Year 7 Update
From 21 October, blessed by stunning weather for most of the week, the Year 7 cohort participated in a four day, four night Outdoor Education Group program at Camp Jungai. Situated in Rubicon Valley, the program consisted of raft building, canoeing, high ropes, possum pull, rogaining, bush walking and learning about bush ‘tucker’/medicine.
St Catherine’s School has partnered with the Outdoor Education Group (OEG) for a number of years as the relationship between structured leisure activities and positive developmental outcome has been widely researched. Kurt Hahn is attributed to have founded Outward Bound in 1941 that is deemed as the origin of adventure programming. Hahn, who was instrumental in Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh’s education at Gordonstoun, is also recognised as the inspiration behind the esteemed Duke of Edinburgh Award that now has global reach with more than 130 countries adopting the international award program and over eight million young people having participated worldwide.
Hahn initially proposed Outward Bound to address issues related with the decline of fitness, initiative, spirit of enterprise and self-discipline in order to promote tenacity, perseverance, leadership and confidence in young men. Regardless of the initial intended audience, these are values and qualities that St Catherine’s School upholds. The camps at St Catherine’s are designed specifically to promote these traits with an emphasis on personal growth and self-discovery. According to Mutz and Müller (2016), benefits of such outdoor education programs are multifarious, as participants have more positive self-concept and increased self-esteem, improved cognitive autonomy, more prosocial behaviour, increased group cohesion and experience prejudice reduction.
Such outcomes seem to have been achieved from this camp, as demonstrated so ably by one of our Year 7 students, Saffron Scheele:
“Last week, Year 7s went on camp; we had a fantastic week and loads of fun. We spent two nights in cabin, which were pretty uneventful, one night in a tent and one night under a tarp which, in my opinion, was the best night of the week. My group spent the last night under a tarp. That night, there were very strong winds and the tarp blew off twice during the night. This was possibly the funniest moment of camp, the tarp was blown right across the oval. The two nights under the stars were a great experience. The activities during the day were also very enjoyable and a great learning experience, especially the cultural session. My favourite activity was the high ropes course as I love climbing, but the possum pull, hiking, canoeing, raft building, cultural session, acting out our dreamtime stories and mini Olympics were all really fun as well. The weather could not have been better during camp. The wind on the last night was very warm and the only bad day weather-wise was the last day where it rained on and off all morning. The rest of the week was very nice, sunny and warm. The OEG staff were very helpful and encouraging and great to be around. The benefit of having the teachers on camp is that we got to know our teachers better and interact with them outside school. Altogether, camp was a really amazing experience and was also very enjoyable as well as giving us an opportunity to bond and make stronger relationships with our friends.”