Year 7 Summer Camp
On Monday 10th July to Friday 14th July, half of our Year 7s headed up to the Lake District on Summer Camp for a week of team building activities.
Summer Camp was led by Mrs Hunt and Mr Seward and a team of teaching staff comprising Mr Hellier, Miss Johnson, Miss Hurst, Mr Crenol, Miss Harmer, Miss Penston, Miss Johnson, Mr Clarke, Mr Hatton, Mr Watkins, Ms Clark, Mr Gomez, Miss Bradshaw, Miss Knight and Mrs Bolton. After a long coach journey, the group arrived at the campsite set in Cumbria’s beautiful Langdale Valley against the backdrop of stunning peaks, where they excitedly unpacked into their tents and made themselves at home for the week.
Despite some very wet weather overnight on the first night, the students demonstrated amazing resilience from the outset and were all up early in good spirits the following morning ready for their activities ahead! Students and staff were split into six groups for the daily activities, where each group would rotate to experience the same activities throughout the week. Thankfully, the day brought some blue skies amidst the showers and two of the groups set off from the campsite on a day’s hike to the 400m summit of Side Pike. The breathtaking views of the mountains, valleys and lakes below were a worthwhile reward for the tired legs that ensued. We were impressed by the students’ stamina, commitment and kindness as they supported and encouraged each other throughout the arduous climb.
Two other groups enjoyed a day of paddle boarding and climbing and the remaining two groups set off on the water for river tubing and Ghyll scrambling. River tubing involved students and staff leaping into rubber rings with a paddle and following the flow without getting stuck on a riverbank or in a tree! The instructors had to rescue a few! Indoor climbing saw our students scrambling up a variety of different cliff faces, where they learnt to belay which meant they had to put a lot of trust in each other supporting them on the climb and as they abseiled back down again.
Thankfully, the weather was more forgiving on Tuesday night leaving everyone a bit more refreshed and ready for Wednesday’s activities. One of the morning highlights was a spontaneous rendition of the macarena while queuing to make packed lunch! Students then went off for their day of activities. More groups went off to climbing and paddle boarding, whilst others got stuck into river tubing and ghyll scrambling. Ghyll scrambling was one of the student's favourite activities of the week and involved students being led by an instructor down a rocky mountain stream jumping, sliding and swimming into natural pools and rockslides on the way. It really tested the courage of all our students (and staff!) but was a really fun experience for all! Our hiking group completed a nine-and-a-half-mile round walk to Cathedral Cave in the Langdale Valley where they visited an incredible 40-foot chamber with two natural light "windows". After dinner activities included cricket, football, American football and a pop-up make-up and hair salon for some!
To our delight, on Thursday we awoke to dry tents and a beautiful morning with the sun shining. The students were tired but happy and raring to go for the day ahead. The final group set off for their climbing and paddle boarding activities. As with all the activities in the Lake District, paddle boarding was extreme with giant paddle boards that accommodated 10 people at a time. Trying to keep everyone upright was certainly a challenge, but the staff were impressed at the kindness shown by our students in pulling each other back onto the paddle boards. Our hiking group took on the challenge of climbing to the top of the Pike of Blisco, a massive 705m above sea level. The views were incredible including a bird’s eye view of our campsite. Again, excellent commitment was displayed by our students, some of whom chose to add weight to their rucksacks by bringing back samples of igneous rock from the top of the mountain which they eagerly shared with our resident geologist, Mr Seward, when they returned down the mountain. A barbecue for tea in the sunshine allowed staff and students a fun and relaxing end to the day and even gave some students an opportunity to show off some of their dance moves!
After four nights of the great outdoors and an energetic agenda, we were up early on Friday and tents were packed away and on the vans by 8.30am. It was a long journey back with the opportunity to catch up on lost sleep and reminisce about the memories made on this genuinely fantastic week, arriving home to eager parents and carers at 6pm.
The students returned equipped with the skills and characteristics of lifelong Warlingham Learners. The trip was so much more than just the outward-bound activities, with students fully immersing themselves in team building together and learning valuable life skills and responsibilities, from helping to erect and dismantle the tents, to preparing the meals and the much-loved washing up duties.
It was an absolute pleasure to take such an enthusiastic, polite and kind group of students away with us and we are so grateful to the amazing group of staff who helped to make it happen.