Letting go!

This post is a light-hearted offering for the  Writing Workshop set up by Josie The prompt is :- Describe a ‘letting go’ that made you happy, rather than sad.

I was one of 3 teachers accompanying a group of 10 year olds on a weeklong camp. We were staying in the Forest of Dean & it was the beginning of the school year in September.  As a school we would use it to bond the year group so that back at school they had a sense of identity & belonging. Although this was their last year of primary school, being the top of the school often heralded lots of hormonal angst & ‘Kevin’ like behaviour amongst the children. Having a good camp could make the difference to the year as a whole.

For many of the children, it was their first experience of being away from home. There were tears & nerves for the first day but gradually they got used to the routines & began to enjoy the activities. They would range from rambles / nature watch in the forest/trips  to ‘team building’ type things like building a raft to cross a river or negotiating an obstacle course that needed support from other people. These were designed to build confidence as well as relationships & some really tested that ‘Have a Go’ gene we all have. Staff were encouraged to join in as much as possible. It was turning out to be a very pleasant experience & as the days passed, the children came to realise that Miss would always have a go. That was providing she wasn’t too big or heavy!! I even got on a horse & allowed it to move!

One of the favourite things was the ‘Death Slide’. You’ll have seen them on the adverts for the TA I’m sure. It involves climbing a tower, hooking yourself onto a wire & sliding down to the ground. There was a slot each evening when the children could do this. By the last evening it was pointed out that I hadn’t been on the Death Slide yet. My colleagues had, apart from one who was never around at that time (I wonder where he went?). I must admit to being nervous from the start. The harness was ‘a bit comfy’ to say the least!

I knew as I climbed up this tower (I’m sure they have one just like it in Paris with a point on it!) that this was not a good idea. Suddenly I discovered that I had this terrible fear of heights! Once at the top (children all cheering) I had to clip the harness onto the wire. My hands were shaking so much I just couldn’t get the darn thing on. All the while the pounding of my heart was becoming more deafening! All the time the children were shouting louder! I tried to go back down but there was a queue behind me (isn’t there always!).

So…I had to go. I closed my eyes, screamed my head off, slipped off the edge  & flew for what felt like hours! By the time I ‘landed’ the tears were flooding down my face & the children were congratulating me on my yelling. It was an experience that I have never & will never do again but goodness I was so happy to let go!

(No, that is not a picture of me – she’s smiling!)

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  • go you because I don’t think I could do that *looks impressed* Thanks for joining in Blog Gems. Jen

  • Good for you! I’d have felt the same way! I don’t want to miss out on any experiences, but they would nonetheless terrify me! =) Stopping by from Blog Gems.

  • Clever idea for Blog Gems! I did something similar on an Outward Bound course – though I took 20 minutes to pluck up the courage to ‘let go’!

  • Hee hee good for you.

    I’m a bit of freak and love things like that. The higher the better! I bet you felt like you were flying 😉

    • I’ve always been a woss! Never went on anything that moved at the fairapart from ‘Hook-a-Duck’! My son once wanted to go on a small Big Wheel. I had to ask a couple queuing to take him!!

  • You’re an adventurous one anyway! Just scream – it helps!

  • Ooh, you are brave. I’ve managed to avoid one of those things so far in life, but I suspect that sometime in the future I’ll be dragged onto one by the children.

  • Don’t apologise! It was meant to make you smile. These things always look so simple don’t they!!

  • I’m sorry – I laughed.

    I laughed because I was so glad I wasn’t on that harness! The worst similar thing I did was at a theme park, I sat on a sofa like attraction that was dragged up God knows how many feet and dropped.

    I have never suffered so much in my life and like you I will NEVER do it again. EVER.
    Nice memory 🙂

  • Oh I feel for you! Been there, at the top of an abseiling tower with a lot of y6 at the bottom! Sadistic instructor pushed me off! I loved it and went back up for another go but, oh the pressure! Honestly, the things teachers have to do! Well done you, I really enjoyed this post it made me laugh out loud!

    • Glad it brought a smile! I blush when I think of some of the things I’ve done all in the cause of educating(I mean entertaining) children!

  • Paula

    LOL Julia, you poor thing! Kudos to you for doing it though…..tears could easily be put down to the wind caused by the g-force trajectory!


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