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North Coast Adventure
Mont Nicolle School enjoy their stay at Crabb
by Jeff Hathaway

STRAIGHT after the half term break class 4 from Mont Nicolle took themselves off for a residential stay at the Queen's Silver Jubilee Activity Base, more commonly called Crabbe.

The School told La Baguette:

"The children had previously self selected their groupings for the four sleeping chalets, and they had prepared some of their food in advance. First thing after unpacking was a brisk walk down to Greve de Lecq, pausing to look at the ancient hill fort, the barracks and German bunkers demonstrating that the beach has been defended in various ways over the centuries. Some beach art ensued for 45 minutes then a more sedate walk up through Greve de Lecq woods.

The Crabbe site is one of the largest unspoilt and wild places in Jersey that children can access in total safety. The site covers several vergees and is comprised of two mainly flat camping areas linked by a steep wooded area that is bisected by a long railway sleeper staircase that is treacherous on the calf muscles, and keeps us all fit.

Other activities during the three day stay included building bivouacs, artwork, scavenger hunts using geographical skills to locate selected spots for clues, learning about horses, a bug hunt, and a coastal walk towards Devils Hole. The air was clear and the coastal views were spectacular including sight of Alderney and the Contentin peninsular. Ile Agois looked splendid in the bright sunlight, although it is still difficult to imagine the 9th century monks living on it in their 14 small round huts. We came back through the St. Mary lanes past La Mare vineyards.

Friday afternoon saw 22 tired and dusty children return home for a well earned bath and snooze.

Colin Masterman, the school's headteacher said: "This is the first residential stay that Mont Nicolle children undertake, leading on to a stay at St. Aubin's Fort and then a week long personal challenge on the Lac de Guerledan in year 6. We fundamentally believe that residential trips build children's independence, self reliance and team skills. All of these things are important for success in life. The trips are also tremendous fun."

One of the pupils wrote the following poem of her experiences:

Down The Formidable Stairs.

Stomping rapidly down the damp and formidable stairs,
On the way down you can hear the giant trees rustling,
If you look closely you may see the branches dancing in time to the blowing wind,
I'm stamping on all the crispy leaves making them crackle,
Stomping rapidly down the damp and formidable stairs.

Stomping rapidly down the damp and formidable stairs,
Going down quickly as I hear the guns shooting loudly in the distance,
I can see the lush bushes jumping up and down in the spiteful wind,
The birds are tweeting happily on the mossy branches,
Stomping rapidly down the damp and formidable stairs.

Stomping rapidly down the damp and formidable stairs,
As I walk solemnly down I can feel the mush leaves under my feet and the cold wind hitting my face fiercely,
The stairs are hurting my poor old legs, it feels I’m climbing Mount Everest,
However, I will keep on walking down and down,
Stomping rapidly down the damp and formidable stairs.

Stomping rapidly down the damp and formidable stairs,
I go on my long and epic journey down the stairs,
Distracting myself with the beautiful environment surrounding me,
Suddenly I hear the fog horn signalling lunch, my journey was all for nothing,
Stomping rapidly up the damp and formidable stairs.

Molly Carre

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