Year 7 Elstree Award Camp

On Saturday 10th June, the boys of Year 7 embarked on their Elstree Award Camp.  The mandate was to have fun, enjoy being outside and develop their Leadership Skills.  On Saturday evening, the boys settled their sleeping bags into the new Bushcraft Bell Tents recently purchased by the school, which had around eight boys per tent.  Peter and Tristan also helped put up another huge 6 man tent (thank you). The boys started the camp with an ‘Alfresco BBQ’ following on from a lovely afternoon of sport. The boys were then split into groups to take on some leadership tasks. Mr Reavill kindly led the ‘Sheep Herding Blindfold Activity’, which was fantastic for developing the boys listening and communication skills – the final activity was the ‘Walk of Trust’ which went down very well with the boys.   Mr Pilkington led the boys in the ‘Wet Welly Challenge’ on the low ropes course which developed teamwork.  The plenary game was called ‘Hot Lava Stones’:  the boys had fun using tyres to get their team over some hot lava in a certain amount of time. This challenge was fascinating because it really did allow some interesting conversations to arise about whether teams need a leader? Boys openly discussed the problem of their peers not listening etc.

A huge thank you to Mr Attwood for doing Life Saving Skills in the Swimming Pool. The boys had lots of fun and I could hear the laughter on the other side of the school coming from the Swimming Pool.  The boys then gathered around the camp fire ably lit by two boys who brought their own flints to start the fire which was fantastic!  Mr Attwood was on hand for the final touches to the fire pit. The boys packed up their belongings and were sitting at breakfast with a full fry up by 7:45am which was truly remarkable!  Seb came dressed like a soldier with an old army duffle bag. He chucked all of his stuff into his bag in three minutes flat

On Sunday the boys went on the most stunning hike across the countryside which was packed with wildlife and sunshine. The boys had to navigate and lead the hike – they were brilliant!  The view from the top of the hill we hiked up was simply stunning! The groups met half way around the circulatory path we took which was nice. The boys were very keen to get past half way before they met the other groups.

The Year 7 boys rose to the challenges set out this weekend and they were a total pleasure to look after. Their manners and most importantly their ability to help out when required was incredible. Boys putting up and dismantling tents with little instruction, helping carry leadership equipment and hand out drinks/snacks etc were all tasks taken with a natural care/attention.  The leadership tasks taught the boys primarily to ‘listen’ and they learnt that everybody can lead. It is also ‘ok’ not to be the leader and to just support.  I wish to thank the parental body for all of their support, good wishes and thank you emails. None of these camps are possible without your support. They are exceptionally important to the wider development of each child.