Penryn Schoolchildren Visiting Scilly

The biggest party of schoolchildren to visit St Mary’s this summer will leave the islands tomorrow after a week packed with educational and leisure activities on the land and water.

11 and 12 year olds from Penryn College make up the majority of the 106-strong group that has been camping at Pelistry.

The school partners with our Five Islands School in a number of outdoor challenges and activities through the Leading Edge programme.

Alan Hulbert started the annual camping trip 27 years ago, with Ros Bastion who is also helping on this visit. On that first trip, they brought over just 36 students.

Alan retired recently but still comes on the trips, although he sees more of the islands now as he’s bought a second home here.

Despite the hi-tech entertainment on offer to today’s youngsters, Alan says they still enjoy and expect to sing oldies from The Beatles and Donovan’s ‘Mellow Yellow’ around a campfire.

Alan says the education elements of the week-long trip are firmly based on the islands’ past with poetry and story writing about Sir Cloudesley Shovell.

There wasn’t so much red tape and regulation to limit what the party did in the 1980s when the trips started, including evening sailing trips to the Off-Islands which Alan says they can’t do any more.

But Alan says many of the youngsters fall in love with Scilly on their trip over and return under their own steam in the future.