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Farmer John’s November ’14 Blog

Farmer John’s November ’14 Blog

27 Nov 2015

It was quite clear in my mind what I was going to teach for one and a half hours with 7 pupils and 3 staff from Holy Brook School. I met them at our charcoal site, but before I had opened my mouth they had disappeared into their special area in the woods. Staff casually followed these, normally described as naughty, boys. The lads were completely focused on their camp, which was made up of roughly assembled timbers covered in part by a tatty tarpaulin. Some started getting wood for the fire, another was knowledgably hunting for insects, while others engaged in a complicated game of hide and seek. The staff chatted confidently to one another while I nervously resurrected my skills of lighting a fire. Drinks were dispensed and marsh mallows promised. The fire came good and toasting began. As our time came to an end they tidied up and quietly drew back together to the minibus. I waved them off. They hadn’t learnt the science of autumn leaf fall that I had planned, but the countryside had worked wonders on them that afternoon.
A few weeks later Lindsay and I sat on the edge of a parade ground near Exmouth on a beautiful autumn day, proudly watching our godson pass out at 32 years old as a Royal Marine. He was born just up the road and life was not without its difficulties. He probably had a similar schooling to the lads from Holy Brook, only a higher staffing ratio. His late entry to the Marines was because of police records. Somehow all his past had equipped him to have the courage, determination, unselfishness and cheerfulness in adversity to get through the gruelling training and qualify for the much coveted Green Beret.
“Education is not received. It is achieved!” Anon