‘Twas the evening before departure, the rustle of packing bags was a buzz, with the camp list in hand from Mr Lund, we knew to have “clothes you can throw out” was a sign for the dangers that lay ahead.
Bright and early Monday morning we knew we would be in for an almighty adventure. With students eager to go on camp, parents had to remind them to get a hug before they leave. Getting onto the bus, it was packed full of excited students giggling and chatting about what’s to come and what they would do. After a short stopover in Bulahdelah to stretch everyone’s legs and locate some coffee for the teachers, we were back on our way to Kincumber.
Upon arrival, everyone was served a large lunch before getting ready to start our first activities. The Year 5 students were split into class groups and assigned to instructors. Rock climbing, bushcraft, and archery were the activities for the day. Students conquered their fear of heights and hit bullseyes like Robin Hood; they made maple-syrup soaked damper on sticks around a campfire then constructed shelters from fallen branches and vegetation in a friendly competition.
Nightfall saw the beginning of the highly anticipated game of ‘commando’ which saw students invading enemy lines in an attempt to rescue five of their own out of the teacher’s containment facility (aka a tent frame). Teachers were equipped with camouflage ghillie suits and high quality, high powered ultra-portable laser projectors (aka torches). Frightening screams could be heard across the lake as students endeavoured to find base camp under the cover of darkness. With high stakes of an 11-year winning streak leaning in the teacher’s favour, excitement and adrenaline were high as teachers defended their base throughout the invasion. Though multiple attempts at freedom were made, teachers still remain undefeated, no hostages were harmed in the process.
Tuesday began bright and early with a 6:45am wake up call, as Year 5 left their cabins for breakfast and to prepare for the day’s activities. Class groups went eagerly off to their first rotation of the day chanting marching songs at the top of their voices. Groups cycled through archery, where once again students showed their skills in a friendly competition. Fencing, where everyone showed their skills in both finger fencing and bladed combat by thoroughly trouncing Miss Hewes in multiple matches. High ropes saw a rise of whole class cooperation as students helped and encouraged each other around the seemingly perilous treetop course. In Power Fan, Year 5 climbed to a staggering 15 meters and jumped off, trusting to their harnesses and the massive fan above to lower them safely. Finally, one class went canoeing, paddling in groups of three to play a number of water games such as canoe netball. Head of Primary School, Ms Rosewood, had a lovely time catching up with the students as she visited for the day. The night activity was County Fair where each group manned a stall. One group of boys drew the nail salon and enthusiastically offered colourful manicures to patrons, including Mr Lund and Mr Beard…Ooh La La. The night ended with a joke told around the campfire enthusiastically by one of our guides, James.
By Wednesday morning, the students were quite tired, yet eager and ready to set out for the final full day at camp. Lost Island was the activity that students were all excited about. By the time they had completed the challenge, the students were unrecognisable. Trapped in knee deep water underneath a green shade cloth barrier, students were forced to kneel or crouch awkwardly and bow their heads. Then instructors declared that participants would not be able to come out from underneath the barrier until they sang the Baby Shark song in its entirety. The brave students not only sang but danced while bent in half and sitting in muddy water!
Next up was pioneering, a fast-paced team activity with students building structures to carry one of their team-mates in a relay around the field. Another highly anticipated activity was the giant swing. Classes worked together to draw back the swing by pulling a rope before the swing was released. As the highest activity at camp, standing at a whopping 17 meters, the giant swing elicited an appropriate amount of screaming on the downswing — especially from the teachers!
As the sun rose on Thursday morning, our last day of camp, the students were fatigued but eager to run out some of the last energy they had left into the activities of the day. The awesome camp instructors took the students to the field for some games, which included a lot of screaming and fun. All huffed and puffed, everyone then entered the hall for a spot of dancing. The students were all getting into the groove, busting some serious moves, and surprising the camp leaders and teachers by knowing the lyrics to the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”. All danced out, the students then headed up for the last lunch of the camp and loaded the buses for the trip home.
Overall, the camp was amazing, from the camp leaders/managers, the amazing effort of the students, the quality activities and delicious food were all to such a high standard and we couldn’t ask for a better camp experience. Also a big thank you to Mr Lund for organising the camp. To the teachers; Miss Parry, Mrs Jenkins, Mr Lund, Mrs Heazlewood, Mr Beard, Mrs Mistry, and the Praccies Miss Price, Mr Day and Miss Hewes, as well as our instructors James, Bec, and Sian for a lovely four days at the Great Aussie Bush Camp.
- by the Prac students for Year 5 2018