Tag Archives: Camps & Outdoor Education

2018 Camp Week – Year 7 (Camp Toukley)

Our first activity was one of my favourites. We did Stand Up Paddle boarding. It was really new and exciting and also quite peaceful – apart from being pushed in! Our second activity was raft building which tested our teamwork. The mud was smelly and gross. We all had to shower and wash our shoes out after that!  Then we hit the bush for another team activity which was fun, even though I got lifted up and passed through a giant spiderweb!

Our second day saw us hitting the water again this time in canoes which was also really fun, because I could get into a rhythm easily but we had to avoid going in circles.  Beach Activities was next, where the girls took on the boys and won in every single activity! 

The third day was our busiest day as we did four activities. First was the flying fox then the giant swing where we had to work as a team to pull everyone up 18m and then letting them drop, making a lot of people scream a lot. Next was archery then quad bikes.

The fourth day saw a lot of tired campers start their day at the beach, some too tired even to learn how to surf!   For those who did try, it was great to learn how to catch a wave, while others got to swim around or play in the dunes.  Some people tried the ‘Leap of Faith’, jumping from the top of a pole … it wasn’t for everyone!

I had an awesome camp this year and I can’t wait till next year.

There were so many activities which revealed how many boys were not very good at working together.  Having a debrief at the end of each day helped us all.  It was great spending time with our teachers, and getting to know them better, they seemed more relaxed at camp! 

Mikkel and Georgia

2018 Camp Week – Year 10 (Sydney)

Day 1 of our Camp Week started at school, where we took place in a variety of challenges which led us to finding our group members for the Sydney leg of the camp adventure. These activities included some virtual Amazing Race challenges, to picking locks and solving riddles. All of the challenges contributed to finding other team members as more people were added to the team throughout the day.  It prepared us well to work together, to see our members strengths, allocate roles, select meals, and build relationships with our new team members, so we could successfully cooperate throughout the rest of the camp.  Roles assigned included timekeeper, leader, wellbeing manager, photographer, navigator, finance, clue keeper and IT manager.

Then on Day 2 we hit the M1 motorway for Sydney! We stopped for lunch in Circular Quay, and then made our way to the hotel to settle in before dinner.  We had to catch a minimum of two modes of transport (ferry, bus, train or tram) to the Maritime Museum while getting photos of every group member on each mode of transport by the group teacher. The purpose of this task was to get familiar with using opal cards and getting familiar with your teammates so that on the day of the amazing race, you would know if someone was missing and you would know how to use your opal card. This activity was extremely useful as it helped our group for the amazing race to know if anyone was missing from the previous day, it set in place good habits.  Finding a place to eat dinner was a team effort having chosen the location the day prior.  After dinner, all teams met up again and were given different challenges that, if completed in time, were worth double points.  After the challenges were completed, we made our way back to the hotel to prepare for a big day ahead – the official start of the amazing race!

Day 3 of the year 10 camp was the busiest, being out and about in Sydney for approximately 12 hours that day. We explored a good amount of Sydney, making our way all through the city to collect points for each of our teams. Each challenge, depending on the difficulty, would give points, and the group at the end of the amazing race with the most points, would win.  It was a good bonding time for all teams, as exploring while having the checkpoints and the idea of it being a race made it even more enthralling. The day’s events challenged our navigation skills and time keeping skills. About mid afternoon we watched ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ at IMAX. This was to get our mind off the amazing race for a bit, rest and relax. Day 3 was a big and exhausting day, but it was a lot of fun and enjoyed by all.  At the end of the day some stayed behind to help with budgeting from the day’s spending, which tested our budgeting skills, because the left over money didn’t really match up with the receipts in the end!

Our group participated in a wide variety of activities such as walking across the harbour bridge to get photos in the middle, finding a bilingual sign in Chinatown and taking a photo of it, a video of all group members, each standing on a different step, singing the Australian National Anthem at the Opera House.  One of our team’s strengths was our motivation. We could tell most of the boys in our group were getting very tired and were sick of all the walking but they did not complain out loud and kept powering on and they did this because they cared for the team.

Day 4 was a good finish to camp week, it had the purpose of relaxing and finishing off a hard few days of exercising, both our brains and bodies. It still brought us closer together as we all tried to finish up our camp and end it on a good note. We arrived back at school in the morning, then had a pizza lunch followed by a few more team activities such as writing a speech to get more points, getting all the photos and videos of camp to Mrs. McCord, and finishing any activities in our Amazing Race booklet that hadn’t yet been completed yet.  It was nice to just be together and not have somewhere to go next, as we were all just about to go off to holidays!

I got to know a lot of people a lot better, bonding and forming new relationships with people I hadn’t previously, while strengthening those friendships I already had.  I learned people’s strong points and some of their weaknesses, and I discovered my classmates’ motivation and their competitive sides.  It’s fair to say, my team did not want to lose! It was challenging at times to work in groups where some people got distracted easily and completing our tasks was difficult.  I learned that everyone has a desire in them to quit and give up, as much as they have a desire to pursue and win. I learned that with a team the desire to try your best overtakes the desire to give up because as a team you are stronger and your mental strength increases.  I believe the saying is true that, “teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success.”

We got closer to the teachers, as we were with them all day for multiple days.  We got to talk to them and know them on a more personal level. I also discovered their drive, the fact that they also took it seriously and didn’t want to lose.  Some of them are a lot more laid back than I realised.  Also, this camp demonstrated why you should follow your teacher’s instructions, as there are reasons why rules are in place!  I always knew the teachers cared about their students but this camp really opened my eyes to just how much effort, time and patience they have for us. When we were confused or troubled they would help out, and would comfort us, helping us to regain our strength by resolving group problems.

I found out that I need to push myself harder, as everyone else has passion and sometimes they are more determined and passionate than I am.  I realized that I’m useless at navigating when I don’t have a map or device on me to use!  I learned that I can resolve group problems and conflict effectively by getting everybody to reunite.

Eliana, James & Saffire

2018 Camp Week – Year 11 (Melbourne)

Year 11 flew to Melbourne for camp week, where we went to lots of different locations related to our subjects. We broke up for excursions to a Buddhist Temple for relaxation and meditation, the Melbourne Gaol, to see street art with a tour guide named Zazu, and another group went on a Hospitality lunch. We rode the Melbourne Star observation wheel (which was not popular with everyone due to the heights and fear of being trapped in spherical objects), visited the MCG, went rock climbing and visited the Eureka Tower. Spending this time away from School with friends was good to reinforce long term friendships. Seeing our teachers in a different environment was great too, because they’re great to talk to and help with everyday situations, and it was interesting hearing about their life outside of school.

Ethan, Maddie & Harvey

2018 Camp Week – Year 9 (Kosciuszko National Park)

We hiked in the Kosciuszko National Park, after about 9 hours on the bus from Newcastle.  Some described the three day adventure as “We ate breakfast packed up walked, walked, walked, walked, set up camp ate played a game and then slept.”  Others however embraced the challenge which every new day posed.

After waking up very early we got ready for an adventure full of unknowns. We arrived at school and piled our hiking packs into the bottom of the bus, found our seats and ‘really’ enjoyed our 9 hour bus trip sitting because we knew the next 3 days would be on our feet walking with a hiking pack. We had a 3km hike to where we would be camping that night.  The hike the first day was easy, because there was trails and there wasn’t many inclines. It was dark when we arrived at camp so we had to set up our tents, cook dinner and fill up our water from the creek in the dark. We had a group camp fire and all talked which was fun, and also did some stargazing which helped to clear our minds and focus on how amazing everything really is.  Spending the first night at campsite shared with a brumby was pretty eventful, after the brumby followed me around our tent in search for someone to share breakfast with it.  On Day 2 we had a short hike to the Currango Homestead covered in old newspapers. It gave me an insight to how people used to live and the history of the mountains. We then left the dirt track and started to navigate through the grasslands to Bill Jones Hut, this for me was the most fun part of the trip it taught me how to navigate and was great to see all the wildlife (brumbies, kangaroos).  It was a challenging day for many with the distance covered and tiredness setting in. When walking up the final hill with it in sight was so rewarding to final let our packs go from our backs and enjoy a such beautiful view of landscape as well as the stars above our heads while we sat around a campfire.

On Day 3 we all hiked for about 2 hours before reaching the Cooleman Caves. This cave was very small and had little patches of water spread throughout it. Some of our group decided to hike to another cave that was much bigger, it had massive puddles of water and at times you had to cross it just by stepping on small rocks. It was very hard because there were five of us and only 2 head torches. At the end of the cave there was a spring, it was so cold that just putting your hand in the water for a few seconds would start to make it numb.   When the hiking was over, some of us went to the fresh water creek and took off our stinky and sweaty hiking boots, walked into the icy cold water and looked back on where we were, knowing we had hiked such a long way.  We then travelled to a local caravan park in Tumut. We had a pizza dinner and showers at the caravan park which was great.  Caving today taught me you have to be very careful and bring more head torches! Also it showed me how much we rely on things such as toilets, showers, and electricity.  The final day we were up at 5am, packing everything away and back on the bus for the trip home at 6am.  There was some jostling to get a seat on the smaller bus with Mr Bennett and his tunes. Stopping at Maccas was a treat after our hard work and then we continued all the way back to school. It was refreshing to know we would be able to have a sleep on a bed that wasn’t just air, and reflect on what we’d learned from this hike, and how much we have to be grateful for.

During the camp we got to talk to new people from our year, got to know them because they were in our hiking groups.  A lot of my classmates in my group surprised us with their mental toughness and their resilience when we were getting tired … others didn’t give out extra food for free!  We learned that even though someone isn’t the most keen they are still trying their best and helping others enjoy the experience.   We found it that we can truly work as a team sensibly.

It was fun getting to know some new teachers.  Mr Cox is very experienced and a laid back and funny guy.  We found out more about our teachers including what schools they went to and how many siblings they have, that they can have a good laugh, and we are very lucky to have genuine and hilarious teachers.  Mrs Winch … the best of all time GOAT!  We learned that teachers are always there to support you, no matter what.

Abbey, Emily, Josh, Joshua, Lily, Natalya, Sam, Teesha

2018 Camp Week – Year 8 (Blue Mountains)

We went to Glenbrook in the Blue Mountains for our Camp.  On our first day we had a quick lunch in town before heading to the National Park to unpack the trailers, find our gear and work together to set up the campsite – which was quite a challenge for many doing this for the first time. I think having the complete responsibility of setting up our tent and cooking our own food was great. We had lot more freedom that I had expected, and i enjoyed it very much. We spent the afternoon at the Jellybean Pool before dinner around the campfire, when we reflected on the day’s activities and heard what Day 2 had in store for us.  On Day 2 we got up early for an endurance hike into the Valley.  The Grand Canyon Loop was about 10km long, and there were lots of steep parts on the trail but the scenery along the way was magnificent.  We learnt to be strong and persistent during the hike. After another trip to the Jellybean Pool, had dinner and a game of glow in the dark capture the flag.

We couldn’t wait to get started on the Amazing Race activity around Katoomba on Day 3. Once we were sorted into groups, we had a list of activities to complete, a budget and a deadline to complete all the challenges. We learned some new navigation skills and did our best to cooperate while trying to win!  Later that night we had an easter egg hunt to finish the day.  Our final day of Camp meant pack up and clean up.  We packed up our gear into the vehicles and trailers – which was like a game of tetris – got back onto the buses and drove back to school, stopping for lunch on the way home.  The Camp ended with clearing out the buses and making sure everyone had all their gear before heading home to enjoy the holidays.

During the camp we were challenged in lots of different ways, and spent more time with other people, learning that you can be friends with anyone and everyone is unique, and is good at something. It was good to know that we can rely on each other, and while some people are easier to work with than others, we all have different personalities and different strengths.  Spending time with our teachers we found out that they can be really funny and fun to be around, while expecting maturity from us. They were quite tolerant and supportive during all our activities.

For ourselves, we learned that that it doesn’t matter who you hang out with, you can hang out with whoever you want to. Nobody has a right to harshly judge other people.  It is fun doing group tasks especially when you’re with people willing to give things a go.  I realised how well I can cope in an unknown environment. It was exciting having the freedom to cook my own meals and setting up a tent.

Hannah, Paris, Thomas & Mia