Thursday, 22 July 2010

School Trip To Poitiers. 1. The Nervous Beginning

I had mixed emotions taking a busload of schoolchildren to France from the North East of England. The success of the trip depends on the teachers and whether they can enthuse their children and make it fun.

The drive to Futuroscope, the theme park outside Poitiers was going to be 18 hours. The pavement was packed with children and parents when the bus pulled up outside the school gates.

As I was loading the luggage, one mother pigeonholed me and said: "You look after them. Don't you take your eyes off that road for a minute." They needn't have been nervous as most of the children were equipped with the latest smart phones and they were ringing each other before we hit the city limits.

Another worried mother came to the back of the bus and said: "My daughter is always sick on any bus trip, but she says that she is always much better when she is sick, mind." Her information was spot on and two hours later a teacher was walking down the inside of the bus carrying a white plastic bag and hurriedly tying knots at the top.

It was 2am. The bus was wide awake. The children were talking loudly. No one was going to sleep except the four teachers who dozed at the front. After another two hours the red and orange services sign loomed large out of the mist. The bus cheered. The children raced into the building and headed straight for the hamburger concession. They ran the place out of burgers. They bought so much that they were given free chips.

This, on top of the vast quantities of sweets they had already eaten, would ensure they remained hyperactive until Dover at the very least. Maybe even to just outside Calais. I could be in for a very long night.

How wrong I was. They stayed awake the whole 18 hours to Poitiers. Incredible.

No comments:

Post a Comment