Year 4 Camp Recap

Water bottle? Check. Sun screen? Check. Rain jacket? Check. Mosquito repellent? Check. Hat? Check. In that case…it had to be time for Year 4 camp!

There was laughter. There was singing. There was a little apprehension. And we hadn’t even made it onto the bus yet. The hour long bus journey was loud and fun and excitement filled the air. What would the next three days have in store?

We arrived in the delightful Mui Wo to be met by the Dragonfly staff. They efficiently arranged the students into their groups and whizzed them off for their first activity. Would it be cycling? Would it be the great race? Would it be survival skills? Would it be kayaking? Would it be building a catapult? Would it be the waterfall scramble? Well, it didn’t matter because everyone was looking forward to having fun.

Cycling was a popular activity. The students were given bikes adjusted to their heights and helmets adjusted to their heads. After a safety briefing and a few instructions, off they went, cycling round the basketball courts to get a feel for their bikes. Some Year 4s were all about getting up some speed, others were happy to meander, and some, who began the session as less confident cyclists, demonstrated impressive progress in a short space of time. Soon, off they went, travelling round Mui Wo, enjoying the sights and sounds, with the occasional shout from an instructor to mind the bump or move into the left. It was delightful. It only rated as challenging if you were not used to riding a bike.

The great race proved to be a little more challenging for more students. Map reading and orienteering in a place that was new to them was a great opportunity for the kids to work as a team. They put their heads together and off they set round Mui Wo looking for landmarks. There was considerable success, a few wrong turns and lots of learning about negotiation and compromise in a real-life situation.

Similarly, survival skills proved to be quite the challenge for some groups. There was so much to consider in our imaginary scenarios: the weather, the wild animals, the best place for a fire and how to build a shelter. Let’s just say, some of the children would survive a little longer than others! Most importantly, it was lots of fun.

Kayaking was one of the activities that caused the most excitement. The challenge level was high. However, Year 4 dug deep and learned to synchronise their oars rather than bash each other as they rowed out. They also learned how to turn left and right. It’s true that the call of right did see some kayaks go left and vice versa, but it was highly entertaining for the teachers to watch! This activity created considerable challenge as well as enormous fun and laughter. The perfect camp recipe.

The activity that some teachers hoped would have a low skill level was catapult building. Giant catapults were built on the beach and then sponges were fired between 2 teams, or into a bucket…or at the teacher. Let’s just say, the students won this one!

Finally, the activity met with most trepidation was the waterfall scramble. This was not for the faint-hearted. The challenge level was very high. The waterfall was spectacular. As always, Dragonfly put safety first and fitted each student with their harness and helmet. They then hiked to the spot where they were to begin their climb. The waterfall roared, the kids bravely attached themselves to the scramble rope and up they went. Halfway up, they mustered all of their courage and crossed to the other side of the waterfall. They were laser focused and determined. It was a magnificent sight. They continued their climb to the top. They were in awe of how picturesque it was at the top and said it was worth the climb. But, they still had to come back down. Down, down, down. A bit trickier than going up, but buoyed by having reached the top, they stoically remained focused to reach the bottom. There were a few slips and some wet legs, but they never gave up. The sheer joy and excitement at the bottom reflected their sense of achievement in completing what was a super-challenging activity. The kids should be congratulated for how they supported each other the whole way. It was a truly inspiring and heart-warming sight.

Our thanks go to Dragonfly for ensuring that every day the kids were safe, challenged and having fun with some fantastic activities. Thanks also to all of the staff members from AISHK who supervised, cajoled, encouraged and joined in the fun.

What did the kids think of the activities?

Cycling:

It was fun going fast on the basketball court and going round the village.
We got to zoom around the basketball court and learn about the village whilst riding around.
When we rode round the village I got to see stuff I didn’t know was in Mui Wo.
When we were on our bikes I liked exploring the village and learning about the temple.

Great Race

I was very excited about doing the great race as we got to explore Mui Wo.
It was fun figuring out where everything was.

Survival Skills

It was exciting. It made me feel prepared if I’m ever in the Amazon jungle.
I like playing, trying out what worked and what didn’t and testing out our theories.

Kayaking

It was really fun! We got to work as a team.
It was fun when the boat almost capsized…but we just tilted.

Building a Catapult

It was fun. I nearly hit Ms Walsh with the sponge.

Waterfall Scramble

I had never tried this before and I was so proud of myself.
It was fun. I’d never been close to a waterfall before.
I was scared of heights but I was proud at the end. It was my favourite.
It was fun and scary walking across the waterfall.
You got to see the beautiful view from the top and do it with your friends.
We got to put our feet in the water.
I love to climb and I love to get wet. It was such fun!
I like rock climbing and this was fun to do with my friends.
It was hard and when I finished I felt I had achieved.
I loved it. You got to walk through a waterfall.
It was a fun experience. I didn’t know waterfall scrambling existed.

Camp! Such a worthwhile and exhilarating educational experience. You heard it straight from the kids. We told them we couldn’t promise that they would always be in their comfort zone. We did promise them they would be supported through challenges and that, most importantly, they would have a great time and feel very proud of themselves. They did have a great time. They do feel proud of themselves. And so they should. They can’t wait until next year’s camp…