Contribution by Ms Ingrid Beekhuizen
Our recent PYP7 camp in the Biesbosch Dordrecht was a wonderful way to celebrate the end of our primary years at ISD! We had plenty of opportunities to connect with nature by listening to the birds and frogs, breathing fresh air after the rain, swimming in the river and dam to cool down from the heat, and searching for the elusive beavers (sadly with no luck due to our chatter and squealing while paddling and swimming). We had great fun learning to paddle. After many of us got stuck in the reeds or marooned on a sandbank, we kept trying and learned to manipulate the boat and paddle more effectively. After 3 hours on the river, we all returned safely – albeit hungry and with aching muscles.
In the evening, after a delicious buffet meal, we built a fire and mastered how to roast marshmallows by peeling the cooked outer layer and repeating the process for prolonged enjoyment. Some students managed four layers of roasting. We then had time to prepare for the talent show.
We started each morning by stretching on the quayside of the river before enjoying a buffet breakfast and packing a lunch for a picnic later in the day. On the first morning, we went for a nature walk to the Klimbos. For some, this activity was an exciting challenge, while for others, it was really daunting. We are so proud of all our students as they challenged themselves to reach beyond their comfort zones and tackle climbs that really stretched them. It was amazing to listen to them encouraging and supporting each other.
We had hours to play and swim at the beach and on the playground. Mr Tom played some big group games too, which were great fun. We then walked to the Sterrenwacht observatory to learn more about our Solar System. There were some interesting interactive displays, including a meteorite and gravity station and the 100-year-old telescope made by Carl Zeiss that is used for viewing the Sun’s spots and flares. As it was cloudy, we did not get to see the Sun, but we did get a chance to look at a distant tree.
That night, we had a fabulous time watching the very well-executed skit during the talent show, after which we danced for hours to song requests from students and teachers. After bedtime, the fun continued for many, although the students were considerate of the other hostel guests and managed to keep their revelry down to reasonable levels.
On the last morning, after stretching and breakfast, we had time to reflect on our personal goals for camp. This camp was a great opportunity to forge new friendships before going to Secondary or other schools, to spend time with existing friends, to challenge ourselves in so many different and unexpected ways. All in all, a fantastic way to close the ISD Primary chapter of our learning journey.
Thanks to all the PYP7 students, Ms Renu, Ms Georgina, Mr Tom, Ms Lucy and Ms Ingrid for a memorable camp – for all the right reasons.