Outdoor Education

Thursday, 17 Mar 2022


Year 10 Camp report

Year 10 embarked on an adventure that most will never forget.

We arrived at school on Monday morning, some bright eyed and bushy tailed, some not quite awake yet. The teachers organised what tutor was on which bus, then we loaded our gear up, and piled onto the buses. We barely made it to Grafton before we had to make our first emergency stop because someone forgot to go to the bathroom before we left. After we were back on the road, it wasn’t long before people started asking where we were going to be stopping for recess, “About an hour” Norbs would say. 

When we finally arrived at the recess stop, the Murray, O’Shane and Sutherland (M.O.S bus decided that it didn’t like its radiator water, so it sprayed it all over the freeway, and this is where the trouble began. The quick 5 hour trip, quickly turned into a very stop-start 9 hour adventure, including a stop in Glen Innes for a Maccas run, Thanks Mr Doyle. 

So when the M.O.S bus finally arrived, we were welcomed by a big South African Crocodile Dundee lookin’ bloke called Alfie, and his staff of instructors, after a short Intro, we followed Alfie to HQ, where we were given our NATO alphabet names, and as you could imagine the excitement from K-Flan was unchallenged when Sutherland was appointed Foxtrot. After a quick run, and some frog walks, we were taken to collect our bags and showed to our “Accommodation”, where the inevitable dad jokes started coming out, for example, “Did you hear about that camping accident, it was in-tents”. 

After we put the protective tarps up over where our swags were going, we were briefed on our cooking, cleaning and general maintenance requirements. We then went down to collect our swags, after we put all of our swags up, we were directed to go collect mess kits and our first dose of rations. 2 leaders were selected every night by our instructor, and they were in charge of the dinner tray, we were instructed to eat what we wanted and to put whatever we didn’t want on a shelf in our dining areas. After we had all collected our rations, the leaders returned to HQ for a leaders brief, where we were told explicitly to warn our groups that Alfie would make them run if they didn’t listen to what we said. 

After we had delivered the briefing to our groups, we had dinner, cleaned up and started preparing ourselves for the next day. Tuesday was the day where it all began, we were to be up, finished breakfast and cleaned up ready for inspection at 8 o’clock where we would present our first drill. This had to be done in unison, original and at least 30 seconds long, although not every house got the original part. After our inspections, we all gathered at HQ, where we would be told how we did, told what activity we were going to be doing, and running. In the morning of the first day, Foxtrot company had orienteering, we had 6 way points to locate on a GPS, all with a word on them. Now this activity might seem quite easy, but the obstacles we faced were not for the faint of heart, we had to walk through long, potentially snake infested grass, through bushland, over fences and over hills and even across a cliff face, and unfortunately for me, one of those fences had a wasps nest in it, that one really hurt. 

After about an hour of searching, the groups started returning back to home base with 6 words, we had a short time to figure out what sentence the words formed. The eventual sentence was “Officers are the servants of soldiers”, after a short chat about what this meant, we were given a can of creaming soda or lemonade and sent on our way to go prepare lunch. This was all of our first individual meal prep and it went very much how you would expect, 2 minute noodles was the main lunch of choice, although some chose to have baked beans instead. After lunch, we cleaned up, and returned to HQ for the allocation of our next activities, and a little bit more running. 

For our afternoon activity Foxtrot had the stone hut activity, where we had to make a fire, and then prepare and eat damper, while everyone was concentrating on building their fires and boiling their water, I saw the perfect opportunity to point and wave into the abyss and confuse everyone around me. After we had packed up, and done the mandatory frog squats, we walked back to the pickup point for the truck, and just as we arrived, it started to absolutely bucket down. So off we walked back to base camp, luckily the rain stopped and the truck came and collected us and took us in. 

That night, after dinner, the teachers got a big campfire going, then K-Flan started playing his guitar and singing Sweet home Alabama, then we all spread out over the camp and we were all in bed asleep by 10, or so the teachers thought. The next morning after breakfast and the inspection, Foxtrot company had the buggies activity, whereas u could imagine, some people weren’t expecting their partners to go quite so hard, sorry Mrs Matthews. After we rushed through that activity, and had a bit of time to talk about who was the best driver and who did the stupidest stuff, we went back up to our accommodation to pack up our gear and load it onto a ute to take it up to bush camp. 

After we put our gear down for the ute to pick up, we had lunch, and got our towels and water shoes ready to head off to the power boats. After another short hike, we arrived at the boat dam, and after a short introduction, and a demonstration of how to “KEEP YOUR HANDS, IN THE BOAT”, we got the boats up and going and got on the dam. After a few laps to get used to the boats, we played noodle tag, and after a few heavy hits between the boats, the instructor decided that noodle tag was done, and so poison ball began. After about 15 minutes of that, it was time for Foxtrot to get out and begin the not-so-short hike to bush camp. 

After O’Shane arrived, we dug our toilets, set up the showers and got our swags ready. For dinner, K-Flan and Bandrews cooked up the first real meal we’d eaten all week, then we settled around the campfire and the dad jokes, and maths jokes started coming out. The next morning after we had packed our swags up, we had our final activity for the week, for Foxtrot, which meant another hike to bush survival, where we made tepees, and learned to use flint and steel to light a fire. Then the hike began back to the truck, and after a quick drive back, we had our final lunch and it was quite clear that all of our get up and go had well and truly got up and gone, so we piled back on the bus and headed home. 

As we look back on camp, I think I speak for everyone when I say it wasn’t all good, but it was a good experience, and it bought our tutors closer together and taught us some good life lessons, for example, to always “KEEP YOUR HANDS, IN THE BOAT”.

Seb Ruiz

Year 7 Camp

Apologies to Willow McNeil, I gave credit for her camp report to the wrong person, (her sister).

2022 Camp Dates

Year 4 Camp
Friday 18 March – Margaret’s Field (a parent is invited for the evening activity) - POSTPONED
Year 5 camp
Tuesday 17 – Friday 20 May – Tyalgum Ridge Retreat
Year 1 Outdoor Education Day
Friday 5 August - BDC
Year 11 Camp
Monday 10 Oct - Thursday 13 Oct - Camp Kokoda
Year 9 Camp
Monday 17 - Thursday 20 Oct - Pindari Adventures
Year 6 Camp
Thursday 20 Oct – Friday 21 Oct - Farnworth
Year 3 Camp
Thursday 27 – Friday 28 October- Yarrahapinni
Year 2 Camp
Friday 4 – Saturday 5 Nov - BDC

Beth Hilton
Sport and Outdoor Education Coordinator K-12

0417859252 or 66515644 ext 295.