Outdoor adventures on Year 8 camp

Our Year 8 students had a camp adventure in Gariwerd (the Grampians) recently. 

Here are reflections from students on the camp:

Last week, I went on a Year 8 camp, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. During camp, we went on a couple of mini hikes and one 13k hike. We also slept in tents, went rock climbing, and abseiling.

But I would say my highlight was the hike, camping, and rock climbing and abseiling on Tuesday. On the second day there, half of the year group went on a hike. We were then separated into two groups: one did an 8k hike, and one did the 13k hike. I did the 13k hike. It was really hard and tiring but worth it. It was gorgeous and had a lot of flora and fauna that you don’t see that often, like the pink heath and bracken. We learned that bracken has healing properties, so if you have a bug bite, you can eat some, and it will help stop the itch. We also learned about lichen, which grows in healthy habitats and helps attract moss and plants. It only grows if a place has good air and soil, and it helps make the area more populated with plants. We also learned that lichen covers 8% of the world, which is more than all the cities and towns in the world combined.

Another highlight of mine was abseiling and rock climbing. Abseiling was really fun. It was really exciting and nerve-racking because it goes against all survival instincts to walk backward off the cliff. But nonetheless, it was fun. When it got to my turn, I got up there and was about to go down, but I was too scared, so I came off it. But after someone else went, I wanted to try again. When I got up, I wanted to go back because it was so scary, but the abseiling coach encouraged me to keep going. I kept going, but when I got to the edge, I really wanted to go back. I slipped off the rock and went down. Without that, I don’t think I would have gone, but I’m glad I did because it was so fun and exciting. Also, I would not have gone if someone in my year had not helped me. One of the boys in my year could see I wanted to go again, but I was too scared. He helped me get through it by putting his figure-eight loop on my harness and making me lean back and feel like I would on the actual thing. Without him, I would not have gone. After abseiling, I went rock climbing and completed both of the walls.

My camp was really fun. I really enjoyed it, and I got closer to a couple of people who are really nice in my year. I’m happy I did because, on the first day, I really wanted to go home, but on the last day, I thought to myself that this was probably my favorite camp so far. Also, the food was really good, and that improved it a lot.” – Tal Gelfand, Year 8

Year 8 Camp was a fun and exciting experience. The food was amazing (except for the dehydrated food on the hike) and most of the activities were new and adventurous. On Tuesday, we left to go on a 9 km hike. At the start, we were climbing up steep slopes and rocks but it was definitely worth it once we got to see the view from the top. When we came to our campsite we set up our tents and had dinner. I will never touch a dehydrated meal after that! The next morning we went on a shorter hike to go rock climbing outdoors. The highlight of my camp experience was getting to bond more on the hike. It was definitely one of my top school camps that I’ve been on.

 Sean Larnach, Year 8