This last weekend Saint Andrews College had its annual IB trip to the Carlingford Adventure Centre. It’s about an hour and a half to two hour drive North of Dublin. The trip is a Friday to Saturday stay for IB students to bond and gain new experiences. Since my family and I weren’t in Ireland for last years trip, I went this year. We left as a group, 40 students in total, 13 of which were 6IBs, and 3 teachers to make sure we didn’t cause too much trouble. When we first arrived they gave us our rooms and we went over rules and guidelines, then they split us into two groups of 20 each. Our group did water sports on Friday while the other group did the high ropes course.

For water sports they had us change into swimsuits with wetsuits overtop, an absorbency vest and helmets. We all moved down towards the beach where they split us into two more groups. They had crafted two separate rafts made up of three canoes each (So six canoes in total) that were held together with wood planks. We rowed around for a while getting a feel for rowing in unison. When ever we got near the other raft our leaders would have us splash them with our paddles. Keep in mind that we were in the sea, so the water was a salty 13*C (roughly 55*F). We rowed across the bay to a rocky beach were they lead us into a water outlet and into a drainpipe that lead to a ‘secret’ waterfall area. We stuck our heads under a waterfall for 10 seconds because theres a myths that you’ll gain 24 hours in your life! After that we went to a water trampoline and played some last (wom)man standing. We headed back for dinner and socializing. After dinner they took us on a hike where we played the ‘Beep Beep’ game from atop a bridge. The first team to 5 honks from a passing car won. Our team didn’t do very well. A good hike later we reached a place in the woods where they had us all line up single filed and they blindfolded us. They had us follow the person in front of us by placing our left hand on their shoulder, our right hand followed a rope that was to be our path. In the pitch black we had to make our way through the course while the leaders jump-scared you, threw dirt on you, flashed you with light, and grabbed at your ankles. The lack of light and sight was creepy, all you could hear was the occasional scream from someone either in front or behind you. I had a hard time with this because I don’t trust people easily. By the end of it I was done. Luckily, for them, no one grabbed me or scared me. We went back to the centre for more socializing, cards, games and some truth or dare.

The next day was Zipit, a high ropes and zip lining course. Over the summer my family and I did zip lining at my sisters work and we all enjoyed it, but nothing would have prepared me for this. It was rope ladders, wobbly plank bridges and thin wire lines that were all in the trees. Each one was different and exciting. I loved it. Unfortunately, two of our teachers had a hard time with heights so I helped them get through some tough times. I got to see their vulnerable side, and that made me feel a lot closer to them. I felt really proud to see them get through something like that, It inspired me to get though IB. Near the end of the Zipit course was three long zips that crossed a valley, and you could see the entire bay area, it was unreal. A smaller group of people redid the last few zips while others choose to do rock climbing.

After lunch we geared up to do some laser tag with the entire group. This would be our last activity before loading onto the bus. We were equipped with Camouflage onsies, a laser gun and a head band with three sensors on it that knew when you were being shot. Each player receives 35 lives before being considered “dead”. We played Team Red vs Team Blue. Our headmaster from SAC even drove up to join us. I was on team Red and we played and won all four games. I even had the privilege of “killing” our headmaster in one of the rounds 🙂 In my defense, I wasn’t wearing my glasses and didn’t know it was him till after the fact…

Carlingford was another amazing experience, I got to meet some 5th years, become closer to my teachers, and experience things that I may not have been able to do otherwise. Thank you Carlingford Adventure Centre for a wonderful weekend! 🙂


2 thoughts on “Carlingford

  1. Pingback: Ode to Andrews | The Call of the Irish

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