Year 7 camps build friendships and resilience
The last of the Year 7 camps for 2012 wrapped up at Kooringal this week. For new boys to the School this year, it was their first taste of the School’s comprehensive outdoor education programme.
Acting Assistant Director of Kooringal Ryan Myles said the four-day camp aimed to enhance boys’ awareness of self and living with others, and to build on their bush camping skills. “Most of the activities and challenges are structured around getting to know their peers, who they will spend the next six years with in the Senior School,” Mr Myles said.
Boys attended the camps in house groups – two houses at a time – where they began with either an expedition or activities based around the Kooringal campsite. After an introduction and some initiative games, the expedition group leapt straight into learning the ins and outs of packing their own backpack including waterproofing a sleeping bag. The group then set off on a 3km-bushwalk to the campsite where they would spend their first night.
Here, they set up their hutchies (tent flyers) and cooked themselves a meal of savoury mince and macaroni, over a trangia (camp stove). The boys enjoyed sitting around the campfire, telling stories and playing games. The next day they canoed back along the Murray River, complete with pulling canoes over rock bars, and back to Kooringal.
Meanwhile, the second group was busy with a variety of activities ranging from orienteering and abseiling through to learning about their place within the environment, bush skills and improving their local indigenous knowledge. The boys also spent another night under the stars in their hutchies.
Mr Myles said the boys had some important visitors on two occasions including Headmaster Garth Wynne, who welcomed the boys to the Senior School, and their Heads of House, who stayed overnight. “Overall, the camp was extremely positive for the Year 7s,” Mr Myles said. “They were a lovely cohort who really responded well to all of the activities – particularly the abseiling, raft building on the final day and the canoe journey back from the expedition.”
The Year 7 camp is the precursor to the Leeuwin Adventure in Year 8 and a stepping-stone towards Venture – Christ Church’s ultimate camping expedition experience in Year 10.