The 24 children in Class 5 experienced four very special nights camping under the stars in the wilderness of the Cederberg Mountains. Thanks to our parents – Debbie, Pierre, David, Christine, Alison, Linda and Gerald – the catering, transport and fabulous itinerary of adventurous activities ran smoothly (despite extreme heat and a thunderstorm of note).
The children kept busy with planned and surprise activities interspersed with delicious meals and the experience of sleeping in tents and waking to the sound of the birds at sunrise. Highlights of the camp included:
* A ‘room with a view’ eco-loo well tucked away in the bushes for privacy;
* Fun and games on Halloween with face painting and a visit to the farm family cemetery (in the dark with torches);
* A surprise visit from the members of the Cape Leopard Trust who described the healthy leopard activity in the region and their dedicated work to protect the species;
* Hiking the Savilla trail, discovering the sites of ancient Bushmen Paintings;
* The privilege of visiting the local Elizabethfontein Primary school where children from 8 to 17 year olds make up the Bessiesfontein Trappies Dancing troupe. They performed especially for our class in their school hall. This troupe of school children have won numerous trophies, locally and abroad, for “dancing in the dust”. Our own class 5 group also performed an isiXhosa song and dance as a cultural exchange;
* A rock climbing experience led by Dave Evans who set up a short route on a sandstone rock face so that the children could experience rock climbing with ropes.
Class camps are the highlight of each school year and I will treasure the memories of the individual responses to the challenges that each child faced, especially the night Mother Nature danced through the valley ripping at the tents with rain, flashes of lightening and loud thunder that rumbled and echoed off the mountains.
On the last evening we were better prepared for whatever weather may arrive and after our final delicious supper, as extremely harsh winds blew through the camp once again,
the children huddled up and slept inside the farmhouse – happily exhausted after their adventurous four days and nights together.
by Glenda Capra, Class 5 Teacher
The children spent hours joyfully leaping off the rocks at the farm rock pool after pitching their tents in 39 degree heat. Thank heavens for the cool water of the pool that enabled swimming from sunrise to sunset – with one last swim in the dark just before bedtime.