We always knew our Year 9 students were tough but now we have proof! Last week, we put them through their paces in Tambellup, near the Stirling Ranges. As part of our Rite Journey program, the students had to complete a number of challenges, which included sleeping on the floor of a shearing shed, pushing their physical limitations by summiting Bluff Knoll, learning how to shear, muster and dose sheep, interacting with young students at the local primary school, and completing an 18-hour solo experience in a tent. During the solo, students were asked to compose a letter to themselves detailing their hopes and goals for their future selves. This letter is now safely stored away and will be returned to the students on their Year 12 graduation night.
The camp was a significant time for the students to see that they are capable of far more than they realise. They did exceptionally well at giving everything a go and not backing down from experiences that may have been way out of their comfort zones. Every student got to the top of Bluff Knoll and every student got through the solo. We are so proud of them! Our hope is that their accomplishments on camp will give them greater confidence in themselves as they transition out of childhood and into adulthood.
Excitement was evident with the Year 7 class as they prepared for what would be an exciting Year 7 Offsite Team Building Excursion which was held at Point Peron Campsite in Rockingham. During the excursion, students were encouraged to work together as a team, showing thoughtfulness and patience with one another while building their confidence and trust. The students partook in various activities such as Stand up Paddle Boarding, snorkeling, team games, swimming and helping people in need in the community.
Here’s what some of our students had to say:
“What I experienced on my year 7 excusion was amazing. I learnt how to be more social, how to work together with others, and to just have fun all the time. On the year 7 excursion My group’s first activity was how to be a team, we had to work together as a team to get the tallest tower in the crate climb even though we didn’t make the goal that we wanted it was still great fun. It was the second day, and I was feeling good, it was rafting day!!! We got five pipes, a bunch of rope and four tires, my group and I made an epic raft and had lots of fun. We played beach games after lunch, we had to fill a bucket of water, but the bucket had holes in it, and we had to dig a hole for the bucket to go in, in the end we had won. The last day made me the happiest of them all. We got our snorkeling gear and our life jackets on. We were ready, we waddled down to the beach and were playfully diving down to the bottom of the sea floor, we saw red and spotted fish. My friend and I saw beautiful blue, yellow and black sea slugs. There were so many different types of pretty seashells, too bad I had to put it back though but it was the most fun experience I had ever had on a camp.”
“When we got off the bus we walked under some shade and ate recess. We were given strips of cloth to wrap around our arms, so that we knew what group we were in. My first activity was team building games. The first game we played was on a log on one side of the oval. We split into two groups and my group got on the log first. We had to get into alphabetical order without getting off the log. You had three lives and if you fell off you lose one. I got into my spot quickly and everyone else took a bit longer than me. Once we were done the instructors checked our names and we got off the log. The second group took longer than us and they did not finish, because we had to go to the next game.
The second game was a piranha pit game. There were 2 wires connected to two logs. On the two wires were 4 planks and we had to get everybody over to the other side of the logs. My team came up with a strategy to get everyone over to the other side and we were doing very well. The other team was transporting one person at a time but was a bit quicker than us. We were transporting 2 people but were a bit slower. When we only had to people left the other team had 3 people and I thought we were going to win but my friend Cooper fell off and hit his head. We tried to get back into the game, but we were so far behind, and the other team won.
After that we had lunch and we played a game of octopus. The third game we played was crate climbing. Two people are strapped into some ropes and things, while all the others stack up crates so the people with ropes tied around them can touch the penguin that was about 5 metres off the ground. Me and one girl from the other team had to climb the crates and touch the penguin. The first, second and third game we lost but then we made a huge comeback and won 5 rounds. At the end of it we all worked together and made the biggest tower we could. We did three rounds of this. The first round we got 12, the second round we got 12 again and then me and my friend Ethan went up and we got 14. The highest anybody has ever gotten was 18 though and we were close but not high enough.
The second day when we got off the bus, we had recess again and we started very quickly. The activity I did was this day was rafting and beach games. In rafting we split up into lots of teams. My group consisted of Ethan, Cooper, Tyson, Lachlan and me. We learnt how to tie knots and started making rafts. We were told that it was a race to see who could get to the lady on the kayak, get out of the water, run back to the shade, destroy our raft and put it back neatly. My team won this game and we carried on to the next one. The next game we played was like a shuttle relay in school carnivals. We had to go through a ring in the water swim back to shore and hi-five the next person and then they start swimming to the ring. My team lost that game, and I was sad, but then we played a fun game.
One person is the shark, and they are told a number. Everyone else gets a number and they must get in random order and if the shark gets the same number, you get a bucket of water splashed on you. I didn’t get splashed but someone next to me did.
The last game we played was a ball rolling game. We had 6 half pipes and we had to use them to get a tennis ball as far as possible. We were allowed to dig in the sand and use that a road for the ball as well, so it wasn’t too hard. My team won that game very easily. The other teams ball got stuck in a part they didn’t test or make big enough for the ball to get through and ours went down very far but not to the water.
The third day we did snorkelling, and it was great. First, we went to the beach and did some snorkelling around the reef. I saw lots of fish and they were all so small. Next, we went to a beach further away from camp and it was rocky. I went out into the ocean with a group of boys which consisted of Javen, Lachlan (who left after 10 seconds), Ethan, Tyson and me. Javen and Tyson were partners and me and Ethan were partners. Javen was a bit scared of the water after our instructor told us that the only sharks that would be in the water would be hammerhead sharks. After Javen heard that he was horrified and wanted to leave. I convinced him to stay and look at more fish and seaweed. I heard Javen scream, so I swam over to him, and he said that it was just seaweed and thought it was something else. After that our group decided to get out of the water and play a survival game on the beach. Everyone was saying ooga booga and then we had to go back to the camp. We got dressed got onto our busses and went back to school.”
Overall the excusion was a huge success jam packed with adventure, fun and fellowship for all who were involved.
Earlier this year we completed our shade sail project. The final two shade sails were installed. These shade sails provide some much-needed shade for the college students. The funds for the shade sails installed this year were generously given to the school by the Department of Education. The students will no doubt enjoy the respite from the sun when the summer months return.