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!)