Published on: 10 October 2014

This year’s Year 9 Outdoor Education, held during Terms 2 and 3, included a pilot program in which two groups trialled a 14-day concurrent experience at Kooringal.

The Year 9 Camp, traditionally held over 10 days out of Kooringal, prepares boys for the pinnacle of their outdoor education journey – the Year 10 Venture. In Year 9, the boys complete a five-day expedition as part of the program and a 15-hour solo night on the final evening, which aims to equip them for the following year’s 11-day journey through Warpole-Nornalup National Park.

Director of Kooringal Dave Anderson said the pilot program had allowed the groups to live as a ‘village’ on the neighbouring block where boys had to measure out their firewood, cook on an open fire and collect all waste, which was later broken down into categories and measured. He said the learning outcome of the experience was focused on the footprint created in our day-to-day lives and assessing the sustainability of this footprint.

“The boys are learning what holistic sustainability is all about – this includes the social, emotional, financial and natural footprint,” he said.

Mr Anderson said the Year 9 program, in which boys take ownership of their journey and experience the true consequences of their actions, still included navigational and expedition-packing exercises, bushwalking, white-water rafting and canoeing and had a continued focus on learning outcomes derived from permaculture and community service.

He said all Year 9 boys were involved in developing and maintaining Kooringal’s vegetable gardens and orchard through to leveling sand for water tanks, building retaining walls and cutting wood. “It is all about teaching the boys valuable life skills, how the environment interrelates with us and what processes and resources are involved in its sustainability,” he said.

Mr Anderson said some aspects of the pilot would be drawn on for next year’s program.