6JP are Happy Campers
The first class of Year 6 campers returned from Kooringal recently brimming with tales of sleeping out, baby emus, canoeing adventures and lots of fun.
The members of 6JP, who already had their first taste of Kooringal in Year 5, described the camp as “more adventurous. In Year 5, it was a lot more controlled but this year we could go off on our own and build our own humpies.” Another said: “Last year was more like a learning experience whereas this year it was a lot harder”. The boys agreed the camp was a stepping towards Venture – Christ Church’s ultimate camping experience in Year 10.
The three-day camp included one night sleeping in the centre’s dormitory and one night outdoors under a hutchie. The boys prepared their own meal over a trangia – spaghetti bolognaise for most, which many described as not only “rewarding” but for some, one of the best meals they had ever eaten. After waking to a chilly South West morning, the boys soon warmed up with a nature walk where some lucky participants spotted a mother emu and her seven babies. Others saw kangaroos and a couple of unidentified snakes.
The boys were quick to recognise the theme of co-operation throughout the camp, teaming up in pairs for canoeing and orienteering, in small groups for a humpy-making competition and working together on many jobs around the campsite. “After every meal, we each had a job either washing, rinsing, drying, wiping down tables or cleaning floors. It was even someone’s job to take the plug out and to collect all the soggy scraps out of the sink!” The boys also helped clean the dormitory toilets, swept verandahs, washed the troupies, fed the centre’s chickens and collected the eggs.
Director of Kooringal Mark Tait took the boys on a tree investigation where the boys learnt that “the jarrah tree was only found in the South West of Western Australia. We also had to go on a hunt for certain trees, find their bark and a seedpod. Afterwards, we designed posters on a particular tree.” Another popular activity included sanding, painting and varnishing a boomerang and finally, a throwing competition where “most were boomerangs but some were spears”.
Another important part of the boys’ outdoor education journey was creating their Kooringal file and writing in their journal – a process that will continue throughout their camping experiences over the coming years.
To sum up their experiences in a word, members of 6JP described the camp as: “epic”, “adventurous”, “extraordinary”, “awesome”, “extreme” and “camptastic!”
The three remaining Year 6 classes will head to Kooringal this week and next.