Traditions. Our first boat trip

Our school has many different glorious traditions. Three years ago another one appeared. Every summer, at the end of the school year, all interested students and teachers go on a three-day boat trip along the Little Danube.

I remember our first such trip very well, as if it were yesterday. We suggested that the then seventh-graders organize a rafting trip on the Little Danube for two days with one overnight stay in the Pod Križom camp. They happily accepted this idea. And not only them. Also the parents of these students enthusiastically supported the idea and became active participants. On day X, June 18, 2021, everything was ready. The boats were waiting for us in Nova Dedinka. A huge pile of equipment in the form of tents, sleeping bags, clothes was sent by car to the camp and patiently awaited our arrival by water (how could so much stuff fit on the boats?). We even had a flag with the logo of our school and it was unanimously decided that Sashka would be the flag bearer during the trip. All participants were excited about the upcoming adventure.

Having arrived at our pier, we divided into teams, covered all exposed parts of our bodies with sunscreen (the day promised to be sunny and very warm), put on safety vests, got into the boats and the adventure began.

It took the students about an hour to learn how to row oars more or less effectively. For a long time, our boats did not go straight, but from right to left and from left to right. And if it weren’t for the help of glorious parents, we would have had to spend the night in boats.

Very soon we were all covered in sticky sweat. Everyone was very hot. We began to feel where our muscles were. The palms began to burn and the first calluses appeared. But it was still a long way to the camp. The river beckoned us with its refreshing coolness…. How to resist such a temptation? Loud “Let’s go swimming!” – was heard over the water. It was a great pleasure to immerse hot bodies in cool water. The fatigue from working with the oars ran away from us with the current. To everyone’s surprise, the river turned out to be shallow. For about two hours we walked along the bottom with our feet, sometimes the vests carried us through slightly deeper places.

The Little Danube flows slowly between fields, along roads and settlements. Its banks are covered with bushes and trees. Many times our boats were carried into these thickets, under the branches of trees bending over the water, and heaps of spiders and insects fell on our heads. The squeals, screams, and laughter of children rushed over the river.

To stay together, we tied the boats, and our friendly, cheerful company, singing songs, slowly sailed further and further from Bratislava.

After about 6 hours, the camp pier appeared on the right side. A roar of endless joy swept over the river. And this was understandable; after 5-6 hours of rowing, even our brave parents were tired, not to mention the students.

In the camp, the boys Matyas (a scout with many years of experience and jack of all trades), Viktor, and Michal began to prepare firewood for the fire. The girls carried things to the tents. When our hunger was satisfied in the camp cafe, together with parents we played football and volleyball, dodgeball, and learned to shoot with a bow and an air pistol. The students prepared warm words for Evelin (she was going to leave Slovakia with her parents) and we went to the Tree of Wishes to tie ribbons on its branches to make our wishes come true.

In the evening, Viktor’s parents arrived and brought watermelons and melons. It was delicious. Later, the Head of our school, Mr. Jaymes, came to see the camp.

Time passed quickly. Night has come. And there was a fire, and everyone was telling some story, and cockchafers were flying among us like fighter jets.

Waking up early in the morning, we did morning exercises, had breakfast in a cafe, packed our things, boarded the boats and sailed to our final place – Jelka.

We sang songs again, swam a lot, “collected” spiders in the thickets, and rowed, rowed, rowed… Thanks to wonderful, tireless parents. On this day they mainly worked with oars.

This is how our first boat trip ended.  Everyone was tired but happy, full of positive energy and with a strong desire to repeat the same trip next summer. Thus, another good tradition arose. Since then, at the end of each school year the team of the students and teachers goes on a boat trip along the Little Danube. I’ll write about how it was this year some other time.

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