Scott House Camp

After a busy Saturday or activities, six pupils from Scott and their friends from Manor assembled in our woodland classroom for their House Camp. The size of their bags and the stacks of blankets suggested that some at least had seen the forecast overnight.

The first item of business was to get our campfire going, for it was to provide both our food and warmth for the next few hours. Enthusiasm was running high with one pair of pupils returning with the better part of a tree which took a while to deconstruct into pieces small enough to burn

Next up was the construction of the shelter the pupils were going to be sleeping in. After a brief demonstration, groups of three took a tarpaulin, some string and a handful of tent pegs and began to build. The results were all pretty sturdy but aesthetically they ranged from military precision to rubbish heap!

After making a bedroll and ensuring everything was ready for the descending darkness the pupils moved onto dinner. Jacket potatoes taste best when cooked on a fire and some pupils managed three whose skins varied from nicely crispy to charred and black!

Once dinner was over, a wide game sent all the pupils crashing through the woods and the now dark night was punctuated by screams as the ‘outcasts’ ambushed members of two tribes, stealing their lives and sending them back to the start point.

Marshmallows and hot-chocolate was served before the pupils climbing into their makeshift beds, building nests for themselves and disappearing under piles of blankets in preparation for the cold due after midnight.

Rising in the morning was an early affair as pupils emerged from their beds, ate ‘first breakfast’ and took down their tents. Once everything was packed, a second breakfast was cooked over the fire, bacon and egg rolls using nothing more than silver foil.

After a breakfast the group set off on a trek around the Manor grounds, finding challenges in the natural environment, with trees to climb over and under, rivers to cross on ropes and a magic stick that just seemed inexplicably float!

As parents began to arrive to pick them up, they returned to the campfire and had a chance to reflect on a programme that had hot fires and cold weather, hard work and leisurely conversation, responsibility for themselves and freedom to run in the woods and a chance to interact as a House outside of the constraints of the School day.