It was an early start on Sunday morning August 18 for 14 Bronze Awardees completing the final qualifying expedition. They were responsible for demonstrating that they were capable of being independent hikers, able to navigate to the designated campsite at Blue Gum Flats and returning via a different route the following day. There was much excitement in the air as students checked off the gear that was needed and made last minute preparations before boarding the school bus to Boombana Picnic Area. It was great to see that the average weight of the packs was MUCH lower than the first Training camp that they did in March this year. You could see that they were well on their way to being seasoned bushwalkers!
The hike down from Boombana Picnic Area to Blue Gum Flats camping area is mostly downhill and this took its toll on backs, hips, ankles and feet. There were three small groups each going down a different route. One group became waylaid as they passed by some spectacular waterholes in the creek. They challenged each other to see who could stay in in the freezing water the longest – a really invigorating experience! There was a steep rocky creek to negotiate, so some thick vines provided a ‘rope’ to help to scramble down.
Blue Gum Flats was a welcome sight to all. This is a flat grassy area with tall blue gum trees on a sweeping corner of Cabbage Tree Creek. It is an awesome iconic Aussie campsite! After setting up tents and putting warmer clothes on, the groups sat around under three lightweight LED lanterns to enjoy dinner and share stories. This is a special time where we remove ourselves from the normal things that distract us and spend some quality time together sitting under the blue gums and starry night.
The next morning, August 19, we were all up before the sun. It’s not too hard in the valley as the sun does not peep above the hill unto nearly 8am. However, all groups knew that they needed to leave by 8am in order to complete the climb back up to Boombana Picnic area. Again, it was a challenge to navigate with map and compass to find the correct route that each group was given. This was different to the route that they had on the way down, so it was not simply back tracking. All groups did a great job in working together to return to the picnic area in good time. It was then a bus ride back to school and then to the comforts of home.
Well done to all the Bronze Awardees who completed this camp! Thank you to the team of quality volunteers that enable these camps to run. Kiah Vescovi, thanks for providing youthful leadership. It is really appreciated by the Awardees. Clayton Forbes and Rob Petrie, thanks for the wealth of experience that you both bring to the leadership team. Colin Wilson, Mr D of E, thanks for your passion and stories.
Northpine Christian College is proud to provide students an opportunity to be part of “The International Duke of Edinburgh Award”. This is a youth award open to any young person from 14 years of age and it challenges students to develop in a holistic way. For information see Mr Hobson or Mr Wilson or check out the link, http://dukes.northpine.qld.edu.au.