The Challenge — The Next Step students braved the rainy weather on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights last week, camping at the school as part of the Overnight Camp, a preparation camp for Survival Camp later in the year.
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 heavy rain set in for the night. Reduced morale became evident as everything become wet and sodden!
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 growing from children into 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 challenge, every young man held their head high as they stood tall and faced the sunrise and this new chapter in their life with confidence.
On Tuesday and Wednesday nights, two of the girls’ groups had their turn at camping out. Despite the rainy weather, the girls learned how to pitch a tarp as a shelter and cook their own food in an undercover portion of the school. Each group bonded over worship, songs and learning how to make s’mores.
Like the boys, the girls also rose at 4am to make the hike up Wild Horse Mountain. Although early, the students always see this as their favourite moment of the camp. This week the final two groups will be completing their Overnight Camp.
This camp is just the first of three major camps and activities for the year, but one of the most influential. The Year 9 Challenge – The Next Step teachers, Dustin Dever, Caitlin Arnold, Jessica Jenkinson, Sarah Martin 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, Darryl Hobson, Tatiana Green, Claudia Houstoun, Jodie Peet, Christia Willcocks, Cindy Sykes, Justin Fraser and Jaco Tams who gave up their time to support our first Year 9 camp of the year.