After school on Friday 18th September the Peer Mentors of Year 10 went to an outdoors activities centre called PGL. The aim of this trip was to be able to develop good listening and communication skills between each other, understand one another, and complete tasks using teamwork. It was an incredible experience where we had fun and learnt more things about our friends and teachers that we never imagined – whether it was that they were afraid of heights or slept with tons of pillows on their face. In these few days we simply enjoyed spending time with each other and improved our bonds between us.
We reached the site at about 6:30. After moving in and getting settled we all read Asr and left for dinner at the PGL dinner hall – which had amazing varieties of food. After that we read Maghrib and left for our first activity which was indoor dodgeball. You might be thinking that we play this at school anyway, but the experience of playing dodgeball at PGL was one of a kind. It was full of laughter and fun.
The next day, after breakfast, we went for our next activity: raft building. We were split up into 2 teams. First we decided on what our rafts would look like – the equipment we were given were ropes, barrels, and wood. We then built the rafts and in the process we learnt new things such as being organised while working as a team and new ways to tie things together using complex knots, but even then the first group to fall was that of Ms. Warner. Her group made a ‘chariot’ for her to sit on at the front using the barrels. One by one all of us fell in the cold water. Then the only raft there was Mrs. Shaheen’s group. Everyone bombarded their raft until it got so heavy that even that couldn’t handle the weight. Even though we didn’t play games on the rafts because they didn’t last that long we still had lots of fun in pulling each other in, and watching each other’s reactions to the cold water!
After that we had a shower, had lunch, prayed Zohar, and were put into two permanent groups. We had one session with two activities so when Mrs. Shaheen’s group went to the sensory trail, Ms. Warner’s group went to the high ropes. Then they swapped. The sensory trail was where we had to use our senses one at a time to identify things. For example, we used our hearing to identify who stole the keys from which direction with a blindfold. We also had to smell each others shoes and recognise which one was our own, which wasn’t very pleasant! After that, we were given blindfolds and told to hold one long rope, so we were one behind each other. It was really fun and enjoyable, and it seemed as though the teachers had a good laugh watching us bump into trees and treading on each others’ feet!
The High Ropes were activities in the sky. We were given a harness and helmet and had to walk on ropes and swing like Tarzan. Even if you were afraid of heights, you were assured that you were safe and secure, which encouraged you to go on. Zoya and Sajida did a PGL record of going all around 7 times non stop! After that we had dinner and went back to the dorms where we had time to freshen up and pray Asr. We visited the shop to buy souvenirs and treats. After that we had a quick game of football and read Maghrib while we watched the beautiful sunset. Then, the campfire: while the teachers and instructor made the fire, we were given a task. We were given a map of PGL which had numbers and flags of different countries around the world. We were split into teams of 4 and were given country names, and then we had to country with the right flag and go and look for the flags. When we came back, the campfire was ready. We shared scary stories and had food. Then, we returned to the dorms, prayed, packed our clothes and went to sleep.
The next day, on the Sunday morning, we went to breakfast and went to session 1 which included Zip Wire and Problem Solving. The teachers of the 2 groups were swapped over and everyone headed over to activity 1. The Zip Wire was really fun and exciting. It wasn’t too high. The wait was really long, but the actual activity was no more than 2 minutes. But even then, it was really exciting! Problem solving was when we had to go through the forest and do these puzzle that really racked our brains and made us think carefully! After that we had lunch, we prayed Zohar, and went for session 2 which included Quad biking and a challenge course.
The challenge course was a range of activities in mud, slime and dirty water. Euchhh! It was pretty disgusting but all worth it because now we have plenty of memories to carry with us. Quad biking was amazing! It was a one in a lifetime experiences and really strange to watch some of our friends in a totally different form! We then went to dinner and remembered that we only had an hour left at PGL. We didn’t want to go back. After dinner we went to the shop in caser anyone wanted to buy any last minute gifts or souvenirs. After that we changed our clothes and loaded our luggage on the coach. We then left PGL and came back to school.
PGL was an amazing place. We made lots of memories and had lots of laughs. We miss PGL!!!
– Written by Hafsa Qasim – Year 10
Aneesa Iqbal: “PGL was amazing!! We did so many fun activities that I had never done before. The whole trip gave me an adrenalin rush. Every day was packed with activities and there’s nothing better than spending your weekend out in nature with amazing friends. We also built great relationships with the teachers and learnt new stuff about one another.”
Saja Al-Jibouri: “PGL was a great experience for all of us. We had an amazing time, and we got to see the teachers in a new light, like Mrs Shaheen being EXTREMELY competitive, and Miss Warner getting hyper on sweets!”
Waddiyah Ahmed: “! Enjoyed the high rope course because it was very fun being so high up in the sky. You think you’re going to fall but you just end up hanging there.”
Aisha Alkali: “PGL was a great experience. I had the chance to do a lot of fun activities and I had a blast with everyone that was there. I would love to go back.”
Aqsa Umran: “PGL was great fun, and full of activities that I enjoyed. I would strongly recommend everyone to go in the future.”
Iffah Javid: “I had a really fun time and I’d do it again, but without falling over so much! It was great getting to know people in a new way. Especially what Mrs Shaheen would do to get a football back…”
Hafsa Qasim: “It was so much fun! Apart from the fact that I was pulled into mud because I had a mud race with Miss Warner in the challenge course and nearly drowned in raft building, I really enjoyed it! I’ll never forget the experience.”