Diary of 9th graders – camping trip to Friesland
From 7-10 June, the grade 9 students accompanied by 6 teachers took a camping trip to Friesland. Along with lots of learning experiences and amazing memories created, they had lots of fun spending time with friends, and getting to know more people. This has been a wonderful and memorable experience for all of us.
-by Yoshita Jain, Giacomo Mugnaini and Disha Anand, grade 9
Together through Tuesday
“This 4 day and 3-night journey started on Tuesday morning, with our suitcases, backpacks and sleeping bags in school. All of us went on a 2-hour bus ride to our destination, Ulepanne Zeilschool for our sailing trip. Although I have been on many buses before, this bus ride was unique, because I thought it was fascinating how everybody worked as a group when deciding the music, sharing the food and talking as a big group. Personally, deep down, I was a little nervous about how this camp was going to go, but I was excited and looking forward to it. I think that everybody was eager, no matter how much we enjoy sailing. Because after the pandemic, this has been our first chance to go out for so long as a grade and everybody was just excited!
Calm after Chaos
When we reached our campsite, we went to our assigned rooms. There was a chaotic moment where we all went to each other’s rooms in both the different buildings. We were all very enthusiastic and got settled in and organised quickly. Later, we went to the activity that the teachers had planned for us. Even though some of us don’t express it, I think we all really appreciated the efforts that the teachers put in for us by organising all of the activities and events. Later that evening, after dinner, we had a casino night. This was my most favourite night of the trip. Everybody was really happy and eager about the first night, and the morale was high throughout. After that, we all went to our rooms to prepare for sleeping, or not.”- Yoshi
“We kicked off Wednesday morning with breakfast at 8:00 where we had time to eat, pack our lunch, laugh and discuss what we did the previous night. After that, we received the plan and instructions for the day from Mr Moody, which consisted of cycling and sailing in a big boat for Groups A and B. Groups C and D spent the day canoeing, paddling and sailing smaller boats separately. By 9:00 everyone was fully awake and ready for a day full of activities.
Cycling and sailing the big boat were considered the ‘drier’ activities though some may disagree with that statement. Many said that sailing the big boat was more ‘relaxed’ even though everyone was called up to solve puzzling scenarios, to pull some ropes or to steer the boat. Cycling was more demanding as all the students cycled for around 2 hours. Sailing the small boats was equally as challenging as the instructors divided the tasks between the students which needed good communication and collaboration from them. According to some, canoeing and paddling were the activities which needed the most arm work and coordination but were still fun challenges.
After we got back, we were all devastated with many of us deciding to stay in our cabins to relax and play board games. Some others were still full of energy and decided to either play sports or take a walk around the local town. At 18:00 we all ate dinner which consisted of Pasta with vegetable and tomato sauce and a sort of custard for dessert. After dinner awaited an exciting quiz night which consisted of difficult questions which challenged our abilities and knowledge. After that we had an hour and a half worth of free time where we had the freedom to almost do anything on campus before bedtime. At 22:30 we were all in our rooms ready to get some sleep after an exhausting day.”- Jack
“Thursday started off with groups A and B doing breakfast tables. As part of Group B, I helped clean up after everyone was done. Then the daytime activities began. Half of us, Groups A and B went small boat sailing, canoeing and supping for the day, while Groups C and D set sail on a big boat and biked.
There were four of us in a small boat, and with the help of the instructor, we put up the sail and started off. The boat went fast, to my pleasant discovery. I tried my hand at steering and didn’t crash, phew! We stopped at a quiet village and walked around. It felt like I was in the Middle Ages, with no pin pas or my phone, but the company was fun, and we ended up actually noticing the neighbourhood and people. On our way back to camp on the small boat, we swayed quite a bit owing to the fast currents. For a moment I felt like an actual sailor, what with the thrill of almost falling off the boat and being splashed by water.
After lunch at the camp, we were back in the water. This time, our groups (A&B) took up canoeing and supping. My canoe partner, Helia and I were pretty fast and at some point, thought we had gone past the destination. Luckily for us, our teachers came right behind in a motorboat, and clearly, we were on the right track. On reaching the destination, most of us switched our equipment, and I got onto a sup. Man, supping is hard. You have to find the rhythm while paddling and I took a lot longer than I estimated. I took twice the time to sup back the same distance that we went zipping by in the canoe. On reaching the camp and seeing everyone else in the water, I jumped in to make the most of the beautiful day. And hey, we were quite wet anyway!
And then it was time to party! I did my makeup (and several others’) and headed to a bar. The lighting was great and the music was good. The fact that most of us lost our voices should tell you how much fun we had that night. Back at the campsite at 11 pm, none of us felt like going to bed, as it was our last night there. The teachers got this and let us stay up a bit longer.”- Disha
Wrapping it up
“Friday was a very chill and relaxed day. We got up, quite tired from the night before, and got ready for breakfast. We had a day pretty open for any activity that we wanted to do. We had lots of time to socialise and go shopping in the PLUS nearby. We also got some time to pack, clean up and prepare for the way back home. That was a real struggle, for everyone. I think everybody had a tough time fitting the sleeping bag back in the cover and putting all the clothes back inside the suitcases. These are definitely some things that I will remember and cherish for a long time.”- Yoshi