This year the Year 9 camp week returned to Blacklands Farm in the Ashdown Forest. The students experienced a wide range of exciting activities including kayaking, mountain-biking, crate-stacking, abseiling, rock-scrambling, archery and problem-solving as well as a number of high-rope challenges which tested both agility and nerve.
There was a focus on team-building throughout the week and in working outside established friendship groups. The students also learned to show resilience in the face of adverse weather and technology deprivation! Between the organised activities there was ample time to participate in a variety of impromptu games, mostly involving balls of different shapes and sizes, or to rest and spectate from the comfort of the tents. By the end of the week the students were surely tired but certainly proud – not only of what they had achieved themselves but also for their friends.
Year 9 camp, which was at Ashdown forest, had the perfect ratio of free time and activities. There was flexibility for everyone from being an early riser to a late sleeper, from being terrified of heights to not being confident with riding a bike. Although the activity groups were chosen at random, there was plenty of time to be with friends and by the time the week ended, everyone could say that they were on better terms with their activity group and had made some friends. The Trekco company were super nice and supportive and wouldn’t force anyone beyond their limits but would help us to try and make that extra step, and in most cases, literally. Although we went when there were many courses going on, we still had a lot of fun and we never felt jealous of another school as all of our activities were engaging, ranging from solo adventures to team work. I believe everyone can say that that week changed us. It brought friends closer, it showed us a different side to the teachers, it made us more supportive and caring as a team and it showed us weaknesses in ourselves and in each other. But that’s okay, because it changed us, as a Year group, as Year 9, 2015-2016.
Jessica (Year 9)