Rachel Chua

Posted date: 05:18PM May 25, 2013.

Project Kepplewray

Hi!

I know I’ve gone MIA for a while now but its only because I went backpacking around Europe for a month covering 11 countries and 17 cities. Yes, it was an amazing experience but I’ll leave that topic for a later post.

In this post, I’m going to talk about one of the main perks of being an international business student in UOB. I’d like to call it, Project Kepplewray. See, when IB-ers head over to the UK, our course coordinators have this teambuilding camp all planned out for us. Hey, don’t get put off when you read the word ‘teambuilding’. I know, we have this stereotype where team building involves the typical icebreaking games and whatnot. It gets boring and repetitive when you’ve attended like, 1001 camps. I KNOW. But trust me, I kid you not when I say “No, its not a typical icebreaking camp. In fact its friggin awesome!”.

 

Kepplewray is an outdoor activity centre located at the lake district which is about a 3 hour coach ride away from Birmingham (the nearest train station is Foxfield). What UOB organized for us was a 5-day camp consisting of… Yeah, you’ve probably guessed it. Outdoor activities! Yay! Now now, for those who think “What? Outdoor activities? Pfftt! I cant do it!”. Trust me, you can, even if you cant, your group mates will constantly give you moral support and you’re gonna have a blast! For the rest of this post, I’ll skim through our daily activities to give you a glimpse of what happened.

 

Day 1

We were divided into groups. My team was awesome, of course ;). We called ourselves “Camaraderie”, which meant comradeship. Right after that we were thrown into our first competitive activity which comprised of a few obstacle courses. To name a few;

 

outdoor archery,

 

wall abseiling,

 

 

tree climbing,

 

After that we had dinner, chilled and rest up for the next day. 

 

Typical meals we had during the camp.  

 

Day 2

My team was assigned to hike up a mountain called the Old man of Coniston. It is the highest point in the Furness Fells and the 12th most prominent mountain in England. I’m glad we got to go to the old man as its view was amazingly breath taking.

 

Whilst hiking along the paths, you get to see loads of sheep, live… and dead ones.

 

Slate mining activities were carried out for a few centuries there, so you can easily spot the residue and remains along these paths as well.

 

 

Our guide, Chris, was the best guide any team could have. Kind, gentle and extremely knowledgeable, he’d explain to us how to distinguish between different breeds of sheep, birds, or how the shepherd guides his dogs to herd their sheep on the mountains. He would also deliberately lead us off the main paths to explore parts of Old man like showing us a copper cave and crossing rivers.

  

I believe we got the best out of everything.

  

Because this year was the coldest winter the UK has experienced since about a century ago, the peak was still covered in snow. Thus, we only managed to hike ¾ of the way we initially set out to achieve. Nonetheless, we managed to hike up to the half frozen lake and had our lunch there.

 

 

Me being typically mischievous and photo-bombing people whenever i can. (photo by Doris).

Overall, the hike tested our endurance and teamwork, in which Chris was very pleased with because we displayed great team spirit (Duh!). Sam, you were great! ;)

 

Time taken for the entire hike up and back.  

Day 3

My team went canoeing. We had two canoes strapped together, 5 pax per team. The weather that day was absolutely wonderful. My only regret, I did not bring my DSLR nor my phone. Smart move Rach. I was moaning about it the entire time. Fret not! There will still be photos, thanks to Doris Ng. (All photos you see here from this day are from her!)

 

Communication, teamwork, timing are all essential for (somewhat) smooth sailing. The challenge was very doable. The entire route is broken up to many parts involving a lot of short breaks.


Somewhere in the middle, our guides had us play a game. They would randomly throw rubber toys into the water and we all had to gather as many toys as we could. Sounds easy? Nope, we had to pick them up with our paddles. Sounds ok? Nope, these guides were asses! They'd snatch your toys and throw em to the other corner. The game commenced on the count of the guide, and it was all crash and burn. Haha. Good times really. Everyone was either desperately paddling hard or screaming at each other. It was hilarious! Not to mention the act of saboing was constantly happening. Things got very wet after that. If you know what I mean ;) After the game, there was more paddling.

 

We parked our canoes at a swamp to have lunch. We ate on our canoes while a curious hungry swan swam around us trying to get food.

 

In total, we paddle for 2 ½ hours.

 

Day 4

My team went abseiling and ghyll scrambling. It was raining that morning. Shitty weather really. But our activities carried on nonetheless. Firstly we had to hike to a cliff for about 40 mins to reach our destination.

 

 

 

It took a while for everyone to climb over, so why not take a photo? Ha.  

Like i mentioned, shitty weather. It was still raining :/

 

We were given 2 options, to abseil down a 25m cliff or a 45m cliff. I obviously opted the higher one. I soon came to regret it when it was my turn. After being strapped on and hanging off the edge of the cliff, I did what every curious person does. I looked down. Holy ****! I felt my insides shriveled up like a prune! Guys, trust me. Letting go is ALWAYS the hardest part. I stood there for a good 2 seconds before letting go of the rope. Then I did the next stupid thing; I fell towards a really narrow edge. I gripped the rope which broke my fall (there’s also a safety rope held by the guide) and prevented myself from rolling off the edge of the cliff. Was I scared? Pfftt! Nah.. A he he… Aaanyways, I got up and abseiled down.

 End of story.

 

After we were all done.

 

Next! Ghyll scrambling. My most favorite activity yet! If you haven’t heard of ghyll scrambling before, its an activity where you climb up or down a gorge containing mountain river. Yes..! it means hopping across boulders, climbing up waterfalls, having icy cold water splashing right in your face! The best one yet, plunge down into deep pools of water! (None of my team had a waterproof camera, this meant no photos during the activity).

 

Honestly, what you get to do also depends on which guide you get. In my case, we’ve got a young adventure enthusiast (charming and cute, according to most girls, loooads of them had a crush on him *rolls eyes). I just liked him because he let us did all that I’ve mentioned.  As it had been raining earlier in the day, the water volume and tides were higher and stronger than usual, also colder.

 

So we put on our body suits (the process nearly killed all of us). It was so darn tight that by the time we got half of our bodies in, we’ve lost half of our energy. Ha ha. It was funny though. Someone in my group managed to pull the suit up all the way to the top only to realize she got it on backwards. We had a good laugh there. 

Anyways, the first dip is always a shocker. You'd hear people gasp or yelp. The water was ice cold that when my skin touched it, i instantly felt like peeing. HAHA. JOKING. But seriously, you’d feel your insides shrink upwards. But not to worry. After a while, your body heats up as you move and you’ll get used to it. That’s where the fun begins. We spent about a good hour there. Amazing. I’d do it all over again.

 

Day 5

Now, I wasn’t around as I had to return to Birmingham earlier than the rest. But it was basically a free and easy day. The winning team got to choose the activity they wanted which was a meet and greet session with Chris’s sheeps.

 

Overall, I had the time of my life and its something I definitely would not forget. It’s also something I’m very grateful to the University for organizing such an event. It provided us the opportunity to know our classmates better outside of class and it proved to be a good break from all the crazy studying we’ve been doing.

 

P/s; It is not impossible for other UOB students to join us. So long as you’re in the UK during the time of the camp and make some arrangements with Andy, you’re good to go. A couple of our friends did that and I’m sure they had the time of their lives as well.  

 

Disclaimer; All photos were taken by me unless stated. 

 For other pic updates, check out my instagram acc -> Oyashirc   

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