The cold wind may be blowing in Bahrain but Switzerland proved to be much colder – and 45 St Chris students loved it! Late night flights and an early morning coach ride were taken in stride as the annual Junior Ski Trip arrived in Anzere for a week of skiing. Our children ranged from never-seen-snow to competent skier but every single one of them had an equally great time on the mountain.
After picking up their gear, there were six solid days of skiing and there wasn’t one skier (well maybe just one, through unfortunate illness) who missed a minute. The students absorbed every hint, tip, word of advice that the superbly enthusiastic Viamonde instructors offered. Several students exercised the spirit of Random Acts of Kindness Week by leaving their equipment on the bus for strangers to use, in just a few of the comical antics that permeated their time and also included using other strangers to help stop them falling over, actual falling over and finding out that it’s not possible to fall off a mountain – but falling down it is possible. Comedy aside, a lot of hard work and even more perseverance went into each day and was rewarded with both progress for each child, and a sense of pride mingled with joy that was taken from each slide up (technically, slide down) a level.
Fun wasn’t just had on the slopes. Each evening had its own entertainment. The group went sledging in 18 inches of fresh, white, cold snow, finding that all the Ski-Fit sessions at school paid off a little bit with the muscle-burning climb up, to more easily slide down. A murder had to be solved for Mystery Evening, a half-inside-half-outside swimming pool dip followed for the next evening, and then it was snow-shoeing and a compulsory classic viewing of Cool Runnings towards the end of the week. For the final evening, the children managed to sum up enough energy for a multi-round dance-off during their disco celebration of the week’s events.
A perfect combination of achievement, enjoyment and exhaustion, tinged with a little sadness, defined the St Chris skiers as they boarded the silly o’clock coach to begin the long journey home. An enormous thank-you goes to the teachers, including a particular thanks to Mr Armstrong who organised the majority of this very successful trip, to the Viamonde instructors for their extensive knowledge, patience and positivity; to the parents for their hard work in preparing for the demands of the mountain; to the students who were a credit to the school for the entire journey from Bahrain and back. A world-class trip had by all and one to be treasured for many years to come. A special word of thanks must go to Seef Mall, whose kind sponsorship of the trip provided the whole group with lovely, warm hoodies to travel in.