The first day of the camp was marked by a five-hour bus ride, with anticipation and excitement building among us. The journey was long but eventually brought us to our campsite, nestled in the beautiful Australian wilderness. Our first activities involved nature walks, which included visits to Venus Baths and Beehive Falls. Some of us also walked up the Elephant Hide, where some people fell over (Oscar). Walking up the steep Elephant Hide Mountain in Halls Gap, was a challenging and rewarding adventure. The winding trail led to breathtaking vistas, testing both our physical endurance and determination. As some of us reached the summit, the sweeping views of the Grampians National Park left us in awe of the natural beauty. To foster self-reliance, we were tasked with cooking our dinner using a Trangia, a portable camping stove. This not only taught us valuable cooking skills but also instilled a sense of independence.
Day 2 began with a challenging hike, where we walked 3.2 kilometres uphill to reach the Pinnacle. The panoramic view from the top was breathtaking, making the strenuous trek well worth the effort. From there, we embarked on a 2.4 kilometre walk to the carpark, and then another 3.4 kilometre back to our campsite, where the bus awaited to take us to McKenzie Falls. The falls were a sight to behold, but the journey to get there included descending 260 steep steps, pushing us out of our comfort zones and teaching us about perseverance. It was a day filled with both physical challenges and awe-inspiring natural beauty. In the evening, we cooked dinner on our Trangias again, reinforcing our newfound camping skills and independence. Later, we took a trip to J-Ward, a historical psychiatric jail in Ararat, it was an opportunity to learn about the history of the region and appreciate the present.
The final day of our school camp brought mixed emotions as we knew it was time to head back home. A five hour bus ride awaited us, and unfortunately, the bus’ air conditioning had stopped working. Despite the discomfort, it was a great chance for us to reflect on the experiences of the past days and strengthen the bonds we had formed with one another. The journey home was a perfect opportunity to chat and share stories about our time in camp.
This school camp experience was a memorable journey that allowed us to immerse ourselves in nature, learn essential life skills, and build lasting friendships. The challenging hikes, nature walks, and cooking on Trangias pushed us to our limits, helping us grow both mentally and physically. Additionally, the opportunity to explore places like the Pinnacles and McKenzies’ Falls provided us with a deeper understanding of the natural world’s beauty and complexity.
Thanks to Mr Evans for organising the camp and for Kelly and Jena for coming along.