Author: Miss Chloe Yates - Year 11 Coordinator
Before leaving for Camp in week 3, Year 11 students brainstormed and voted on three virtues that would become the core focus for our Pastoral Care program within our Year Level’s Fruit of Faith - Service. Perseverance, Courage and Unity were the three virtues our Year 11 students selected. These three virtues were displayed brilliantly as they rose to the myriad challenges of camp.
Our first day at Emu Gully was a scorcher, but we persevered through tough conditions to complete our first round of activities and were rewarded with a refreshing swim in the dam. Some students found it challenging to adjust to sleeping in tents, using bucket showers, cooking with camp stoves and eating ration packs, but their discomfort was short-lived and many soon found the fun side of going back to basics.
Many of the activities at Emu Gully are centred on significant ANZAC experiences from World War 1 and World War 2 such as The Homefront which helped students to empathise with families of the ANZACs; and Templeton’s Crossing which emulated some of the experiences of the Kokoda Track. The overwhelming favourite activity for many students was driving the buggies, but the massive water slide into the dam was a close second.
For myself and all the teachers who attended Year 11 camp, it was an honour to witness the responsibility, self-regulation and commitment with which students approached every activity on camp. Students were pushed well beyond their comfort zones both physically and socially and met the challenges with integrity. Impressively, when surveyed after camp, 90% of students had worked with or had a social conversation with someone outside of their usual social group from school. Subsequently, many students found the lessons they gleaned about teamwork and leadership on camp to be the most pertinent:
“Team-work is very important and powerful when done the right way”
“You have to be there for people to overcome challenges”
“Instead of always leading from the front, to look out for your mates from the back”
Year 11 Camp was a successful and inspiring experience for students and staff alike. Students were given the opportunity to take ownership of their experiences and build their capacity for leadership and teamwork; while staff were privileged to preview some of the amazing capabilities and powerful leadership potential the College community will undoubtedly see during the rest of this year and into 2020.