On 17 August 2015 thirteen Year Eleven Outdoor Ed students and teachers headed down to Dwellingup for a week of camping and outdoor activities. As part of the experience students were required to plan and prepare all their equipment and food for the five days.
On Monday students navigated and hiked for 4 hours into their campsite at Tony’s Bend, where they set up camp just before the heavens opened. After several attempts a campfire was started and we gathered around it to debrief the days events.
On Tuesday we all put on our wet suits and headed up to Island Pool to spend the day doing swift water awareness led by one of our ex-students Jason Maddern who works for Dwellingup Adventures. Students learnt about the features of a river, the attributes of swift water and rescue options. They then spent some time learning how to do a shallow water crossing, swim across a current, rescue with a throw-bag and how to move a raft up and down a river. After a day in and along the river everyone was keen to get back to camp and get out of their wet suit and warm up around the fire.
On Wednesday everyone had to get back into their wet wetsuits and we headed down to Nanga Bridge from where we started our rafting trip on the Middle Murray River. Unfortunately the water level was quite low this year so we spent a lot of the time getting our rafts off rocks. However, everyone had a very exciting day of shooting rapids and tipping each other into the cold water.
On Thursday we once again had to get back into our wet wetsuits and we headed up to Sandy Pool from where we started our canoeing trip on the Upper Murray River. This was a very challenging and exciting day. We uncounted various river hazards like log jams, strainers and rapids, but the knowledge that the students had learnt in their swift water awareness course held them in good stead. After a long day on the river we headed back to camp and got out of our wetsuits for the last time.
On Friday we woke to very wet conditions, so we decided to pack up camp and head back to school and attempt to get everything clean and dry. Unfortunately, the weather was no better back at school.
The week was a great success and the students completed their required work with merit. We are very proud and happy in completing another successful unique and long standing camp at Southern Hills Christian College through our Outdoor Education Department.