Hermannsburg Happenings

2017-03-22 06:02
Kevin Cockburn in his open-air ‘classroom’, explains the formation of the African continent.

Kevin Cockburn in his open-air ‘classroom’, explains the formation of the African continent.

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IT was all systems go at 8am last Saturday after lists had been checked, supplies loaded and buses boarded and the trip to “darkest Africa” at last began.

The journey was accompanied by thunderous sing-a-longs on the big bus, and once we arrived everyone was soon settled into the tents and eating well with their appetite sharpened by the fresh bush air.

Bushmans River proved the ideal way to cool down as the hot African sun filled the sky.

Taking the concept of an “open-air classroom” quite literally, Kevin Cockburn spoke on the geographical history of our country and darkest Africa, after everyone had come back from a bush walk on the Sunday. He was able to show our pupils a 20-year-old scorpion, an Emperor Moth caterpillar that was searching for a place to pupate, and a dung beetle at work, among other fauna and flora. Sunday afternoon was spent creating group flags and slogans.

The programme for the week included more lessons about the flora and fauna, basic first aid, bush craft, bread-baking, team-work exercises and singing lessons. But more importantly, our pupils are learning that some of the things they take for granted are not simply a “given” - food needs careful preparation, ablution facilities need to be kept clean, tent discipline is crucial and the groups need to work at achieving a happy co-existence between the members.

And it can all happen without cell phones, Tablets and all the electronic gadgetry that consumes our everyday lives - interacting face-to-face with each other, and nature, brings with it a different dynamic.

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