Tag Archives: sailing

Summer Camp Activities – the active poems

I meant to set these up to auto post whilst I was at camp…and as usual, I forgot.  Partly because the day I was going to do it, was the day I had my road trip companions arriving and I was still packing for camp whilst trying to rearrange my apartment to accommodate sleeping places for three people.  It was done, although one of them was highly dubious about my ability to fit in the armchairs to sleep, and even after she saw me sleeping there, refused to believe I was actually comfortable.

The next few sets are poems I wrote about the activities we do at camp.  In my last year as a camper, our Press Room assignment was to produce some material for the camp magazine.  So I used the time to write a series of rhymes, which I’m going to share over the next couple of posts.  Enjoy!

Field Sports
Rounders, footie, netball too,
So many different things to do.
Watch the pancakes slip you up,
Landing in a pile of muck!
We all went sailing,
Out on the lake.
‘Round and ’round in circles,
We’re not the next Drakes.
Capsized in drill,
Sent Lauren under.
Landed on her as I jumped,
So is it any wonder?
The wake from the gondolas.
Set us rocking madly.
Nearly tipped us overboard,
But not quite, gladly!
The sailing crew got us all back,
Safe, if not quite dry.
And though we might not sail the globe,
At least we’ve had a try.
Hillwalking (to the tune of ‘The Grand Old Duke of York)
Oh the grand young Mr Smith,
He took two dorms, some staff.
He marched them up to the top of a hill,
And he marched them down again.
They went up again and again,
Then back down a few more times.
And when they thought they’d never reach the crown,
They found they’d got to town.

Towards the seaThe view from the top of The Old Man of Coniston – yesterday’s hillwalk



Filed under Rhymes


This time next week, I shall be camping up in the Lake District.  I’ve been going to Summer Camp there since I was 11 as a camper, graduating to staff status at the age of 19.  My first year of staff, I was assigned to the sailing crew.  Captain of the good ship ‘Custard’ (a custard coloured Wayfarer that went as fast as its namesake), wind conditions that year were especially tricky.  One day I was taking two of the girls out during their dorm’s lesson, and they almost deafened me with their screeches of ‘we’re going to dieeeeeeeeee!!!!!!’ when the wind picked up.  This poem was written in their honour.


They didn’t die, I got them both safely back to shore, and they only got wet because it started to rain too.


We drift slowly,
Angling to catch,
The whisper of a breeze.
Lake like a millpond,
Surface barely rippled,
By our meandering wake.
A roaring in the trees,
And like a Mexican wave,
Boats’ sails billow closer and closer.
Waves halfway up the bow,
We catch the wind,
Start to race, start to tip.
I lean out,
Fighting tiller and sheet,
Trying to restore our balance.
My crew screams,
I yell orders,
Water pours over the side.
We turn her,
Manage to slow,
Manage to straighten.
The gust passes,
The wave drop,
And we stop.


I’m guestimating that we did 15 miles today.  Was a lovely walk, sunny, gentle breeze, especially when I managed to drop my drink and squeezed it too hard as I grabbed for it and soaked my trousers =S


Filed under Rhymes