Published on: 30 March 2017

Whilst the Year 5 Earthkeepers Outdoor Education program may be finished up at Kooringal, the boys will be working hard at home and in class to become ‘Level One Earthkeepers’.

Between February and March this year our Year 5 classes spent three days and two nights away at the School’s Outdoor Education centre, Kooringal, which was transformed into ‘The Earthkeepers Training Centre’. It was during this time the Year 5 boys became ‘Earthkeeper Apprentices’ and learned to engage their heads, hearts and hands in understanding the natural world.

In class groups, boys and the Kooringal team walked through practical challenges learning the science behind ecosystems whilst also developing a personal connection with the earth. Director of Kooringal Ryan Myles said this connection included finding the boys’ own ’magic spot’.

“A magic spot is a special place in the natural world where the boys can be alone to pause, reflect, ponder and dream. It provides a great environment for them to make connections with the planet and a special place they begin to value”, Mr Myles said.

Program participant Kai Mahalingham (5JG) said “At my magic spot I saw the trees on the horizon, shrouded in mist. The impish rain seeped into my shirt and raincoat making me feel like a cold, wet, mischievous raindrop. I could smell an earthy scent from the soil specks. Sometimes I wished that the raging rain would stop but that feeling usually went away quite quickly.”

During the camp the boys also made pledges to reduce their use of energy and materials. These pledges, to reduce their impact on the earth, included turning lights off at home, riding bikes to school or taking two-minute showers. Parents are asked to support their boys and actively assist where possible.

The Earthkeepers program began in classrooms at the start of the term and continue into Term 2 through a range of subjects. The boys are working hard to earn their last two keys (yourself and sharing) and  becoming Level 1 Earthkeepers.