Van Stadens Survivor Vaycay!

BY By Miss J Hattingh

The grade 7 camp was the most anticipated event of the year and it was well worth the wait! The girls eagerly arrived at school on Monday morning, 07 October, with their luggage in tow. Many girls seemed to be packed for two weeks instead of two nights! There was great excitement packing everything into the big bus and making our way to the Van Stadens resort. As we neared our destination, we travelled in heavy mist and eventually arrived in the pouring rain. However, it did not dampen the girls’ spirits as they excitedly hurried into the hub and were ready to begin their first activity!
As their first task in the “Survivor” themed camp, the tribes received the name of their bungalow in which they would be staying and were sent on a treasure hunt to find it. Once their whole group had returned, they had to identify their new home on a map before receiving their key. The biggest challenge was that they were sent in the complete opposite direction of the bungalows and it was still raining! The girls embraced the challenge and were keen to unpack the bus and settle into their new homes.
Luckily the rain gave us a break and the weather became perfect for activities on the beach! The girls enjoyed many team building tasks such as climbing on chairs to get to the other side of the river without falling in and digging a hole in the sand to crawl through as quickly as possible. The girls thoroughly enjoyed witnessing Mrs Snyman, Miss Hattingh, Mr De Beer and Miss Mxoli diving into the sand to crawl under the board to get to the other side! The first day of camp ended with build a burger for supper, a group dance off, a torch lit night walk on the beach and hot chocolate with marshmellows before heading off to bed.
The second day of camp was pure bliss! The girls were on the beach and ready to have fun before their breakfast had even settled! It was an action-packed day as they delighted in swimming in the lagoon, going on the paddle boats and rowing the canoes, even though they often turned into submarines instead!  Outside of the water, the girls spent time on the trampolines and did the fall of trust from the top of a table. This was not as easy as it seemed, and many girls ended up on the floor rather than in the safe arms of their classmates! The toughest team task faced the groups as they had to compete for their potjie ingredients, build the fire on their own and cook their own food. No one will ever forget how determined Savuzwa Humata was to win ingredients for her team’s potjie as she tripped over her own feet during a challenge, ploughed face first into the sand with her mouth open and quickly got up to keep running with her face completely covered in sand!
Although the girls were kept busy all day, they will still not tired enough to go to sleep at the scheduled lights out time... Almost the whole grade was guilty of sneaking out at some point of the night to play Ding Dong Ditch. Miss Hattingh caught the girls in the act on the second night which saw Tazmia Bosman and Tylah Brink hiding away in a bush to not be seen! The pranking continued as some girls decided to put toothpaste on the door handle of another bungalow, but their guilty conscience got the best of them and they got rid of the evidence before anyone found out! Most girls missed the lights out time and continued to talk, laugh, dance, do the splits and get up to mischief until the wee hours of the morning. One group was convinced that their faulty door was a ghost coming in and out of their chalet so they knocked on the chalet next door and snuggled in their beds which ended up as eight girls in one tiny chalet! 
The beach life was not for everyone as Zenande Zinto constantly moaned about sinking in the sand exclaiming out aloud, “I’m drowning here!” Not only was she not a fan of the sand, but also complained that the sea made too much noise at night! However, going away and being together gave the girls time to bond. Linathi Nkomo expressed that her favourite part of camp “was when we were sitting together like a family while eating our food.” Angela Miles fondly reflects how special it was when the whole group sang Christmas carols when they stood under the stars with their lanterns and sang the school song on top of the sand dune while attempting to make a big “Grade 7” sign in the sand. She adds that, “All of the memories truly warmed my heart, I could honestly never ask for a better group of girls to spend my grade 7 year with.”
After an eventful two-night camp, the exhausted girls and teachers unwillingly packed their things to return to the reality of normal school. It was only fitting that not only did we arrive in the pouring rain, but we packed and left in the pouring rain as well! The memories made will truly be treasured and the bond formed between the girls will help them to say farewell to the sheltered life of junior school and say hello to the daunting future as the babies of high school.

 October 17, 2019
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By Miss J Hattingh

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