Year 9 Challenge – The Next Step students braved the rainy weather on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights last week, camping at the school as part of the Overnight Camp. This week the remaining two groups camped out on Monday and Tuesday nights. The camps are in preparation for Survival Camp later in the year, developing teamwork, outdoor shelter and cooking skills.
The first boys’ group pitched camp outdoors on Monday afternoon beneath scattered cloud and fading sunshine. What began with gusto and tenacity was soon challenged as drizzle became heavy enough to have the boys diving into their shelter. Other groups also experienced varying periods of rain but managed for the most part to keep dry.
A key feature of the Overnight Camp is the sunrise walk in the Glasshouse Mountains. At 4am, students boarded the bus and walked up Wild Horse Mountain to see the sunrise as a symbol of their emergence from childhood on the journey to becoming young adults.
In these early hours of the morning, new life sprang into the group as they summited the mountain in fog and heavy rain. Students discussed the reality that some days in life are just like that. Despite the weather, students held their heads high as they stood tall and faced the sunrise and this new chapter in their life with confidence. Although early, the students often see this as their favourite moment of the camp.
This camp is just the first of a number of activities for this year, and one of many opportunities to make lasting memories. The Year 9 Challenge – The Next Step teachers, Sarah Martin, Cindy Sykes, Sandro Bastos, Caleb Metz and Lynden Chester deserve to be commended for planning and conducting these camps. These teachers would like to extend a big ‘Thank you’ to the additional teachers and helpers—Darryl Hobson, Colin Wilson, Monique Robertson, Belinda Kent, Justin Fraser, John Gamborg, Roger Wareham, Jared Benard and Jaco Tams—who gave up their time to support our first Year 9 camp of the year.