veldskool and kleinmannetjie-sindroom

School camps.  I remember them well.  Today they are called camps or tours.  In my day it was Veldskool.  If you look up that word in a dictionary it says "a week long trip during which you are treated like crap by camp facilitators with overblown egos whose sole purpose is to humiliate you".

Nic just returned from a fabulous 4 days away ...... 1 day spent on the waterslides at Aventura Warmbaths .... hard to tell who had more fun ..... Nic & Dev or the 2 male teachers.  All reports I have is that the 4 of them REALLY got value for money as they outslid, outraced and out foofie-slid each other.  ZE and BdT ... well done on a great bonding day!!  Next they flurried off to Cullinan or thereabouts for 3 days of team building .... but the nice type ....... spirit building, not destroying. 

My kids have also seen the entire Pilgrims Rest, God's Window, Valley of a Thousand Hills area.  On a school tour.  Touring, learning, seeing, exploring.  Coming home with good memories.  Yes, showers are cold, yes they walk far, yes it is not all namby pamby. But till today I am still trying to work out why the head guy at our Std 8 camp decided mid-breakfast that we had breathed too loudly while chewing and made us get up and run 2km and then come back and eat further.  Also, not eat until we were all back, including one poor skapie who had an asthma attack en route.  Why the hell did they make her run in the first place?  

In Gr 11 it is slightly less fun.  A week of hiking in the Drakensberg.  Carrying your 15kg rugsack all the way up.  And camping along the way.  And when you camp at the top .... delightful.  No water, no loos, a little Bunsen burner thingy to cook your "survival pack".  When Jess went it rained the entire time.  No, not rained .... bucketed.  Every photo we got showed a blurry pack of kids whose bodies and rugsacks were covered with plastic and it was pooling around their feet.  I remember her tales of how it rained up there and the water was just pouring over their sleeping bags.  But still, done in a team spirit kind of way.  Building, not breaking. 

I remember our Std 5 camp.  We stood guard duty at night.  I always got the 2 to 3am slot.  It was winter, freezing and pitch dark.  The previous guard woke me up and torch in hand I felt my way to my "station".  I dozed off at one stage ..... 13 year old girls will do this when freezing cold and a little scared.  When the head honcho came on his patrol and found me sleeping .... the reaction was akin to me having let 68 refugees cross the border between SA and Zim .... he went ballistic.  I had to go without breakfast.  Real great life lesson.  He asked me what I had learnt.  I think a suitable answer is "that you are an asshole". 

No wonder I hate camping.  Go figure. 

till next time
c'est la vie 
xxx




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