Unless you have been in witness protection for the last few weeks you would no doubt be aware that the buzz at school has been around our annual Grade 4 Camp. Camps are one of the highlights, if not the most popular highlight, of each school year. 2016 was no different. We packed up 44 super-excited Grade 4s on a big, luxury Elwierda bus and headed of for the Simonsberg Christian Campsite near Stellenbosch. Along the way we stopped off at Giraffe House where the learners had the opportunity to watch a live show about some of the amazing and wonderful creatures that live in our world, as well as wonder around the facility and view some really beautiful wildlife. A couple of brave and/or lucky volunteers even got to hold (and in one case, kiss) some of the interesting creepy crawlies.
After arriving at Simonsberg and settling in to their rooms, the learners spent the next 2 days involved in various formal and informal activities, all designed to give them a different learning experience to the one they get in the regular classroom environment each day at school. The formal activities involved activities like raft building, obstacle courses, blind fold courses, zip-lines, puzzles and mud swings, all of which encouraged the learners to collaborate and work as a team to reach certain objectives. The informal activities involved the kids making their own teams and building forts in the forest during their free time. For many of the learners this was their favourite part of the camp. Without them realising it they were involved in collaborating, cooperating, conflict resolution, strategising and creative thinking while building their forest forts. Some of them even pondered and/or experimented with the health benefits of being covered in mud from head to toe. For those who were less interested in building forts, the pool provided much enjoyment. In the evenings we went a night hike and created ‘mummies’ on the first night, and enjoyed campfire songs and stories, and stalked the lantern on the second night.
All in all it was a wonderful learning experience that the kids will certainly not forget. Thank you to the parents for supplying the delicious baked goods which kept the learners (and the teachers) going between meals.
Mr Bellwood and Mrs Coetzee