October 12, 2022

Year 10 OES Camp

One early Wednesday morning, the sky blue and ready to be painted, the grass with a dewy finish, the 2022 Year 10 Outdoor and Environmental Studies class began our adventure.

 

With hopes for an exciting and eventful day, we struggled to fit the many large bags of food, clothes and other necessities in the school trailer. Our bus ride began with some bangerful tunes and loud conversations covering the bus, all excited for the next few days of adventure. We made our first and only stop of the bus ride at a remote servo where we made the long and hard decisions of which ice cream to get, before leaving for our final stretch of the bus ride.

 

Two laps of a circular campsite later, we managed to spot the small wooden stumps highlighting our chosen camp sites of grassy ground. We eagerly jumped off the bus and began preparing the campsite for our first challenge of the day, building our tarps.

 

Our topic for this semester was looking at the impacts of technology on the environment. In doing so, we were inspired to experience this for ourselves by completing a day of low tech and comparing it to a day of high tech. To do so on our first day of camp we were challenged to do many low tech activities, our first being setting up tarps for us to sleep under. We miraculously pulled together 4 large tarps, the majority of which were constructed as A lines, (which we discovered later that night was the best shape for the conditions as the singular group that chose a different design struggled through the weather).

 

After a select number of students decided to brave the fresh water of the lake we underwent our second challenge of the day. This was to construct a fire from the raw elements and materials of Lake Eildon. We initially attempted to start the fires in individual groups through using sticks and bark to create friction, therefore causing heat. After many failed attempts we came together and used a flint that one of the students had brought and finally birthed a flame! Mr Wisch was delighted to see our class in harmony for our final camp together. As a result of the fire we were now able to embark on our next journey through the making of some delectable damper and, later, our own homemade dinners.

 

Weathered down and ready to rise we began our day with joyous attitudes. It was officially our high tech day which brought much excitement throughout the camp. We began by whipping out the trangias to make our breakfasts and prepare lunches for the big day ahead. Given only 30 minutes to set up tents and awaken our spirits we sped through the morning and hopped on the bus ready to raft our way through the day!

 

As the rain began to sprinkle down we hurried into our wetsuits and started our safety training. The first few rafters bravely departed into the unpredictable rapids whilst the others grew their confidence. Immediately pushed into a new situation we had to adapt and use skills we had previously learnt in class and from our instructors to survive the trembling waters. Speeding our way through rocks and sticks and ducking under pointy tree branches we called upon our teamwork to make it through the conditions. Due to the weather we came to a conclusion as a class that we could persevere through the entire track without a break, hoping the end would be satisfactory. The rafting instructors called us to the side and prepared us for the most challenging and exciting part of the rapids, in which we individually persisted through. We finally arrived at the end of the lake where we packed everything up and got into some warm clothes for the long bus ride home.

 


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After arriving back at camp we cleared out the tarps and finished setting up any remaining tents. To reward ourselves for the thrilling day we indulged in a charcuterie board under our communal tarp and constructed pieces of art using natural materials found around the campsite to reflect on the many adventures we embarked upon through this journey together. To end the day, our class cooked dinner on the trangias and spent the final hours of our night talking and bonding.

We woke up to a chilly morning on our final day and cleaned up all our belongings. After doing so, Mr Wisch, Miss Loynes and Scout pulled us together to discuss our adventures over the past couple of days, in which we were excited to return back to the real world. We had a swift bus ride home and a ceremonial stop off at McDonalds to revitalise our taste of society, before continuing on our ride home. Entering back to school through the gates, the class unloaded the bus and said our goodbyes before reuniting with our beloved.

Mirabelle and Alex