Year 9 Rite Journey Camp (Issue 16 2018)
Written on the 8 November 2018
It was with a sense of nervous excitement that the Year 9 girls headed off for their recent three-day hiking camp and solo experience along the Heysen Trail on our beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula! Just a short drive away, the students were transported to a camp in the Deep Creek area of the Heysen Trail and after setting up their tent 'villages', each group headed off on their first walk.
Day two entailed a hike encompassing some 13km through beautiful bushland, coastal and rural areas with views of mountains and sea. Many times a "whoa..!" could be heard as the group plodded up a steep, rocky bank, turned a corner and looked up to see an amazing sight blue sea, cliffs or perhaps a grassy bank full of kangaroos. The dusk saw a frenzy of trangia cooking and washing up, followed by damper-making and roasting of marshmallows. Once dark, it was time for a few laughs (and some fear!) with some 'Spotlight' and 'Sardines' in the bush, followed by star-gazing and campfire stories.
On the third day, each student spent their 'solo' time and whilst some thought this would be their greatest challenge, most found the opportunity for solitude and reflection, a rewarding experience and something which they could have enjoyed for longer.
For the majority of the girls, the setting up of tents, planning and cooking their own meals on trangias and for some even camping itself, were new experiences. These, added to the physical hiking challenge, allowed us to witness some significant Character Strengths in the girls and their teachers were immensely proud of the resilience and grit shown by many of them. To quote some of the girls reflecting on the solo experience or on the camp itself: "I learnt that I actually enjoy alone time more than I thought and should really do this more often" "I was really worried about the 7-hour hike, but I am so proud that I did it!" "I showed Courage, Persistence, Spirituality and Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence throughout the camp and these helped me to trust myself and complete all of the tasks."
Congratulations to each and every one of the students for making it a fantastic experience for all!
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