Grade 7 (Yr. 8) Camp to Mai Chau
On Monday 9th May, 31 intrepid G7s (Year 8s) set off to visit Mai Chau in Hoa Binh province, roughly 3 hours west of Ha Noi. Accompanied by Mr. Ed, Mr. Ian, Ms. Madonna and the Learning Project leaders, all the students were very excited to finally be going, after a year of delays due to Covid restrictions. We enjoyed the sweeping views as we made our way from Ha Noi to Mai Chau, arriving to some good food and setting up at a local homestay inside Lac Village. Everyone was very excited to get stuck into the various challenges and opportunities we would be facing over our stay.
When we arrived, everyone quickly got settled in their shared accommodation, before splitting into smaller groups and completing a cultural treasure hunt. This involved the groups searching the streets of the village for stink bugs to catch, learning from our guides about the rice farming and seeing how traditional weaving was done. Many of the students had a try at weaving, with varying levels of success. This was an excellent way to spend the afternoon, as students had a chance to work in new groups, complete complex challenges and learn about the culture of the local people. We then spent an evening watching traditional dancing involving traditional dress and bamboo poles, with everyone then having a try at the dancing.
On the second day, everyone got to take on the challenge of rock climbing. All attempted the different routes up the cliff, some more successful than others. It was excellent to see so many of the group throwing themselves into the climbing and having great success. As well as rock climbing, we spent the second day creating bamboo catapults, trying to use just 6 pieces of bamboo and some rubber to fire stuffed toys as far as possible. We had lots of different designs, with varying levels of success. As well as making catapults, some members spent time making team chants and painting a team flag. After this, we spent some time walking around the village, purchasing souvenirs and enjoying seeing the stars and moon during the night hike.
We finished our trip with testing our catapults, by trying to knock over a toy pig with our angry bird toys. A shout out goes to Hanna’s team for hitting Mr. Ed several times and winning the overall competition. All the groups got a chance to spend time socialising with each other, which was needed after such a long time of online learning. Overall, everyone had an excellent time, learning lots and experiencing new and challenging activities. A big thanks to all the students and the Learning Project for being such a pleasure to be on camp with!