Year 4 students are in a red canoe and a green on the Yarra river.

Year 4 challenge themselves on camp

On a sunny Monday morning 41 bright eyed Year 4 students gathered at school with their huge bags, ready to embark on an adventure. What an adventure it was! 

After three train rides, including Puffing Billy with its steam engine and rainforest surroundings, the students arrived at Wombat Corner. As always, finding out their cabin and activity groups was a highlight for many. Setting up the beds with sheets, and organising belongings and sleeping bags, were the first steps of independence on the camp.

Activities started on the very first day and within the three days all students got a chance to try all of the main activities: canoeing, low ropes, mini golf and flying fox. But as we learned, Mother Nature had an extra challenges in store for us – torrential rain that saw canoers look like water rats and had others running from flying fox and low ropes to the safety and dryness of common areas. It was time for team activities and indoor games instead!

As much as the activities were fun experiences, they have many deeper meanings for the students as well. Some are about teamwork, especially when students support each other on the low ropes. Some are about fair play, when in mini golf everyone keeps their own score and competes against each other, yet at the same time support and encourage their mates. Canoeing was a challenge for many, and a chance to face and conquer fears. Canoeing for the first time in murky waters with someone who is a beginner as well, is a challenge. And what a rush it is when everything goes well, obstacles have been conquered and confidence grows. Flying Fox was a similar experience for many, with considerable height and speed.

After a good night of sleep (for some) the students gathered for a delicious pancake breakfast before trying out the rest of the activities, this time in sunshine. We were very lucky to have an example of true leadership with three incredibly kind and competent Year 10 students: Ava, Dali and Dari. They organised many activities for the students from song composing and skit night to teambuilding games and outdoor experiences.

Tuesday afternoon saw all students go for a walk in the surrounding rainforest with a true experience with leeches, birds, running rivers and rustling leaves. The students even saw Puffing Billy race by and got a chance to wave at those on board. They stopped now and then for a mindful moment, to focus on their senses and really appreciate the beautiful nature around them.

That night saw very tired students settle in their cabins very quickly, after the famous Skit Night, giving each other a good chance for a well-deserved rest. On the last day there were four activities left: an Indigenous session to learn about the local First Nations’ culture, archery to learn about patience and the importance of practice, roganing to learn about orienteering, and initiatives to work on teamwork skills. Students also got a chance to play together and enjoy the facilities at Wombat Corner.

By early Wednesday afternoon, the students were tired and delighted. Everyone had new experiences and points of growth to share with their families, laughter and funny stories to share with their friends and, most importantly, experiences to store in their hearts that show how independent, resilient and capable they are.

Thank you Year 4 for a fun-filled experience!

David, Russell, Ben, Kaisu, Georgia and Imogen