By Rose Cunningham
In late April, Year 8 went camping (literally) at Tallong (which is near the Southern Highlands). The theme of this camp was “Brave not perfect” and so I present to you, this Year Eight’s “Diary of a Not So Wimpy Kid”.
The 2021 Year 8 camp provided Year 8’s with a series of challenges - opportunities to be brave and to be okay with being “not perfect”.
For some of us the first challenge was waking up and getting to school early! 7am saw all Year 8 gathered in the Mary Ward Quad, excited and yawning, eager to see what this adventure would hold. Mrs Long gave us an inspiring speech and then we set off!
Upon arrival at camp we were split up into groups of 15-17 and met our camp leader. Next we got some morning tea. I had banana cake. (So far, so good!)
We then did team challenges on a log that took some stamina and balance. We had to get into birthday order on the log without stepping off. It felt like playing leapfrog on an extremely crowded balance beam! (I hope the PE teachers don’t get any ideas!) We also had to get into order alphabetically by the last letter of our last name with only 2 “leaders” allowed to speak. For a group of natural chatterboxes, that was tricky, but when a logical system was established, it made so much sense.
We had camping the first night so we then grabbed our hike packs. Into them we put our sleeping mats, sleeping bags, mess kit, clothes and pjs or thermals for the night and the next morning. Our packs weighed an absolute tonne! (Or at least it felt that way as we hiked for an entire hour!) Along the way our camp leader (“Brownie” as he was called) pointed out wombat holes and taught us about geographical formations.
The campsites were named after the phonetic alphabet (alpha, bravo, charlie, delta). My group was in Charlie. We got into small groups and set up our tents. Setting up a tent is normally challenging, but when you up the challenge by being told by the camp leaders that you had to ask them as few questions as possible, it became downright tricky! (But also fun as we rose to their challenge - after realising that we’d tried to put the tent together the wrong way).
Tonight we cooked our own beans and boiled water over some camp stoves. I loved getting to cook some of our own food! It was what made the experience so memorable. We had Veggie burritos for dinner. Soon, it was time for hot chocolate.
After dinner we washed up our mess kits and got changed into some warmer clothes for the rest of the evening. Following this, it was time to find sticks to roast marshmallows over a fire, under the stars. It was so peaceful and the sound of the other girls chatting and solving riddles was pure joy. I read a few pages of “The Magnolia Sword” and then headed to bed.
Hello. Today started at 6:35 am when I got up. The sun rose really early in the morning at around 6:00am. Breakfast this morning was cereal, followed by a damper which we made ourselves. Yum!
After breakfast, we re-packed our hiking bags and headed back to the main camp and visited a cave. I loved climbing through it - although the gap for your body was pretty tight! This was one example of where you had to be brave! Many of my group also climbed the rocks nearby while others were getting a go at going through the cave.
Bike riding was next. We learned about attack positions, and went down bumpy slopes, off seesaws and rode off jumps (something I never thought I’d actually do). Many of us went to another trail to ride around.
I really enjoyed low ropes , which were the next activity. We went on some beams and had to stay on them while holding onto dangly ropes for support. We also did a challenge where we had to use a rope swing and get all of us onto a platform that was about 1.5m x 1.5m.
We had a great dinner. We got roast pork, peas and beans,carrot and potato, along with gravy. There was also some pork crackling. Desert was chocolate mousse.The food tonight was basically gourmet camp food! It was soooo good.
After dinner we played a game of pictionary in teams, where we had to power walk into a small room to get an object, fast walk down a corridor, back into the room where all the teams were and then draw our object for our team to guess. Whoever got the answer right got to do the power walk. Outside in the corridor, you could be stopped for random questions ( mine was “what is the 17th letter of the alphabet”-- the answer is Q if you were wondering), or for a scissors paper rock battle. If you were caught running, you would have to sit down for 10 seconds!
30/4/21 On the bus home.
This morning we woke up at around 6:30-7:15am and started to pack our bags. We got changed and headed to breakfast which was pancakes, juice and peaches if you wished for some. My group had high ropes next. I loved them, as we all had roles to do, whether it was holding a rope, or stabilising a ladder. I loved having a go at the highest one, even though it scared me, but I tried the smaller one and that was a bit easier. This was one of my highlights of the trip and I certainly felt brave.
After this activity, we did some team building games like rope handcuffs before heading back to our cabins to finish packing. When we were done, we put our bags outside and enjoyed sausage sandwiches. We also got cake or brownies as there were birthdays while we were away.
I really enjoyed the experience of year 8 camp and can't wait until next year when we go to FNQ!