Sunday, 31st August 2008

MSMAS Dojo & Youth return from Germany as the Guests of 'State of Sachsen-Anhalt' after attending 'Schulpforta Camp 2008' ....


The 'Pforta Summer Camp' was held at Landesschule Pforta, which is located right in the middle of Germany, some 60kms from Leipzig, in the scenic valley of the river Saale.

Saxony-Anhalt is one of 16 Member States of the Federal Republic of Germany, first established as one of the new East German Federal States in October 1990 and bordered by Brandenburg in the northeast, Saxony and Thuringia in the south and Lower Saxony in the northwest.

MSMAS were welcomed to Landesschule Pforta by Rector Portensis Westermeyer who was introduced to us by John Brennan, an old friend of the Dojo who lives with his wife Jutta, both Karate Teachers in nearby Magdeburg where they run the ODG Karate Dojo.

At Pforta there are about 300 students, from all parts of Germany where good performance at school, social involvement are required in addition to passing the entrance examination. Furthermore, they are expected to be highly motivated to take up the special challenges of a boarding school with three special departments, languages, music and natural sciences plus the school-leaving Certificate, called Abitur, which then allows graduates to go onto University.

MSMAS left Heathrow on Wednesday 27 August, where after landing at Berlin travelled to Schulpforte by train to meet and set the Camp "rules".

Thursday 28 saw Martial Arts Training commence at 0400hrs and continue throughout the day. Later in the day some sight seeing was also arranged.

Friday 29 saw yet more Martial Arts Training commencing again at 0400hrs and then throughout the day until a Formal Demonstration was given in the afternoon, afterwhich everyone retired to the auditorium for a piano recital by a Member of the MSMAS Youth Team present.

That evening a Dinner was arranged attended by Herr Stehli, Head of the Ministry for Education and Culture at Sachsen-Anhalt.

Saturday 30 saw yet more Martial Arts Training commencing again at 0400hrs and then again throughout the day until a Formal Presentation Ceremony and the planting of a Cherry Tree from Japan in the grounds of Landesschule Pforta itself.

The afternoon saw the entire Group cycle through the forest to the River Salle for an excursion by canoe down the river, including sets of rapids !

That evening a Party was held to celebrate a good Camp ..

Sunday 31 our return to Heathrow and home ...

Our especial thanks to John & Jutta Brennan for inviting us to 'Schulpforta Camp 2008', we will never forget it ..

Finally, I will leave the last words to Herr Westermeyer, Rector Portensis at Landesschule Pforta, who in a note to us on our return wrote these words :

" thank you again for enriching our school life with your visit which introduced us to an inspiring way of living, fighting and thinking."

MSMAS really enjoyed our time at Schulpforte, we hope to return to again, in time...


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