This is exactly how I wrote the letter to the family on 27 August 2011
I just got back from camp last night.. We got back around 11:30.. The camp was South West Wales, about 3 hours away from here. It was a very nice place.. the county of Pembrokeshire.. we stayed in a farm house.. and we were taken on different activities during the day. There was one wet activity per day and one dry/land activity. On the first day I had kayaking in the morning and a coastal walk in the evening. On the second day I had Coastereeing in the morning which was basically we were in an area where there used to be slate mining before.. and when they stopped mining, the blew up the walls of the quarry and now it’s called “Blue Lagoon” it was beautiful and because of the seaweed and the algae at the bottom of the quarry the water almost looked mediterranean and warm.. but it was freezing, we had to put on (and take off) wet suits every day – it was a pain.. The last day I had surfing in the morning, which was awesome. The camp was basically our introduction to each other, as well as an introduction to two out of the many services we can choose from. These two services were lifeguarding (surfing and coasteering was part of that) and AOC (Atlantic Outdoor Center which is like an afterschool/camp activity kind of place where children from local schools come to do afterschool stuff or kids from all over the UK and it offers lots of different activities and the students who take AOC as their service help run the activities). The camp was mainly led by second years, it was great. When we got there on Tuesday night it was already dark and they were all dressed as drill sergeants.. And the entire time there were only 10 songs playing – so that we would get utterly sick of those 10 songs.. but so that in 5 or so months when we listen to them/ one of them again.. we’ll think about camp.. and they do this at the beginning – as soon as we get here so that we bond quickly.. so these people really know what they’re doing..
Now we have been “sorted” into 10 groups and we’re getting introduced to all the other services and activities that we can choose from so I have free time now.. and I have a swimming test next and then I have all of my service inductions.. We’ve already chosen our classes.. that was an interesting process too.. We met with our Tutors (each tutor as 5 students) and decided what subjects we should take and then we were taken into a room.. like a panel with 5 different teachers – I think heads of departments and university applications director or something, and basically our tutor was like our lawyer and we just made sure that the subjects I picked were good choices. They advised for me to take Higher Level Bio Econ and Standard Level English French Math that gives me the most options and a very solid application for college if I can manage…
The food is okay (nana asked about the food) nothing extraordinary.. just normal school food.. lots of potatos.. in so many different forms.. the cooking staff have a great imagination!! But there are enough vegetables and fruits – but we just have to be able to choose the best food for ourselves.. The dining room is in the castle.. and there’s always food in our house; bread, milk, tea are the shared stuff.. and you can buy yourself extra food from the Co-op on campus or from Llantwit Major which is walking distance..
My dormmates are quite cool. One is from Jordan, one is from Spain, who is in the process of learning English, and teaching me more Spanish.. we’ve been talking in Spanish a bit, and one is from Germany. We’ve only spent three nights together because the other three nights we were at camp in huge rooms with like 24 people per room.