This year marked the tenth anniversary of Rye Bay Beach School run by the inspirational Elsbeth Turnbull. It took place between July 25 and August 3. As usual it was based daily at Rye Harbour Sailing Club. Some of the highlights were mackerel fishing, seal spotting, crabbing off the pontoon, and making whales and sharks with film sculptor Jack Sparrow. The children also tried block printing bags, napkins and tea towels with scallops and seahorses, and basket weaving. They loved painting little houses of Rye Harbour, made circus signs, baked cakes (banana bread) and made crab and smoked mackerel pate.
Elsbeth took them foraging for early blackberries. It was great fun as always plus the odd ice cream, and lunch up at the black and red hut (Norton’s Hut).
I visited them on a morning when they were making pretty impressive boats. Lloyd Martin has been coming for years and had this to say, “It is always action-packed. I can’t find the right words as the experience is so amazing. It engages me on so many levels and it gives me a chance to meet new people and make friends.”
Alf Spencer has been coming to the school for ten years since he was six. This year he is a helper as well as joining in on all the activities. I asked him what had drawn him back year after year: “The experiences, the people and for two weeks it is just pure fun. I have tried many things I never thought I would master. It is the perfect workplace for me.”
I was so impressed by the quiet concentration and creativity and yet there was a tremendous buzz. If I was young, I would be signing up for next year without any hesitation.
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Image Credits: Kt bruce , Rye Bay Beach School .