The morning of the camping experience arrived under the cover of charcoal clouds and late Spring showers. Excitement and positivity carried us through the day and into clear skies and warming sunshine.
The children were filled with trepidation, anticipation and excitement; this was a huge step towards independence and a great leap towards being ready for PGL. We first had some quiet time before we learnt how to pitch our tents; Mrs Kearny did a stellar job in demonstrating how it should be done and sharing tips and tricks. We were impressed with the teamwork that ensued in order to get things ready before the sun went down.
In a matter of minutes, there was an impressive horseshoe campsite in place and the children settled into decorating their mugs before cordial was served followed by a delicious BBQ prepared and served by Mr and Mrs Snowden and Mr Mayo. We also got to enjoy a Year 5 talent show and were treated to: talented magicians, comedians and karaoke stars.
We should not forget our battle to win the flag! We split into 5 teams: each organised into different roles in order to defend, steal and imprison the opposition and emerge victorious in the process. We couldn't have been prouder of the support the children offered each other as well as the good humour they displayed in victory. They did us all proud.
Finally, it was time for bed: brushing teeth and trying to fake their way to trick eagled eyed teachers before they could indulge in stashed sweets and hidden board games. Let us not forget the scary torch under the chin trick to surprise less fortunate campers. As their little eyes started drooping, teachers settled into shifts to guide light sleepers to the toilets or pay surprise visits to the bitter enders set on trying to stay up past curfew.
By six o'clock the campsite was filled with sleepy but content smiles, including the teachers (not just those that managed to get forty winks).
The sunshine crept its way through the tents at around 4am and by 6am children were up doing some sunset yoga with Mr Robinson; a calming way to start their morning. The children surprised us with huge appetites that morning: toast and cereal had never tasted that good and it served as a last bonding experience.
Dismantling the tents was bittersweet. It was the best school 'trip' ever and definitely one that encouraged team spirit and cementing friendships.
Can you believe that we managed to have a full morning of lessons? Of course that energy lasted until the afternoon movie; we cannot say that all campers managed to stay awake ... in fact there were quite a few bleary eyed sleepwalkers that were guided home by parents.
This was definitely an experience which should be repeated. In the words of one of our children: "I have never been camping before and it was amazing getting that chance to camp here at school with my friends and learn how to put up a real tent, it was the best day and night I have ever had (although I was very tired)!