Adventures and Teamwork in the Out-of-Doors
At the beginning of the school year, Years 5, 7 and 8 spent several days in the forest or in the mountains. Building huts and making a fire were part of the programme of activities.

Outdoor Days Year 5: Under the motto “Fit for the Jungle of Year 5” students spent three days out-of-doors in the grounds of the castle and in the nearby environs. Supported by two professional trainers in outdoor education students experienced a diverse programme in which group identity and self-awareness were strengthened. Both involved agility and team spirit. Nefeli Kuttler and the Year 5 students later wrote: “During our archery unit each of us put together three arrows. The feathers of two colours had to be attached at one end. The other end was sharpened, and a metal tip glued on. We shot the arrows at different targets on the meadow.” Another activity was to build a hut in the forest. Here the students wrote: “We used leaves to seal the walls. The time just flew by. We plan to visit our huts again and to make them even nicer.” In addition, the students in Year 5 learned how to start a fire by themselves.

Outdoor Week Year 7: “At 8 a.m. we departed from Salem, crossed the Swiss border and at 10:30 a.m. we reached the starting point of our hike to the Hundstein hut near Mount Säntis. In about three hours we reached our destination, exhausted, before we unpacked our bags and enjoyed an outstanding meal. The next morning, we were divided into three groups. The first group climbed a mountain to enjoy the beautiful view. The second group went to the other shore of the nearby Fälensee and played two getting-to-know-you games. The third group was assigned the task of building a marble run out of natural materials going all the way into the water. On the next day we formed two groups and undertook the steep hike to the peak of the mountain at 2,105 meters above sea level. The view was gorgeous! After a long lunch break, we hiked back down and were so tired that night that we quickly fell asleep. On the second-to-last day, one group went to a dark and wet cave. It was a really cool experience. The other group had to build a tower of stones as high as possible. Afterwards we wrote letters to ourselves that we will receive at some future date. On the following morning, we walked to the bus stop and rode back to Salem.” 

Ena Martinez, 7D1

Outdoor Weekend Year 8: “All the students of Year 8 gathered together on the morning of September 25, shouldering our heavy backpacks, and boarded a bus. We were divided into three groups and let off the bus at different locations to begin our hikes. We used a compass to get our bearings. To reach our destination, the Illmensee, each group had to hike for 10 kilometers. In the evening we raised our tents, cooked noodles, and roasted marshmallows over a campfire. Then we went to sleep quickly, so we would be fit for the next day. On Sunday morning we were called out of the tents at 7 a.m. to enjoy breakfast. After washing our plates, we packed up our tents. We didn’t have a lot of time for that because we had to set off again soon. Assigned to different groups, we hiked about 15 kilometres back to Salem Castle. After this excursion we were all exhausted and happy to be back in Salem.”

Naira Imhäuser und Alicia Müller, 8D1