For the last few year’s Lawrence has led an activity on Y6 Camp that focuses on Coping. The activity involves students on the tent camping site being spaced at 10m intervals on a country path at night to look, listen and feel the natural environment. After 10 minutes a staff member at the bottom of the trail walks slowly up the path, tapping students on the shoulder and they continue up the path in silence until all students are together and a briefing is held to discuss what they could see, what noises they heard and how they felt. They then get an option to walk back to their campsite on their own or with others.
This has always been a successful activity for the majority. But each year one or two have struggled to feel comfortable and a few have even been upset. After reviewing previous years, small modifications were made this year. This involved having a clearer intent given in the initial briefing. More explicitly describing the safety of the activity and how close other students and staff members were. The idea of students choosing their level of stretch for coping and to use their character strengths was also introduced. This provided the option for students to sit alone at 10m intervals if they felt they could do this, those who felt uncomfortable could choose being with a partner or staff member, depending on their comfort level.
The debriefing after students were collected at the top of the hill and back together also had more intent, with the range of feelings being shared and discussed. Students were then asked to choose how far they wanted to stretch themselves on the walk back to camp with options including individual, pairs and group. With the more explicit intentions the majority were able to go individually, all others in pairs. At the final debriefing there was a very positive feel with the majority of students feeling they had coped and stretched their ability to cope.