Learn & Experience

South Camp Diary – Week 1 & 2

31 July 2017 by  

Sunday, 30th July

Sunshine, The New Forest and a great group of campers are the best ingredients for an amazing first night at the new L&E South Camp! The children arrived, excited for a new venue, and a new group of friends to be made. They ate a glorious BBQ on the terrace followed by lots of games with the tutors. The campers were undefeated in a game named ‘splat’, much to the tutors frustrations. As the sun set over the old manor house, we all retired to some chocolate cake for Daniel’s birthday and then into our dorms for a good night’s sleep, all excited for what tomorrow will bring!

For more photos from Sunday click here

Monday, 31st July

Well what a way to start the first south camp! The children all arrived last night and we enjoyed games and a yummy BBQ together to get to know each other.

We hit the ground running today with a great session of Dodgeball, the children vs tutor games got very competitive! We then got straight into activities with one group heading out into the school grounds for some outdoor art, another group into the pool for water polo and the third group hopped into the bus and went down to Mudeford Quay to do some crabbing! The fantastic English teachers took their groups for their lessons.

The outdoor art group used natural resources to create pictures, they have turned out really well! The sporting group had great fun in the pool playing water polo, before heading out to play football after biscuit break. The crabbing group, adventured to Mudeford and had a whale of a time catching a total of 13 crabs!

After a great Lasagne lunch and a little bit of free time, the afternoon activities got underway. The activities included; creating stop-motion videos, den building, yoga, tennis, rounders, kick ball and wood weaving. The children really enjoyed these activities and were all socialising well.

After the activities were finished the pool opened and lots of us enjoyed a cool off! We then enjoyed dinner together and the evening was filled with fantastic ice breaker games from communication games to making up dance routines.

The children have bonded well and the camp could not have started on a better note!

For more photos from Monday click here

Tuesday, 1st August

Today’s blog post comes to you in campfire song!

The day started with dodgeball,
What else could it be?
The kids are getting better,
It’s plain to see…
Souki and Shido are Japanese champs,
They hurl the ball faster than a car from a ramp.

We’re having a right laugh at L & E,
Making great friends, you and me.
Many things to do and many places to go
It’s better than North Camp!
I’m telling you so!

After lunch and free-time,
There were towers to climb.
Up them like lizards
Abseiling down fine.
Lacrosse with Ashleigh,
Let’s recap the rules,
We scoop like an ice-cream
And twist like no fools,

We’re having a right laugh at L & E,
Making great friends, you and me.
Many things to do and many places to go
It’s better than North Camp!
I’m telling you so!

A swim to cool off,
Board games in the shade,
Beautiful brownies and fajitas well made,
Songs around the campfire,
Burning marshmallows,
This perfect evening,
Spent among the fellows.

For more photos from Tuesday click here

Wednesday, 2nd August

“My dear rain…As you pour down with all your might,
Will you come to me as my guiding light?
Will you wash my heart?
Will you quench my thirst?”

As Anup B Deen wrote in the poem, the rain can sometimes be a blessing and it certainly didn’t dampen our spirits today!
A group of 17 brave children headed to the Aqua Park and either kayaked or paddle-boarded their way around the huge lake. Great fun was had by all and we are certainly looking forward to returning for the inflatable challenges there tomorrow! Back at the ranch, our English immersion group were in full swing and I am pleased to report great progress (along with a lot of fun) is being made by both groups. The drenched water-sports gang returned to lashings and lashings of hot chocolate and hot showers. Suitably refreshed (and now dry) the Sports Hall was turned into the setting for games and mini challenges. The group skipped, threw and bounced their way into the L&E record books.

After lunch, board-games, badminton, volleyball, origami and dance-choreography were all on the menu. The children had great fun and Shane proved his ability to thrive in the London property market in a very competitive game of Monopoly. Dance rehearsals continued during break-time as the dance crew added the finishing touches to their routine. It was wonderful to hear the children making ‘small-talk’ and really enjoying each other’s company throughout the afternoon. Following a delicious evening meal it was time to contact home before watching the dance show. A couple of stunning solo acts from Elena and Maria who were then joined by Charlotte for a ‘Little Mix’ mash-up; the video proves just how professional and polished the performances were.

Once the popcorn had popped we all settled down to watch, ‘Swallows and Amazons’ in the theatre. Pillows and duvets were strongly encouraged andI had never heard children applauding at the end of a movie before – I guess Jade and Vicky picked well! Finally it was time for hot chocolate and relaxing in the Common room. It spoke volumes about how tired some of the children are as they started to head upstairs to bed before being asked by their tutors.

Sleep-tight L&E South: the sun will come out tomorrow and we have another busy, exciting and enlightening day ahead of us.

For more photos from Wednesday click here

Thursday, 3rd August

After a rainy day on Wednesday everyone was looking forward to the chance to get outside in the sun. Now, we might not have ended up with the completely rain free day Sarah had promised us but that did not stop us and the morning was filled with activities off site.

Those studying English headed into Salisbury to put into practice what they had been learning in lessons. They were split into groups and with the help of an able tutor they had to find their way around the city while completing a scavenger hunt.

The rest of the campers headed out to the New Forest to explore the lovely countryside. They used a GPS device to find Geo Cache orienteering points and had to work as a team to navigate. The campers all reunited after their excursions over a lovely chilli con carne for lunch.

The afternoon was filled with exciting activities; campers showed off their skills on the football pitch and helped to prepare decorations for the theme night ahead of them. Half of the camp headed out for an adventurous afternoon at the water park, jumping and splashing their way around the inflatable obstacle course, lots of fun was had by all!

The day finished with an extravaganza of a theme night. Forres Sandle Manor had the pleasure of welcoming famous World Leaders to dinner, this included Cleopatra, the Queen (x2), Ghandi, Napoleon, Teresa May, and Beyoncé. After being struck down by a natural disaster the campers had to step in and take up the mantle to lead the country. Teams competed in a range of challenges to see who would be strong enough to take the lead, some excelled in grape throwing while others showed their memory skills navigating their way across a minefield game. The night culminated in Team 6 winning the evening’s events and will hopefully be worthy world leaders.

It has been a fantastic day at South Camp, and we have so much more to look forward to!

For more photos from Thursday click here

 

Friday, 4th August

As the final day for some campers approached, we were greeted with some glorious sunshine and tasty waffles and syrup for breakfast. With bellies pleasingly full, the campers headed on down for the final game of dodgeball of the week.

The very excitable campers (and tutors!) set off to the waterpark for their adventure option where they bounced, jumped and spectacularly slipped into the water and off the obstacles including trampolines, stepping stones and swings. It is safe to say that Ashleigh and Rowena need a fair bit more practice before they try again! Our budding musicians got in touch with their inner song writers to create a fabulous song about the four seasons to the theme tune of ‘if you’re happy and you know it’ which went down a treat with the other campers. Our sporting superstars took to the AstroTurf for a hockey session with Vicki and Jade, which saw Hongjie and Josephine stand out from the crowd with their sporting prowess.

A traditional English meal of ‘bangers and mash’ awaited the campers for lunch, which seemed a success as their meals vanished within minutes of arrival! The annual L&E triathlon was postponed due to the lack of bicycles; therefore Sophie and Sammey put their heads together and created a fantastic afternoon which saw the children participate in ‘The Italian Job Relay’. This saw the children split into groups and competing against each other to win more tools and ammunition for the water fight at the end of the afternoon. The children took part in 5 different team events, a ten legged race, a penalty shootout, a Mario-cart timed race, a swimming drag race and ending with eating a biscuit in the fastest time. Hawaiian took the winners medal which resulted in the ‘Pizza’ half of the campers gaining access to water pistols and more water balloons than the ‘Pasta’ team. A quick dip in the pool to warm up after the water fight and a fantastic afternoon of team building, meant that the campers had plenty of time to get themselves ready for the upcoming Oscars evening.

An important part of L&E tradition is to celebrate the achievements and successes that the campers have shown throughout the week and we almost certainly weren’t short of these moments tonight! From Ghassan the camp joker to the kind Beatrice, we had plenty to cheer about. The deserving Moin had the honour of being the recipient of the first ever L&E South camp Star Camper award which is fully deserved and he goes home with some super exciting L&E merchandise to wear!

As the first week of L&E South comes to an end we can look back at some fantastic memories and some wonderful friendships created. We say goodbye to a few campers and hello to a few more on Sunday! But first the campers have a very exciting trip to London tomorrow so are tucked up in bed getting some rest ready for an incredibly busy day!

For more photos from Friday click here

Saturday, 5th August

The campers from L&E South Camp ventured to the big smoke today to explore London and all its glories! They managed to fit a huge amount into the day visiting the Queen at Buckingham Palace, Covent Garden for some shopping and spent some of their pennies in many of the wondrous shops. Campers visited Harrods to window shop, for many international designers, and then spent some time roaming the food hall to see all the wonderful pastries. They had a great time in Hamley’s checking out all the new and top toys for 2017! They also enjoyed the delights of China Town and many Old English Sweet Shops along the way! They picnicked in Hyde Park, enjoying the beautiful flowers blooming and one of the groups managed to get to the Science Museum and were blown away by the natural disasters exhibit. With tired legs, bellies full of ice cream and sweets and smiles on their faces, we left the big city to head back to camp. It was a wonderful day, with lots of new experiences, laughter and most importantly great friends to share it with.

For more photos from Saturday click here


Sunday, 6th August

It has been a busy day here at L&E with a group of campers off to Oxford for the day and the other ventured to the delights of Fordingbridge where they paddled in the river, explored the village and saw the sweet shops! The weather was very kind to us and there was lots of smiles and excitement over the visiting ducks.

This evening, the many happy South campers welcomed lots of new faces to another fantastic week of L&E! Lots of seasoned campers helped the new children to their dorms and then we enjoyed a glorious BBQ on the terrace. Then the fun began! Many games were played on the field including a very heavily contested game of capture the flag. There were some very impressive manoeuvres from both tutors and pupils to avoid detection in enemy territory.

With hot chocolate warming their bellies they went off to bed and although took a while to quieten down, they are now asleep unaware of the incredible plan the tutors have devised for the week ahead.

For more photos from Sunday click here

Monday, 7th August

Day one, and what a ‘rippa’ of a day it was. From surviving the waters of Fordingbridge, to making sure impacts from heights were going to make crucial members of our team not crack…as the wise Mr Dumpty once said “Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.” Time to get serious though, all the kids were safe throughout the whole day. The morning began with our usual breakfast but a victory was foreseen in the future but what was it to be? Some kids to finally shower? Sammy to keep her clothes dry while swimming? Or none one to trip up the stairs? However, low and behold, the Tutors finally won dodge ball against the kids, not once but twice!

After the great celebrations by the Tutors, the kids then chose to either build mini rafts to race down the river in Fordingbridge, lifesaving skills in the pool or create a dance video. At one point, Will thought he could walk on water during the lifesaving skills session but, needless to say, he ended up quite wet. We are yet to see this dance video but after hearing the stories and hearing the laughter, one can only imagine how great the video will be. Mini raft building was a great success, not one raft sunk and all managed to finish the race.


The day seemed to race away and the ice breaking evening was soon upon us. Get to know bingo was lots of laughs with Amelia taking home the bragging rights with the win. Teams were then formed and eggs needed protecting from falling from great heights. Surprisingly 4 out of the 6 teams managed to protect their egg from the world champion egg thrower Sarah and weren’t they proud of it. By the end of the night, many laughs were shared and new friendships made.

For more photos from Monday click here

 

Tuesday, 8th August

Today the heavens opened but with ham and cheese croissants for breakfast, and 3 out of 4 wins for the kids in dodgeball, L&E wasn’t rained off.

The day began with many exciting activities. In sport, a moist game of tag rugby. Our young adventurers set off on a Bear Grylls hike to the forest to build a log den and out mega-huge creative group of magnet makers, sculpting treasures to stick on the fridge. The English group learned about hobbies with a classic game of pictionary with big man, Will.

Lunch was beef or mushroom and broccoli pie with lots of lovely jelly to get us wobbling onto the next activities. The adventurers bounced off the inflatables, at The New Forest aqua park with a particular shout out to Mr Oliver who fearlessly climbed the iceberg and leaped off without a crumb of fear! Others laughed their way through a benchball session, showing off their mad skills with the tunes booming. Another group of campers headed to the stables to ride some elephants/horses. There was notable improvement from everyone, particularly the beginners doing rising trots on their second day, yeeeehaaaaah!!

Water polo in the pool, fajitas and chocolate brownies for tea then off to the bonfire for some games, songs and marshmallows. A huge variation of performers and languages, learning campfire songs that we will always remember. Everyone’s confidence is building, friendships are becoming stronger, brains are boggling and fun is bellowing throughout our beautiful L&E South camp.

Bring on tomorrow!

For more photos from Tuesday click here

Wednesday, 9th August

After a scrummy breakfast, mid-week of camp commenced with the usual lively game of dodgeball, which never fails to get everyone up and ready for the day (even with the dollop of British rain).
After the warm-up, the English class started a show-stopping morning of screen-play and story-writing. Sequined masks, pink feather boas, flamboyant hats and giant glasses aided the prodigy actors and writers.

The new L&E sport activity of Acro-Yoga proved to be a great hit with the campers. All sorts of shapes and balancing acts were performed by the budding acrobats/yogis with mind-blowing flexibility and strength! Meanwhile, the creative among us had a tie-dye session, where white t-shirts were transformed into multi-coloured spiralled art-work.

Over in the woods, the adventurous were ‘cameoed up’ and preparing for survival. ‘The Island with Shane and Wilson’ (release date Feb 2018) involved the campers using natural tools to make dams, fires and dens; in order to overcome the natural elements.

After a feast of meatballs and pasta for lunch, the afternoon kicked off with a badminton and table tennis extravaganza tournament. The winners were Yu and Shizuku in badminton and Daniel and Adam in table tennis.

In the art room, vibrant paper-mache dragon egg making and face painting captivated the young Picassos.


The adventurous horse riders had another fantastic day where there was great progress with all the riders. The last of the campers went to the water-park for a whirl-wind adventure of kayaking and paddle-boarding.

After an exhausting day, the campers had a relaxing evening curling up in their pyjamas and duvets to the classic movie, “School of Rock”.

For more photos from Wednesday click here

Thursday, 10th August

The midnight oil is burning and another day is done,
The campers awoke to sunshine and another day of fun.
A breakfast of waffles, sausages and spaghetti hoops,
Set the day up although everyone was pooped.
In the dodgeball hall, there was quite the commotion,
Everyone enjoyed the rapid motion.
The climbing wall returned and the monkeys ascended,
While in water polo, the players defended.
Pottery making in the sunshine yielded some wonderful pieces,
And the adventurers took on photo orienteering without their fleeces.
Post-scrummy lunch and off to the beach we went,
A wonderful afternoon in the sunshine we spent.
Sandcastles and swimming, ice cream and grinning,
Heading back to the bus, queue the cliff-top singing.
Back at camp, young padawans got in their stride,
Trying to bring Darth Vader back to the good side.
The evening ended with an aquatic battle on the moor,
Hot chocolate followed, we all hit the floor.

For more photos from Thursday click here

Friday, 11th August

On the penultimate day of camp, it was a very weary start as the campers made their way down the stairs to breakfast. With the breakfast bell ringing, a few more times than normal, campers finally followed the smell of Belgium waffles which wafted from the kitchen. With camper’s bellies full, it was time to dodge, duck and weave in the grand final of the tutors vs campers dodgeball rivalry. The soft ball whizzed around the hall, flying millimetres from campers as they dove out of the way of the tutor’s wrath…well that is how we saw it. The tutors were cowering from the onslaught of dodgeballs being hurled their way. They managed to pick it up in the final game, but in the end, it was another devastating loss.

After our morning warm up the campers went off to their morning activities. The sport group tried their hand at some tennis and hockey, pushing a pulling the hockey ball across the artificial surface whilst a mini Wimbledon game was going on. The creative students painted their clay sculptures in the sunshine appreciating the natural beauty around them. The adventurers tried their hand at some campfire cooking, with some very damp logs! Lunch was a feast of a truly English classic of: sausages, mash and beans!

This afternoon a group of campers went for their last horse riding lesson and had a lovely time galloping around the stables and managed to do some little jumps on their ponies. The rest of the camp participated in the weekly sporting competition. This week it was a mega triathlon, seeing all campers giving it there all in either their individual events or team efforts!

Everything was leading to one of the main events of the week, the Oscars! Supper was filled with chicken nuggets, chips and lots of excitement for the impending awards ceremony. The evening was filled with acro-yoga presentations and an extraordinary music video from the creative crew! Many of our campers were awarded for their talents and kindness, with Novella being awarded out Star Camper of the week!

It has been a fantastic two weeks of South camp and with a slightly heavy heart we say goodbye to the 2017 summer of L&E, which has been filled with many smiles, new friends, experiences and most of all a summer of fun! As the final song ‘Grease lightning’ brought the disco to the end, there were many tears and hugs as the campers said goodnight to the final time. It has been a blast L&E! We can’t wait till next Summer!

For more photos from Friday click here