Last week, the Year 7 cohort and 24 staff braved the cold Victorian weather as they ventured off with excitement to Phillip Island Adventure Resort for camp. We spent three action packed days embracing the College Values of Joy, Courage, Compassion and Justice through a range of diverse activities. Some of the activities were water based with canoeing and raftmaking, some involved teamwork cooking on a fire and a series of initiative challenges, and others required students to harness up and soar at great heights.

Whilst the weather wasn’t all we had hoped for bright skies and sunshine a rarity in June, there were breaks in the rain and plenty of rainbows seen whilst activities were completed. On the first night, we jumped back on the buses to head off to the Penguin Parade. The ocean swell was very rough, and we waited awhile for the first glimpses of the little penguins surfing into shore. During our time watching the penguins, students learnt many interesting facts about the penguins and the nature reserve they call home. Walking back to the buses along the boardwalk, students stopped to see the penguins waddling through the scrub to find their nesting areas, and listened to their squeaky calls to one another. Many seemed to be racing each other up the dunes, and students were heard guessing which penguin would win!

It was great to see many students embodying the resilience show by the little penguins as they overcame the ferocity of the waves to make it to shore. As students too embraced the ‘Challenge by Choice’ motto of camp and surprised themselves by their ability to stretch and rise to the challenges presented to them. School camps are an opportunity for students to challenge themselves through activities, but also create lifelong memories, and connect with a range of students. Through the range of different groupings students had the chance to further develop connections with people they already knew and also meet new people. Thursday nights Pastoral challenge enabled students to spend time with peers in their pastoral groups and participate in a range of short trivia and ‘minute to win it’ style games. Congratulations goes out to the students in 7JBR, who took out the challenge and remain victorious after Matball competition!

Upon our return to school on Friday afternoon, students and staff alike were weary, and certainly looking forward to a long weekend. However, it was great to hear the stories being told to waiting family members by students of their enjoyable time away. So much learning and personal growth happens beyond the four walls of a classroom, so it was fantastic to see students embracing every opportunity and we are so glad this opportunity could occur, in light of the interruptions to experiences of the last two years.

Stephanie Boeme
Year 7 Level Coordinator