What are the Benefits of Camps?
With the Year 7 students at the College about to head off to our camp facility at Storm King Dam, south of Stanthorpe, it is time to remember the purpose and inherent benefits behind school based camps. These school camps provide students with the opportunity to work with a variety of both students and adults, that will nurture experiential education, build inter-generational relationships and results in a different style of learning.
Now with Year 7 being the top of the Middle School for the second year it is pertinent that they have their camp as early as possible in the new school year. Approximately half the Year 7 cohort is new to the College and the socialisation aspects of a school camp outside of the traditional classroom are numerous. Middle School leaders are now being identified and awarded badges in recognition of their behaviours and attitudes which align with the College vision and values. This Year 7 camp early in the school year becomes a great opportunity for these students to demonstrate their skills and for teachers to see them in a different environment.
For most students school camp may be their first time away from home where they have to remember to brush their teeth or finish the food on their plate. Camp provides an opportunity for them to take care of themselves by appreciating the importance of interdependence, interaction with and connections to the physical world. Students rise to this type of challenge, they enjoy new found independence and recognise the need to look after themselves, each other and their environment.
Camp coordinators and teachers are equipped to convey teachable moments in a variety of settings whilst also developing and building upon personal competencies. These competencies should help shape a successful future for our students. Camps allow the students to test their resilience in the face of adversity, work together as a team, overcome limitations and fears, demonstrate leadership skills and acquire growth in personal confidence.
Great opportunities exist to develop a wide range of social skills that strengthen established relationships and develop new ones. Activities planned involve team cooperation such as constructing a catapult, orienteering, canoeing, raft building, assisting around meal times or team building exercises through group based activities and performances.
Camp coordinators and teachers are active participants in all aspects of camp life. It would not be successful if this was not the case. Therefore, I wish to express my thanks, in advance to Mr Jonathan Fender – the College Camp Coordinator, Ms Mel Cole, Mrs Nicola Hight and Alina the Gap student, for their dedicated time and continual efforts to make this Camp a great success for all the Year 7 students.
Mr Simon Edgar – Head of Junior and Middle School