“I went to camp expecting to make friends but I ended up with family.” -anon
Last week would have been a quiet one for many households as Senior College students were given the opportunity to participate in a variety of different programs and opportunities during Camp Week. The overarching theme of these camps is all about leadership development and creating a culture of community.
Our students engaged in a range of experiences aimed at taking them out of their comfort zones, challenging the way they think and helping them to form lasting bonds of friendship with those in their year group.
Year 9 had the opportunity to head out into the Royal National Park and participate in activities like bushwalking, canoeing and initiative activities like a high ropes course. They were often pushed beyond where they were comfortable but time and again rose to the challenge they were confronted with. The boys in particular took on a leadership role in supporting one of the students from the Jacaranda class and are commended for their mature and responsible approach to all activities. Camping out overnight was a highlight and helped to form a stronger bond within the peer group as students had to rely on one another to carry equipment necessary for the activities.
Our Year 10 students completed an in-school program which explored their own sense of identity and the impact they have on the world around them. They participated in a range of team building activities on the Thursday which required them to utilise a variety of strategies to problem solve and utilise the strengths of each individual to overcome. This was a fantastic day of growth, and the development of increased awareness of the impact that each individual has on the whole community. Students engaged throughout the program with fantastic attitudes and focus and are commended for their mature involvement in camp activities.
The Year 11 program was changed this year and involved students travelling down to Gerringong for the three days. The emphasis of this camp was on the development of practical study skills and to enhance the quality of work that students are able to do in their own preparation time. It was a fun yet relaxed camp that gave them time to bond as a group and realise how much they need to lean on each other in the coming years. They participated in sessions looking at stress and how to effectively manage it with Mrs Baker our School Psychologist, study sessions with the teaching staff and even had a visit from an external provider called ‘Elevate’ who do research into successful students in the HSC and what they are doing to achieve these high academic results. These sessions helped the students to develop a plan to move forward in their ability to prepare effectively for their HSC. The attitude and participation of all students was fantastic and demonstrated their increasing maturity. Trips to the beach, Gerringong shops and plenty of free time helped to create a relaxed yet effective camp environment.
HSC preparations were the order of the day for the Year 12 students who spent the three days involved in structured study sessions. They also had a visit from Hannah Baker and the Elevate team to assist them in utilising their time effectively and managing stress levels. Reports from students are that they were able to engage effectively and complete a significant amount of work. Staff commented on their diligent approach to study and were encouraged by their ability to self-manage their time and to maintain a high level of focus. A number of the group were also involved in travelling down to the Year 5 Camp on one of the evenings, eating dinner with, talking to and running a devotion and worship session for the younger students. This was the highlight of the week for many of these Year 12 students as they had the opportunity to use the leadership skills they have been developing. They were surprised at how enthusiastic the younger students were and saw how they looked to them as role models. Another fantastic opportunity for students to develop community and relationships within the College.