This week I am delighted to be typing my blog while beating into a near gale up the Inner Sound of Skye aboard an 80 ft ketch. I would usually be steering my desk but, for once, I’ve been let out of the office in the care of 12 of our pupils.
There is a well known saying in the Royal Navy that ‘better one volunteer than ten pressed men’. At sea this week with our Form 6s on board Ocean Spirit of Moray, Gordonstoun’s sail training vessel, I have been struck once again by the incredible character, grit and determination of our pupils. Never ones to shirk from a job, each time volunteers have been sought for a task they have literally fallen over themselves to help. Now I can tell you, this isn’t typical behaviour from an 11 year old! However, ours clearly have plenty of the ‘right stuff’. Whether it’s the washing up, hauling up sails, scrubbing the decks or even cleaning the heads, they have been there, ready and willing. And this makes me very proud...it’s why I love teaching and why I still seek opportunities to spend as much time as I can with our young people.
So the next time you hear someone bemoaning how lazy young people can be or how they spend too much time indoors playing games on their devices, please suggest they come to Craigclowan and meet some of our children. I’ve no doubt at all that they will be impressed by what they see and hear of the adventurous young people in our fabulous school. It is clear that, given the right opportunities, our pupils have developed the confidence, competence and capacity to do amazing things together.
John F Gilmour