Year 9 Camp
When Mrs Helm noticed that there was no real provision for a whole year group to take a non-academic-study based holiday within the school framework in 2001, she decided to run one. The first Year 9 group to take the trip to Waddow Guide Camp near Clitheroe were the 1999 intake (perhaps because they missed their Year 7 sleepover because of an enlarged year group), and they had rather a good time. It worked so well, in fact, that the camp has become somewhat of a tradition and has run each year since.
Students have, in the past, arrived on a Monday morning and worked with the leaders on each campsite to pitch their tents, lay out their beds and then start on their action packed 4 days with their first activity. Adventurous activities include canoeing and kayaking, climbing and abseiling (held off site at Bowley Scout Camp), archery (also at Bowley), mountain biking (off site in the Gisburn Forest), swimming, and team building. Evenings are taken up with the Year 9 Camp Quiz, the notorious talent competition, and the disco, where everyone dances on the sloping dance floor to music provided by an external company (and not DJ Eddy Edwards to the horror of some, and the delight of others). It was a shock to find that in 2011, the DJs did not have the 'Pokémon Theme Tune' or 'Nyan Cat', but surprisingly played 'Friday' and 'Big Fish, Little Fish, Cardboard Box'.
(Gorgeous) Food is provided to staff and students by a dedicated team of cooks who are very militaristic about the defence of their realm, due to stringent health and safety regulations which state that nobody without a food hygiene certificate is allowed within the cookery complex. This arrangement certainly beats Pot Noodles and undercooked eggs, even if the staff are a little ratty of a morning. The quality of their food is rarely disputed, and food is regularly checked with a probe thermometer to make sure it has reached its threshold temperature of 73°C.
There are 5 different camps which make up the whole site (North Riding, Craggwood, Horseshoe, Hill Top, and ?). There is a toilet/shower block at the top of the hill. In each of the 5 camps there is a shed where tents are stored, seating areas are located, and electrical plug sockets are located. On each site as well as the students there is 3-4 members of staff and 2-3 Year 12s (and possibly John Holland). There is a central marquee where meals and evening activities take place.
Sixth Form Assistance
One increasingly vital contribution to the running of the camp is the unpaid volunteering of up to 40 lower sixth students (and occasionally some upper sixth to provide a few more experienced campers to assist the pitching and striking of complicated/stupid tents). They have always been a valuable asset to the arrangement, but in recent years have helped more and more with pitching the Patrol tents (amazing canvas sheets over poles, pegged) and the teepee tents (terrible canvas monstrosities). The sixth form are often quite fun to take along as well. 0
However, As school finishes on a Thursday this year, This Year's Year 9 are leaving on a sunday and coming back on the wednesday. But it turns out is was almost as brilliant as it is made out to be! Although the 3 toilet cubicles and 1 shower between 68 girls is a bit of a nightmare, and dont forget the one plug socket!