7 months ago


Camps Grade 7 Camp The

Camps Grade 7 Camp The activities, the challenging experiences and the personal growth the camp allowed me will be fondly remembered as one of the best camps ever! We had to be at school at 5:45am which was not much fun. There were a lot of sleepy, but excited boys that got onto the bus for the long trip to Babanango. When we arrived at the camp we got into our dorm groups and we were all excited that we had mattresses, this small blessing that made us happy! It was incredibly hot on the first day, after leaving a cooler Johannesburg, it was a bit of shock to deal with the heat and the humidity in Natal! We went to the river to cool down and enjoyed a swim. The next day we went to the local orphanage where we played with the children and dropped off our collection of stuff that they needed. We also helped build a vegetable garden for the children. It was difficult to prepare the ground as it was hard and covered in weeds, but in the end we were able to plant the seeds. We spent the rest of the time playing with the children, playing a game of football and pushing some of the boys and girls on the swings. It was a very rewarding day and it felt great being with the children at the orphanage. A Dollar a Day was a lot of fun. Each group was given R60 to buy food for the day. We had to buy three meals for 6 people and it was challenging to get R60 to go a long way. We all went into local town to see what we could get with the money that we had. We also had to cater for boys’ dietary requirements and when you are on a limited budget, there was no time for fussy eaters! Eventually our group had to settle for eggs, mayo and bread as this is all we could afford with our money. We had a simple piece of bread with mayo for lunch and then set of on the hike to the campsite. We had to make our own fire which was going to cook our meals and keep us warm and we only had the night sky as a shelter. For supper, our group had delicious egg mayo sandwiches. The atmosphere at the campsite was wonderful, boys were talking about their successful pap making experience and some boys made delicious meals with soups. That night we slept under the stars. It was amazing and such fun until it started to rain! In the middle of the night we all had make the long hike back to the bus in our freezing clothes and a lot of us with no shoes! When we got to the bus it drove us to another tented camp in Babanango Valley. We each got a mattress but had to sleep in wet clothes and sleeping bags as we were not allowed back in our tents for 24 hours. For breakfast all the groups had to combine all the food as the majority had been lost or damaged during the rain and ordeal the night before. The Dollar a Day experience was challenging but it taught us about the value of money and appreciating our home comforts such as a bed, shelter and warm clothes. On the last day we went for a long hike up one of the tallest mountains in the valley. This was a lot of fun and from the top of the mountain the view was spectacular. When we got back to Johannesburg we were all dirty and tired but we all had a wonderful time. This is the last tour we spend as a year group and it was a very special time. I got to spend time getting to know my peers, engaged in fun, challenging and rewarding activities, and I did all this in the beautiful Babananago Valley countryside. By Marc du Plessis The Ridge School 28 Horizons

Orange River Adventure December 2017 Most Christmas holidays start slowly, with a journey to your vacation spot. Last December, however, my holiday started with a splash! We gathered in the parking lot of the Ridge on Saturday 9th of December at 5:00 am. A long, but fun, journey was yet to start in the bus. Most people were wearing jackets and items of warm clothing before we set off. Little did we know of the 44 degree heat we would experience in a few hours. After a 13-hour drive we arrived. We met up with Rho Matthee and his dad at the Gravity Adventures base camp at Onseepkans. Rho and his dad had taken the shorter option of flying to Upington and then driving the rest of the way, bringing with them Kevin the inflatable duck. parents, each other, or Mr. McLachlan. But the guides, as well as Isaac (our driver), paddled on their own. So off we we went: equipment, people, boats and all, not to mention Kevin the duck, who aimed to be the first inflatable duck ever to finish the trip. (All the other inflatables before him had ended up popping or some other terrible fate.) We headed towards our first campsite on the rocks, also known as Rockstar. We found a lovely swimming spot here, perfect to cool ourselves down after a long day paddling, but what really needed to cool down were the rocks that we slept on. These absorb the heat during the day and don’t cool down till late at night - so falling asleep was quite a challenge with the stove-like rock beneath us. We all set up our sleeping bags and mattresses, getting ready for the night. As it was summer, we slept out in the open without tents under the stars. Being summer, we were eager to swim, so the camp counsellors supplied us with life jackets and explained the basic principles of swimming in a river, namely: never dive into someone, never swim alone and when coming down flowing water, stay in a cocktail position - lying on your back and feet up out of the water so that you can see your toes. After a long swim, it was time for supper. We all learnt then that the guides weren’t only amazing guides, but also exceptional cooks. The main guide on our trip, Ian, introduced himself and two other guides, Vincent and Tristan to us. Ian explained the equipment that we would use along the trip. These were: dry bags, also known as Gucci bags, personal dry equipment and food buckets, cooler boxes and Thunder Alley equipment, the Orange river’s exclusive toilet system. With all these in mind we headed off to bed, hoping to get some sleep ahead of our first day paddling. We woke up the next morning full of excitement, had a nice sunrise swim and headed off to eat breakfast and start packing. This was a routine that we would follow for the next few days. There several children on this trip including; Jude (Mr. Pretorius’ son), Giulia (John’s sister), John Anderson, Julian Kemp, James Barret, Leo Lund, William Mills, Beatrix Mills, Sean Ruwodo, Rho Matthee and Daniel Roberts, all of which would have to partner up with either their The Ridge School 29 Horizons