It was the morning everyone had been waiting for, finally the big day was HERE!!!! 7am the buses were locked and loaded as ‘Rayward’ airlines, the only airline that doesn’t fly, was about to take off from St Columba Anglican School. Students had smiles from one ear to the other, keen with anticipation for the 2017 installment of the Year 5 Great Aussie Bush Camp! Voices were at a maximum as students were clearly excited, chanting camp songs in the bus all the way down the Pacific Highway towards our home for the next week. Kincumber.

Students came off the bus beaming with excitement, knowing that they had ‘Lost Island’ first up. Suited up in their tackiest outfits and more than ready to immerse themselves in the thick, sticky mud bath that was awaiting them. Every student embraced ‘Lost island’ with some students unrecognisable due to the heavy coat of brown mud and sand covering them from head to toe! The course had a tight rope across a massive water pit, a rock climbing wall over a mud bath and a commando pit through chilly water. Once the course ended, what was once Year 5 emerged as 90 odd mud monsters. One student, Liliana, was crowned queen of the mud as she was barely recognisable. The teachers didn’t get off lightly though, becoming the students’ biggest target throughout the course.

The most anticipated night was among us, the inaugural ‘Commando Challenge’. What accompanied this activity was a 9 year undefeated streak that the teachers held very proudly. However, the students had other plans and were ready to finally end the streak once and for all. It was night fall at Kincumber… The war had begun. The teachers equipped with camo gear, ghillie suits, and ninja-style clothes were ready to go into battle and maintain their flawless record. Students attempted to rescue ‘hostages’ that were being held captive deep inside the bush. Despite the valiant efforts of the students the teachers were triumphant once again. The tactics of Mr Barnett ensured that he was named the MVP.

Tuesday arrived and everyone was pumped for our first full day of activities! The day entailed activities such as the giant swing, canoeing and high ropes to name a few. The activities were an absolute ball with students enjoying numerous games in their canoes, swinging from heights that they didn’t think were possible and conquering the most challenging of activities. However, one activity that set to challenge nearly everyone was the infamous Power Fan. Both Mr Hilberts and Mrs Rosenbaum had hilarious stories to share and were shown up by the amazing high flying Mr Lamb, his full set of acrobatics on show as he leapt from the Power Fan fearlessly.

County Fair was the night activity for Tuesday, with students and teachers dressing in the most ridiculous outfits. Onesies and clown outfits were on show, not to mention Mr. Barnett and his inventive sumo outfit. The students aim was to make the most money by the night’s end. Stalls were in operation with services such as the nail salon, bakery, jumping castle, milkshake stall, the arcade, face painting and sock wrestling. The teams showed great companionship and grit to try and conquer the opposition and gain the title of County Fair champions. After the market shut the students counted their money and the winner decided!

Wednesday morning was upon us, and by this point there were some tired and weary students. Regardless, Year 5 soldiered on as they knew there was a fun day full of more invigorating activities ahead. These included, the Survivor challenge where students worked as a team to overcome the muddy sludge, Abseiling and Rock Climbing where students, and teachers alike, conquered their fear of heights. After another massive day of activities was over, and it was time for ‘Challenge Night’. This was a face off; Girls vs. Boys. The challenges included sing offs, balancing cups of water whilst trying to stand up and a test of knowledge in trivia to name but a few. The results were in and it was the girls who came out on top after a hard fought battle.

The day had come; Thursday, the day all students and teachers were dreading! Before the long and delightful return trip on ‘Rayward’ airlines was scheduled to commence, students were engaged in a fun morning of sports and initiative games on the oval. After the activities had concluded and students were all ready for a nap, Year 5 got into formation on the field for the 2018 diary photo. Across the 4 days at camp, every activity challenged each student to push themselves to the limit and outside of their comfort zones. Many students at first were hesitant of the heights involved, yet conquered their fear to complete every challenge that was thrown at them. Every student showed great support towards their peers, shouting encouragement and making sure that everyone gave it their all. This level of encouragement and support shown by students was a common topic among the teachers, who were extremely proud throughout the entire camp.

A massive thank you to Mrs Rosenbaum for organising this great experience for all the students. A big thank you also to all the teachers, Mr Hilberts, Mr Barnett, Mr Lamb, Mrs Rayward, Miss Graham, Mr Ellem and Mr Hylands for their commitment and willingness to make sure Year 5 had the best possible trip.

The Year 5 Students