Not this summer
A major disappointment last week was the cancelation of our Camp Cambodia 2021 expedition. The 4 week adventure was the latest in a line of overseas expeditions that aim to have a lasting impact on local communities, whilst also providing our boys with life changing experiences. There had been growing concern on the viability of this summer’s trip. Given the international travel restrictions and uncertainties that showed little sign of being resolved, we had little choice but to cancel. There had been significant planning ahead of the trip, which reflects the scale of the undertaking. Our devoted staff had worked with external agencies, families and the boys themselves, investing time and energies over an extended period of time, which compounded the disappointment.
West Hill staff and boys had been engaged in previous expeditions of this nature to Kenya, Borneo, Uganda and Tanzania. Those involved attest to the enlightening experiences, the humbling exposures to lives lived differently and their own personal development facilitated by such times. The trips are typically preceded by an 18 month period of fund and awareness raising. The expeditions themselves comprise long days, focussed on activities that will support locals, such as building schools or other environmental projects. There is also time to overcome physical challenges, as well as some sightseeing and R&R. Whilst there was a certain resignation that cancellation was the inevitable decision for 2021, that sense of missed opportunity is one that sits heavy with those involved.
We are still hopeful other overseas trips, will eventually resume. They have become a feature of the wider West Hill experience for boys down the years. Annual Mediterranean adventures have been a fixture of the August calendar. Ski trips, with our next one scheduled for February 2022, venture to the North American continent. Language trips to Berlin and Koln, and Geography field trips to Iceland enhance the curriculum. Sports trips, to different continents in rugby and cricket have seen the school colours feature in competition, with a Sri Lankan Cricket Tour 2022 next lined up.
All the above are only possible due to the devotion of staff willing to give up their own personal time to enrich the experiences of our boys. They provide lifelong memories and remain a key element of what West Hill is about.
Posted by Mr Owens on 7 May 2021
Category: Headteacher's Log Book