Day three arrived with the sounds of “miss a go,” “pick up two,” and “back to you” still ringing in staff ears. Fortunately, the sound of birds tweeting (instead of Gregory, Gill and Altdorf for a change), could also be heard. All of which could mean only one thing…. Prep V had slept like teachers getting home from a three day residential!
The drill for the morning included the packing of bags, the stripping of beds and cries of “where is my pillow case” whilst others tried to stuff duvets into their pillow cases. Staff conducted bathroom and toilet inspections and discovered some troops will need extra target practice if they are to make the grade! Eventually manoeuvres were concluded with military precision under the guidance of General Sweeney and Corporals Altdorf, Gill and Gregory. Private O’Toole was commended for his bed making and control of his regiment, whilst some were almost court marshalled for their tardiness. The best room of the camp went to Joe, Hugh, Toby and Chun-Ka…. well done boys. A full English breakfast awaited and the only thing that could top the morning would have been a boiled egg with toast soldiers!
The big decision left to make was what to do in the event of further enemy advances, in the shape of our not so good friend, Storm Ali. A tactical meeting was called and Field Marshall Nairn provided reconnaissance based on extensive local knowledge of the surrounding terrain. Decision made, the troops were rounded up and our army of Prep V adventurers set off for Bowness and an extended boat trip around Lake Windermere.
As we boarded The Freedom of the Lakes cruiser, we were treated to an aerial pass over from an RAF Tornado and most exciting of all, two Second World War Spitfires. Our band of brothers (and sisters!), had the enviable task of scouting the local area for future visits to the area with friends and family one day. Who doesn’t like to go the Lakes? The area is rich in history, it is the home of literary giants Wordsworth and Potter (not Harry!) and boasts some of the most amazing walks through spectacular hills and mountains. None of which Prep V were too engrossed in, as tiredness had set in from such a heavy campaign over the last three days! However, the wind, rain and sun did manage to grab our attention in the shape of a fabulous rainbow reaching out across the lake and resulting in the unifying war cry of ”…Awww look at the rainbow.”
There was a brief moment of panic as the cry of “man down” rang out, but this was a false alarm as it was only Juliette leaving the campaign to meet up with her superior officer-her mum. With the bad weather putting an end to the assault on Rydal Castle, battle plans were redrawn and trenches were dug in the Captain’s Cafe. To the delight of our returning heroes and heroines, rations were enhanced by ice creams all round, courtesy of Field Marshall Nairn. A final attack on another souvenir shop gave Mia, Nyla and Allegra to add to their respective war chests.
At 13.30 hours, the convoy set off back to our home barracks, Bridgewater School. Our now experienced overseas (well over Lakes) veterans, turned all thoughts to seeing loved ones once more. Victorian steam trains, shark infested seas (well aquariums), Lakeside cruises, tree top trail escapades, unicorns and a dolphin(?), would remain in the hearts of those on the mission for many years to come. Naturally, some activities will remain a closely guarded national secret- after all everybody knows: what goes on tour stays on tour!