The speech is written by Mr Brook, who sadly could not be at camp this year, and read to the children round the camp fire last week:
“This year we celebrate 40 years of Sir Robert Hitcham’s and Whitwell Hall – the longest running relationship with any school.
Mr Byer started this tradition way back in 1977 – the year the Queen celebrated 25 years as the Monarch (Silver Jubilee) and a British woman won Wimbledon. Mr Brook was only 13 years old!
Over those 40 years the experience of being at Whitwell has not changed much. Some of you will have had parents who came here. Indeed a few years ago there were 10 children whose parents had been to Whitwell with Mr Byer.
Whitwell is meant to be basic: camping, fresh air, open fires, no electricity, TV or other electronics. And no shop! There have been some improvements: the food is much better, the shower block did not exist 10 years ago and there is now a broader range of activities including the seal trip and day at the beach. The t-shirts and hats were introduced by Mr Brook 9 years ago who joined us when Mr Byer ‘retired’ as a teacher after 31 year 6 camps.
Traditions like year 6 camp are not easy to keep up. They rely completely on having staff and volunteers that are willing to camp and work for 24 hours a day. Most schools don’t run trips like this anymore because they can’t get the staff to do the extra work. Why then does SRH still do this? It is because the staff involved really enjoy it as well and because they all think it is a brilliant thing for you all to experience.
Whitwell is special and I hope that you have all enjoyed it as much as all the 39 other year 6 groups before you.”