We woke up bright and early this morning. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t quite as bright but that didn’t dampen our spirits as we looked forward to a day at Eden Camp.
Eden Camp, just outside the town of Malton in North Yorkshire, is a converted World War 2 Prisoner of War Camp, and is now home to one of the finest World War 2 Museums in the country. The prisoner of War huts have all been retained and each one houses an informative, very real and fully immersive insight into life during World War 2. The children were able to experience the sights, sounds and even smells of the war, with each hut containing artefacts and first-hand accounts that fascinated the children. The museum really brings home the sheer magnitude and scale of the conflict, and there are some very sensitive and harrowing insights into the war. The children, however, were respectful and inquisitive throughout, asking and answering a range of questions, which allowed them to really develop their understanding of the war and the implications it had. We particularly enjoyed the Music Hall performance in Hut 6 where the children were encouraged to join in with the singing of some World War Two classic songs from Vera Lynn and George Formby! But I think, what we really took away from our day at Eden Camp, was the immense debt of gratitude that we owe to the millions of people, men and women, both fighting abroad and volunteering at home, who sacrificed so much during World War Two to keep our world a safer place.
On our return to Bewerley Park, we had a short amount of ‘down time’ before dinner. The children were given time to complete their diaries, play with some of the items they had bought from the Eden Park shop and prepare and rehearse for tomorrow evening’s talent show - from what we have seen so far, I think we are in for a treat!
After ‘burger night’ in the canteen, we headed out for our evening activities, ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ and the ‘Leap of Faith’. Both involve climbing to massive heights and conquering fears. Every single child attempted the activities, some going further than they ever thought imaginable. You could see a noticeable feeling of pride and achievement on the children’s faces after they returned safely down to the ground and the teamwork they showed, and the encouragement they shouted up to their friends, was testament to their caring natures. Exactly the values we strive to achieve in St Austin’s.
If you wish to see some of the headcam videos from the Leap of Faith see here
We ended the night with the greatest game of football Bewerley Park has ever witnessed, as boys and girls came together to compete on the hallowed Bewerley turf. It was an extremely competitive and hard fought match which ended in an honourable 3-3 draw. With the light fading, we decided not to go to penalties, but instead, we agreed to have a rematch tomorrow night.
After such a busy day, we were all ready for a mug of hot chocolate and a slice of cake, before retiring to our dorms to bed. We can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store, the children are excited for Ghyll walking and exploring Brimham Rocks.
This is what some of our children thought about today
‘The part about the blitz was very interesting’ (Danny)
‘The boats rescuing the men from the beach at Dunkirk was really good’ (Adam)
‘I liked the part where I had to look in a newspaper to find out what happened on my birthday – I found out that a u-boat was captured’ (Patrick)
‘ The chapel was very peaceful and emotional – we went in there after looking at the holocaust memorial.’(Georgie)
‘ Eden Camp puppet show was funny especially where we had to shout out the words ‘when I’m cleaning windows…’ (Adam)
“I loved conquering my fears on the Jacob’s Ladder, I went much higher than I thought I would.” (Freya)
“It was so scary doing the leap of faith but after I did it I was so proud of myself” (Amelia)
It was a very good game… a game of two halves! (Harvey)