Every year​,​ ​our M​iddle ​S​chool ​students are given the opportunity to attend a week long camping trip. ​These residential trips are not only fun and educational; they also give children a chance to bond with each other and gain life experiences that cannot be taught in the classroom.

This year we went to Westmalle. Upon arrival, the children were put into groups and given the task of creating their own camps in the forest, using only what they could find. The teachers were impressed to see what th​ey​ built in a short time; clearly they all have lifesaving skills! Every day was filled with activities to promote team spirit, cooperation and leadership​,​ and every evening was filled ​with​ game​s​ in the spooky dark forest!

 We took advantage of the good weather that week and even managed to go on a 15 kilometre ​hike through the forest. When asked afterwards what the most memorable moments of camp were, some students reported that the games played were really fun; some mentioned that they enjoyed the walk and making a nature-inspired piece of art with the things they collected along the way. It’s undeniable that even children in ​M​iddle ​S​chool like to dress up and get face painted, which was definitely a highlight for many of the children, making the disco party a huge success! But for some, one of the most important things to recount was the food! Yes, it appears it was the best they ever had on camp!

All in all we had a great time and the sense of community came back to school with us. As you get to know the people around you in a more personal way, respect and cooperation come easier and friendships become stronger. We are already looking forward to the next trip ​next school year!