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This weekend our boarders took part in the first Arran Challenge and Iona Adventure of the school year. The Arran House team took to the Union Canal and camped overnight near Edinburgh whilst the Iona girls headed to the borders for their camping and adventure experience.

Read on below for the full reports.

Arran Challenge 

On Saturday, the Arran family headed off on a Lothian bus to an urban outdoor centre, located alongside the Union Canal at Sighthill. After a few delays and some hearty singing on Princes Street, we arrived to be kitted out and briefed about the adventure ahead.

We were put into crews of three to paddle our canoes 5km along the Union canal to Ratho. This challenge was all about team work and everyone worked hard to ensure that they got to their destination efficiently; some great memories were made on this little expedition.

On arrival at Ratho we were greeted with delicious pizzas, fresh out of the pizza oven, and we enjoyed hot dogs too. After supper we pitched our tents and then sang songs and toasted marshmallows around the fire before hitting the hay for a well-deserved rest!

The following morning, we were up at the crack of dawn, and some early morning exercise helped us focus for the day ahead. We paddled back to Sighthill in great spirits and after a wonderful lunch of toasties and soup, we split into two groups, each taking part in paddle boarding and kayaking fun.

What a great shared experience! 

Iona Adventure

On Saturday afternoon we headed off on our Iona Adventure, which this time took us camping in the Scottish Borders. The girls did a good job of putting up their tents, with only some minor adjustments from staff required, then it was off to explore the campsite and play some football and rounders on the playing field. After a BBQ tea with burgers and hot dogs, we played some games in the covered area and then enjoyed toasting marshmallows and warming up with some hot chocolate before bed. Perhaps not the best night’s sleep was had by all, due to the weather being a little on the chilly side, but as one of the younger members of Iona said the next day with a smile on her face; ‘that’s camping life’!

On Sunday we packed up our tents and headed for some grass sledging. This was new to most of the girls and while some looked a little nervous at first, this was soon cast aside, and they were racing down the steeper slope – shrieking all the way! After a delicious lunch, we set off for an alpaca trek, where we were treated to some lovely views of the Cheviot Hills. The girls each got a box of carrots to feed the alpacas, before being paired up and introduced to their walking buddy. It was great fun and was good to hear some facts about alpacas as we walked. The girls were tested on their knowledge when we returned and prizes were awarded.

We returned to school in time for tea on Sunday having thoroughly enjoyed our adventure.