Our wonderful Year 8 Students were given the fantastic opportunity to explore the beauty of the Hong Kong coastline this week as they engaged in a range of water-centric activities on our 2021 ‘Day Camp’. This unique program facilitated by EdStart was based in the Clearwater Bay/Sai Kung area and allowed students to challenge themselves through Orienteering, Kayaking, Wet Coasteering, Stretcher Building/First Aid and Sea Rescue scenarios.
Students moved through each of the activities in small mixed groups of 12, allowing them to step beyond their comfort zone and connect with other students who may not exist in their usual daily ‘orbit’. For the accompanying AISHK staff members, it was pleasing to see our students extending their social horizons and finding ways to support and collaborate with their peers.
Coasteering was the crowd favourite once again, but this time, students traded harnesses, carabiners and rope support for personal flotation devices that kept them buoyant as they navigated the rocky coastline off Clearwater Bay, jumping into the crystal waters and swimming from point to point. Many students (and staff) chose to challenge themselves, jumping from one particularly high rocky outcrop into a sea cave; an experience that was certainly not for the faint hearted! Kayaking was another high point that allowed students to explore Sha Ha Beach and outer lying islands in pairs. The trick of course was finding a partner who was willing to take on an equal share of the paddling; some were luckier than others!
We faced the wrath of Mother Nature on more than one occasion, most notably persevering through torrential rain on Tuesday and Thursday. This didn’t seem to dim the spirits of the various Year 8 groups who enjoyed the spontaneity of skylarking in the rain with that special kind of reckless abandon that I’m certain all adults remember from their youth. AISHK and EdStart Staff were perhaps not as enraptured by the weather conditions, but they should be commended for swiftly moving our students to safety when various storms did pass overhead.
Year 8 Camp would not have been possible without the EdStart facilitators and the many AISHK staff who attended in a support capacity. We were very fortunate to have Mr James Cunningham supporting the Bauhina group for all five days of camp. I really appreciated his high energy approach to each of the activities as well as his leadership on the two days that I was unable attend due to academic commitments. The Year 8 Pastoral Team including Ms Roberts, Mr Chin, Mr Freer and Mr White all attended for three days each and we were also joined at various points by Mr Allante, Mr Murphy, Ms Hacker, Ms Ellis, Mr Tait, Mr Foreman, Mrs Haymes, Mr Nelson and Ms Spencer. Thank you for your willingness to participate wholeheartedly and your support of our students. Special thanks should also go to Mr West, Mr Phillips, Mrs Bhaumik, Ms Tiu and Ms Yip their administrative and logistical support.
It’s been a very big week and I am certain there will be some very tired heads hitting the pillow later tonight! All Year 8 students should be commended for their outstanding behaviour and the positive attitudes that they brought to the week. It has been a fantastic end to the term, and I look forward to our next adventure in 2022.
Jo Craig | Head of Year 8 & Assistant Head of English and French