Last week was a quiet, wintry one at the Arlington campus, with all classes off with their teachers at their respective school camps! Camp week is a great time for the children to get to know their peers and teachers away from school, and partake in some really exciting activities with their friends.
5s, 6s and 7s
This year, the 5s, 6s and 7s went to Lady Northcote Camp which is located just outside Bacchus Marsh. For this group, it was their first school camp which can be a nervous time for some. We arrived on Thursday afternoon for one evening, and were immediately welcomed by Jimmy (our activities coordinator) who was a fantastic guide and was very excited to have the opportunity to work with such a young group of children. The first activity for the day was Archery and all the children loved it, for many it was their highlight! We were also lucky to be able to experience the exciting Low Ropes Course, Flying Fox and Giant Swing. All children took part where and when they felt comfortable to do so.
With the excitement of the camp, many children were up well past their bed time, and one or two had a snooze in the bus on the way home on Friday.
Memorable quote from the bus: “Are we there yet?”
8s and 9s
In the ‘best’ winter weather that Melbourne has to offer, the 8s and 9s bid farewell to their parents, boarded the bus and headed north to Camp Jungai. The city fell away as we wound our way over the Black Spur and into the rolling hills of Rubicon Valley; the singing and board games keeping us entertained amidst the anticipation.
The entrance to the camp took us over the picturesque Rubicon River that happens to boarder the camp itself. Nestled among heavily treed hillside and with a beautiful (but cold looking) lake at its northern end, we later discovered that Camp Jungai sits on Taungarung Country; the First People of the Rivers and Mountains.
Over our three days at camp we participated in team-building, adventure activities such as: Possum Pull (lifting a peer up in a harness to the top of a 10 metre high frame), low ropes course, an orienteering challenge, hunting for locations and hidden letters to solve a word puzzle through the camp grounds, bush walking and exploring of the Rubicon to identify local bugs and insects.
Some of the highlights included a bonfire where we toasted marshmallows accompanied by some campfire singing and a trip to a local farm called Rubicon Valley Horse Riding, where we participated in a workshop to understand how to handle horses safely, before heading out around the farm for a horse ride (pictured above).
These camp experiences were challenging, exciting and brought us together as a group. We supported each other through our moments of anxiety, and celebrated our moments of success, returning all the richer from our time at camp.
10s and 11s
The 10s and 11s were away from Tuesday until Friday, and were lucky to have been able to enjoy three nights at Forest Edge camp in Neerim. The camp was a wonderful opportunity to spend time together outside the Classroom and to strengthen our relationships. The environment was beautiful, lush and green, and we loved exploring the natural surroundings.
At camp, we challenged ourselves to step outside of our comfort zone and supported each other with new experiences, e.g. the Climbing Wall, Flying Fox and the Crate Challenge! Each night we reflected on our day and acknowledged our achievements and shared our amazing talents!
We all agreed that Camp was an incredible experience and one with lasting memories.