunch was handmade pizza ably cooked in the wood fired pizza oven by Mr Nicklin and Miss Crews, or panassed salmon. Pannassing is a traditional way of cooking salmon over an open fire perfected by the native tribes of the North American plains. The salmon is de-boned, butterflied and cooked gently to produce the most wonderful flavour. A few brave souls volunteered for the now traditional Blue Coat Bushtucker trial and ate a salmon eye!

After stumbling across a light aircraft that has crashed with its passengers in danger, the children put their first aid skills to good use to evacuate the casualties to a safe distance from the smouldering wreckage of the aeroplane.

They enjoyed making survival bracelets and had fun playing wide games and spending some free time in their tents. Rishul and Jayden celebrated their birthdays in the outdoors, certainly a birthday they won’t forget!

On Thursday Mr Neeson called in to see the camp. The previous day’s activities continued but this time the Headmaster was playing the ‘victim’ in the air crash scenario – Survival SOS!

During a woodland walk the children learned to recognise an oak, ash, hazel and a few others too. The afternoon was given over to rehearsal for the piéce de resistance – the talent show of all talent shows – Bushcraft’s Got Talent! The tribes split off into their rehearsal glades to prepare for the evening. A special night under the stars was enjoyed by all as the tribes performed their songs, sketches, dance routines and jokes to the assembled throng – there is much laughter, cheering and applause.

The internet has not been on our side in tweeting and blogging but after all that is really the point of escaping to the outdoors so we hope parents will forgive us! The remainder of the photos and blogs are uploading as we speak and will be available on the trip site.

Get the hot water on and be ready to receive your children with home comforts as they return happy and tired this Friday evening.