01 Aug, 2016
10 : 00
We capped off our first school year at Lingang in style this week with a camping and hiking excursion to Sheng Si Island, which is about 40 km off the coast of Shanghai. The summer sun was shining brightly in the big blue sky as we arrived on the island, and the students were so excited to get to the beach that they devoured their lunch in less than 15 minutes. After setting up their tents on the beach upon arrival, students sprinted to the water to cool their feet from the hot sand in the ocean’s refreshing waves. After playing happily in the water for a while, we had a sand art competition. Among the fabulous designs in the wet sand were the YWIES logo and a miniature model of Lingang’s beloved Di Shui Lake. We then had some sports competitions by house, with the Green Dragons dominating the play and securing the inaugural Yew Wah House Cup.
As most students didn’t get much sleep on the beach overnight, they were understandably a bit sluggish as we started our short mountain hike the next morning. However, the fresh morning fog on the mountainside filled them with curiosity and anticipation. As we slowly climbed up the misty mountain, it was almost as if we were travelling through a rain cloud. The cool, wet fog was a welcome relief to our hot skin. As we neared the summit, it became apparent that due to all the fog, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the beautiful panoramic view of the island with the ocean on all sides. Some suggested we even turn back early, but we persevered to reach the top, and students felt a sense of accomplishment. Our last activity was riding on fishing boats, and many students were nervous about climbing onto the small boats to go out on the open water. Some groups were disappointed that their nets only produced a few shrimp, while other groups hauled in a variety of shrimp, crabs, fish, and even a few octopi!
As we made our way back to campus, nearly everyone slept on the ferry and on the bus. Teachers and students alike were worn out, but happy. At Yew Wah, we believe that outdoor education is a great way to implement a holistic education programme. Excursions like these produce character as students are challenged in physical and emotional ways not available in the classroom. It also gives students a chance to learn knowledge and skills not found in a textbook. Through this trip, we believe that students will become better people and forge stronger friendships. The pain from sleeping on the sand or climbing the mountain will be temporary, but their memories of this experience will hopefully last forever.
By Executive Co-Principal Mr Christopher Munn