We have some amazing Grade 4 children–and I (most sincerely) do not say this lightly. They were so excited about the prospect of an overnight camp trip–so, we were desperate to make it happen. After a fair amount of deliberation, and considering the students’ recent studies in history class, we thought “why not visit our ‘cousins’ in BASIS International School Nanjing?” Our Nanjing family immediately opened its arms to us, and said they were equally excited at the idea of our Grade 4s and theirs undertaking some joint activities and building meaningful relationships.
The high-speed train takes only two hours between the cities–as it races at 200 miles per hour. However, there were some challenges in taking a large body of children through stations that are being so careful with regard to virus protection. Children had to be entrusted with their own rail tickets…Yes, somebody lost theirs within 30 seconds of receiving it–ironically the same child did the identical thing on the return trip–and lost his spectacles…However, small meat on a field trip and the authorities seem to always be easy prey for a smiling, glassy-eyed child and will open any gate to ensure that smile does not disappear. Our children were also equipped with fluorescent vests–so they could be spotted from a mile away!
In Nanjing, our ‘cousins’ at BASIS International School Nanjing laid on lunch, movie and popcorn party, and breakfast the following morning. It was a wonderful opportunity for the Grade 4 children from each school to mix and become friends.
The first night of a camp trip is always the hardest! Children fight sleep, miss parents, and awake at the first shard of light. Yes, I was awoken by Ryan at 12:15 a.m.–he being fully dressed and packed, wearing his mask–and asking when we were going for breakfast. He was met with monosyllables, and opted to unpack and go back to bed.
Day two involved a trip to the Nanjing Museum. An edifice of a place, but incredibly interesting. A further learning opportunity for our babes before we commenced the return trip to Hangzhou.
The BASIS International School Nanjing staff were incredibly facilitating. They had done such a lot of preparation for the visit, whilst the campus was perfect for our activities out with the normal school day. We managed two meals in restaurants, the first being in a very chi-chi establishment that, amongst other treats, allowed diners to serve themselves ice cream. Yes, the ice cream area did look like a post-battlefield Somme after near 50 children had been for thirds…
Truly, a lovely trip–and in no small part courtesy of the sweet and caring team in Nanjing. So many lovely emails from parents saying how much the children loved the field trip. Job done!
Alan Wilkinson is the founding Head of School at BASIS International School Hangzhou.
Explore careers with BASIS International School Hangzhou and BASIS International School Nanjing.