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Sands School camp 2014 – Bryher

The ideal place to take our technology-hungry teenagers would be a desert island with poor mobile phone reception, minimal access to sugar an TV and with endless beaches and a stretch of heaving Atlantic between them and domestic comforts.

Such a place exists of the coast off Cornwall, accessible by a small flat-bottomed ferry. As we moved from the mainland to the Scillies it seems that the 65 of us are transported back to the era of the Famous Five and Kirrin Island. We let go of the 21st century and discover that teenagers still know how to play.

Everyone has a ‘duty day’: preparing industrial quantities of food for the ravenous after days spent exploring beaches, swimming with seals in crystal clear water and watching the waves come crashing into Hell Bay.

The lack of light pollution means that the star-rich night-sky is the perfect backdrop to the ghost stories which take us well into the early hours when the children finally crawl into their tents.

School camps reflect their schools: Sands School’s camps are relaxed, children are trusted to organise their own days and there is a real sense of equality and easiness between adults and children. You won’t find these things in the curriculum but what more important learning for life could there be?