This year one of the themes is around Government and Decision Making, which relates to the study of Rome and the other is around Early Australian life and its special characters, ie. Ned Kelly, inland explorers, Banjo Paterson, etc.. This is the year that the students usually combine the trip to Canberra with the trip to the snow. The visit to Canberra, our Nation’s Capital, is where the students learn about our Federal Parliament, visit the National Gallery, Questicon, the Canberra Exhibition, the Indonesian Embassy, the Planetarium and or the Botanic Gardens.
There are 1-2 camps depending on funds. The Canberra/Snow Camp is between 8-12 days long and no outside camping is usually done. A smaller camp (3 days) to Uralla and Armidale takes in the inland explorers. Ideally, to keep up with the previous years, it would be good to continue to do outdoor camping under tarps. Sit-spots meditations are introduced as a way of immersing themselves in the environment.
The theme for this year takes into account the formation of the earth and our role in protecting/conserving this wonderful resource. Teacher discretion on the location and the amount of monies available for the camps is monitored as necessary.
Bush Skills Introductory Camp (PDHPE and Local Geography/Ecology)
This is a short 2-3 day camp where students learn about our local bush environment and are introduced to bush survival skills. There are various locations that are used, Station Creek, Mt. Hyland Reserve, Misty Creek NP. This is a chance for students to work with bush-skills specialists.
Geography Camp (forms part of the Southern Hemisphere Geography Main Lesson)
Students undertake an extended camp (approximately 9-11 days) to explore a geographical location which is different to our local environment. This camp may involve a visit to an island or water system (Fraser Island, Myall Lakes for example) or to an inland location (Mt Kaputar, The Piliga etc.)
Building Life Skills
This camp focuses on team building. The students learn abseiling and kayaking. This camp may be combined with the introduction to bush skills. The students camp out using a tarp as shelter. Groups of students take responsibility to set up the camp on their own, facilitated by teachers/parents.
The theme for this year is a continuation of Year 7 work, in appreciating the different environments that we live in, strengthening relationships with nature, ourselves, and building on communication avenues.
Bush Skills/Survival Camp (PDHPE and Geography/Ecology)
This short camp, (2-3 days) continues on where it left off in Class 7. Students extend their knowledge of the local bush environment and bush survival skills.
Ecology and History Camp (Australian History and Ecology)
An extended camp of 6-14 days exploring the ecology of a location which is different to our local environment. Students will also examine the history of the camp location (including indigenous history). This camp may involve a visit to an island or to the desert (the location will differ from the location of the Class 7 Geography camp).For example. Mt. Kapatar, Kiamble NP, Piliga, Lightning Ridge, Gundabooka.
Guy Fawkes Hike (Lay of the Land Main Lesson and PDHPE)
The students hike through the Guy Fawkes River National Park over a period of 8-9 days. This camp provides students with a physical challenge and a very personal interaction with our wild, natural environment. Through this final “rite of passage” camp, students experience quite a profound connection with the land and their own being. Students sleep under tarps, carry their own food, clothing and all that is necessary for surviving.
Preparation: Students are prepared in the term before in a ‘boot camp’ program where they break in their hiking boots, carry a back pack and build up core muscles and endurance in their sport section of the curriculum each week. In small groups they take responsibility for planning and cooking a meal on the camp. On this camp the sit-spot and journaling skills they have practiced since Year 4 really come to fruition.