“Lead your child out into nature; teach him on the hilltops and in the valleys. There he will listen better, and the sense of freedom will give him more strength to overcome difficulties. But in these hours of freedom let him be taught by nature rather than by you. Let him fully realize that she is the real teacher and that you, with your art, do nothing more than walk quietly at her side.”
— Johann Henrick Pestalozzi
Chrysalis School has a comprehensive camp program which begins in the early primary years and builds in length and complexity each year. Our camps relate to the curriculum and the stages of child development.
Through the years we have conducted programs in age appropriate settings under the care of their class teachers and specialists. Through the promotion of an environmental ethic, appreciation of the aesthetic in nature and the development of values; knowledge and skill within the experience is being developed.
Of all the activities at Chrysalis, one of the most memorable is the Class Camp. Some classes prepare all year for this event with lessons devoted to studies that will enhance the experience.
In the early years, Classes 2 & 3, camps are a short time of social interaction where the children learn to live with and care for each other, with emphasis on observing the natural world from which their lessons are drawn. By Class 4 the children are studying local geography in their Main Lessons and this is a time of focusing on longer bush walks and overnight outings close by.
From Class 5 on these excursions extend further afield and link in with exploration, geography, botany, farming and industry lessons. Examples of these could include trips to the western mining area, the Snowy Mountains, the Great Barrier Reef, tracing river systems from source to sea, and trips to cities to study architecture and culture.
In the Middle School, (Classes 6 – 8) class camps involve physical challenges and an experience of our historical, artistic and political culture. In these camps students are required to show an increasing sense of responsibility, cooperation and independence.
Over their schooling, not only will the students cover many geographical regions but also meet people from all walks of life. This time away as a class strengthens the relationships between students and the teacher to create a strong identity as a class group, working and growing together.
Through the Class Camp Program the teacher is provided with many opportunities to observe and learn about the children, observations that are invaluable in the years and months to follow. The children themselves learn resilience, sharing, cooperation, reverence for nature, the excitement of exploration, interest in the world around them, independence and many outdoor camping skills. Both past and present Chrysalis students fondly remember class trips and all agree they have gained enormously from the experience.
Year by year overview of the outdoor education program
Chrysalis has always held that, camps and excursions in age appropriate settings under the care of class teachers, is a hallmark of our school. Parental involvement in the camp program is considered a valuable ingredient of the camp program and, in the early days, was a vital part of the success of the camp program.