Phorms Campus München – Nature up close: surviving in the wilderness
In keeping with the motto of the Outward Bound organisation, ‘Because you’re not a child forever,’ year 8 students from the Phorms Campus München took part in a winter sports ‘survival’ project at the end of February. Outward Bound offers a varied experiential education and outdoor training programme, and this special winter sports week has been on offer for year 8 students at the Phorms Campus München for several years. ‘At this age, the students’ transition from childhood to adulthood is particularly clear. It’s also a time when you can use these kinds of challenges to reach the children’s minds and make a lasting impression, prevent bullying and broaden their experiences,’ says Sören Lehmann, secondary school teacher for sport and German at the Phorms Campus München. On this year’s trip, 34 students had the chance to improve their alpine skills in Kleinwalsertal in Austria. Depending on their skiing ability, they had to organise a ski trip by themselves, including safety equipment, route and supplies. ‘The nature of the sporting activities was definitely different to a holiday. We had to concentrate much more on other people and were forced out of our comfort zone,’ says Mila, 14 years old, year 8. The students are normally hosted overnight at the Schwarzwasserhütte lodgings and continue travelling through the region the next day. This year only a day trip was possible, as the lodging had suffered water damage. The highly experienced skiers were offered an additional overnight trip with cross-country skis, where they could stay in the isolated ‘Ausserwaldhütte’. On this trip, the young adults had to prepare everything themselves before setting off, from the planning of provisions and supplies to chopping their own wood. Surviving without electricity or running water was an additional challenge. Teachers and guides were with them at all times, but would only intervene in the case of an emergency. ‘We’ve never had to so far – but it’s extremely difficult not to!’ says Lehmann.
The ski trip was especially arduous, as the weather conditions were not ideal. ‘We had to cross a river in ski shoes. One of the members of the group fell in, and we had to make sure we reacted properly, as a ‘swim’ in the middle of winter in the mountains can be particularly dangerous,’ said Pauline, 14 years old. But it is exactly this kind of situation that makes the winter sports week such an exceptional experience for the year 8 students, as Mila agrees: ‘I would absolutely recommend the trip to anyone, it’s a lot of fun and it made us grow even closer together as a community.’
CELEBRATING 10 YEARS!
The Phorms Campus München in Bogenhausen is also celebrating its ten-year anniversary in 2017. You will find out more about the the school and the festivities in our next issue.