On the 19th December 2016 twelve (Year 11) students and two staff attended a team building activity at Tanners Hatch Youth Hostel, near Dorking in Surrey. Tanners Hatch is an old cottage nearly a mile walk into the woods. There is no outside lighting and it has no wifi, television or phone reception.
Whilst there students learned to make their own beds in the dormitory style accommodation. They cooked an evening meal, breakfast and prepared drinks. They all took turns in washing up and cleaning.
The first day started with a very steep climb up Box Hill, Surrey to a fantastic viewpoint over the surrounding countryside. Whilst the low mist limited the view (and pictures) it certainly enhanced the feeling of walking through the clouds.
As the students hiked over 6 miles they completed various team challenges, fed some horses and used stepping stones to cross a river.
The students worked hard to collect wood for a campfire, toasting marsh mellows and drinking hot chocolate late into the evening.
Working together the students improved their communication, self-motivation and collaboration skills. By observing the strengths and weaknesses of the group, each student was able to reflect and gain a greater understanding of their own development needs. Sharing the accommodation with several other Youth hostellers they made great friends of people from different areas and ages, even chatting and making tea for a retired school teacher.
The next day, students completed a treasure hunt around Dorking Town centre. In small teams they identified various statues, features, gathered information and located Heritage Town trial plaques from maps and clues provided.
All students returned exhausted. They had greatly enjoyed meeting new people and shared some fantastic new experiences. Most importantly discovering a little more about their fellow students and themselves.