There was a real buzz of excitement as Year 7 prepared to leave Swindon to head out for the annual Year 7 camping trip to Cranham – a trip that we never thought possible! Here we were with the students on the coaches, all packed up and ready to go for a fun filled outdoor adventure! We split the trip as we always do with half of year 7s attending Monday to Wednesday, and the other half Wednesday to Friday.
A great time was had despite the pouring rain at the start of the week. This year’s camp was another huge success with the students and staff alike having a fantastic time – lots of adventures and outdoor fun! The walk to Prinknash Abbey on the first afternoon, was followed by the wonderful ice creams that greeted the students – a well-received midway break and energy boost for the second half of the walk. Students cooked their own food on the first evening and served up some wonderful culinary delights, although the washing up was not quite so well received! An introduction to camp song favourites like ‘Great Big Moose’ and ‘Singing in the Rain’ proved very apt, before a final hot chocolate and very excitable campers had to settle down and sleep. There was lots of chatter, torch light and snacks from home before an early start on day two. Students cooked their own breakfast after cereal and cups of tea, fuelling up before an action-packed day ahead.
The second day saw the students take part in a carousel of events with hardly a minute’s breath: problem solving with the pipes and plates, manhunt in the woods, orienteering on the common taking in the beautiful views and, of course, everyone’s favourite activity, The Vaccine assault course, with dams and legendary ’Mars Bar Challenge’. After a full-on day two it was barbeque time cooked by the staff, beautifully organised by Mrs Barton, Mr Shorey and Mr Haynes, prior to an evening of brilliant camp entertainment led by Mrs Barton and her trustee helpers. Singing at the tops of our voices, group songs, the Mars Bar awards, and Chubby Bunnies were a highlight and caused a great deal of laughter as always.
The camp was enriched by the attendance of Year 10 work experience students who played their part in making it a memorable and well organised event. Without a dedicated team of staff who are willing to commit unselfishly to a full-on week of activity it could not run. It is a really challenging few days for all concerned and I would like to say a personal thank you to all the staff, who worked tirelessly all week to give the students an amazing opportunity, made possible because of their enthusiasm, energy, patience, and dedication. The Year 7s fully embraced camp and will have taken many lifelong skills and some very happy memories home with them. A huge well done to everyone. You are now part of the Year 7 Dorcan camping legends!
Wendy Craig (Head of PE)