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Peterhouse Boys

D Block Basecamp 2019

‘A ship in harbor is safe - but that is not what ships are built for.”

— John A. Shedd, Salt from My Attic

Indeed, you can get to see how strong, creative, resilient, humorous and gutsy boys really are when they are outside – doing what young boys can do best – making rafts, making fires, shooting targets with pellet guns, abseiling off rock faces and scrambling up kopjes to observe the views below.

Even the boys surprised themselves on this Basecamp and were ‘better ships that they ever imagined’ – some enjoyed camping for the first time, walked further than they thought they could, cooked their own supper on an open fire, ate no tuck for a few days (and survived), learnt knots and how to make shelters!

Some new friendships were established, new opinions and perspectives were aired and these were peppered with’ boyish’ arguments on just about anything - just for the sake of it! Wandering down a pathway in the middle of the miombo woodland, with a rucksack on their back and the afternoon sun on their faces lead to many special conversations happening, where they talked about family, future dreams, their old schools, girls, cars, gaming and most importantly – food! These ‘ships’ were now ‘out of the harbor’ and exploring the world around them in the fresh air.
Outward Bound Zimbabwe successfully orchestrated many of the activities that these boys did in and around Calderwood Park. Their Instructors are trained to keep the boys as safe as possible during these activities and then to tease out the learning points and relevance of what they are doing as they work in various magical outdoor ‘classrooms’. If you were to crouch down in the circle besides the boys after such activities, you would be amazed at the conversations that they are having – sometimes, they are talking openly and telling their friends some real home truths, sometimes you see the empathy start to flow and there are often times when they are rolling around in the dust belly laughing at one another’s experiences together.
Basecamp is a really special way of introducing the Peterhouse Outdoor Education Program which gets more and more challenging as the boys get older each year. We thank the Peterhouse Tutors and Outward Bound Zimbabwe Instructors for every moment they spent with the D Block – helping them become more self-aware and ‘ready’ for the open seas of life around them.

Sarah Shoesmith
Director of Extra Curricular Activities