Facing Challenges and Overcoming Fears: Year 9 Camp

The Year 9 camp at Karridale was the perfect chance for our Year 9s to leave their academic studies and the city behind them and explore the beautiful Karri Forest and Hamlin Bay area for four days.


For many girls, it was their first experience of camping out in the bush, cooking on an open fire and hiking along forest tracks carrying a backpack, which included their tent and cooking equipment for the night. Each group got to camp out away from base camp. No mean feat! 

 The camp’s philosophy was ‘challenge by choice’ when tackling the various physical activities presented by the Outdoor Education Group leaders. Girls abseiled down a cliff face, completed the high ropes course some thirty feet off the ground, went caving and swimming. They tackled the mental challenge of a low ropes course in teams. The girls also completed several long hikes, including five kilometres down to Hamlin Bay while carrying a backpack. A swim in crystal clear waters was the reward for their effort that day.

Fun and Games

Campfire games, riddles and stories kept everyone entertained while the girls prepared and cooked lunches and dinners in the bush over an open fire. Each girl was allocated a duty, and there was a sense of everyone being in this together. They gained a new appreciation for each other, which was another benefit of the camp enjoyed by the girls. The girls supported and encouraged each other to have a go at the various activities and were inclusive and kind in their interactions at camp. 

The Santa Maria staff were impressed with how well the girls managed their time away and declared it was a great experience with many memorable moments for all on camp.

Student Reflections

 “Overall, the camp was a very positive experience for me. I really enjoyed it because I got to go out of my comfort zone with the caving and abseiling. I also got to interact with new people in my year. We all managed to have fun and laugh a lot.” Molly Hussey

 “I found camp an enjoyable and challenging time which enabled me to push myself physically and socially. The experience and memories I made at camp will stay with me forever, and I am grateful for this amazing opportunity.” Isabel Auld

“At camp, I particularly enjoyed the swim at Hamelin Bay and the bonding times with my group (preparing meals, roasting marshmallows, playing games). The activities were a lot of fun and experiences I usually don’t get to have. I found the night in the bush quite tricky because of the lack of running water and toilets, but I eventually adapted to the water tanks and bush toilet.” Grace Westerhout

“What I enjoyed most was the sense of belonging we had within our camp group because I was able to strengthen friendships and make so many new connections. A challenge I faced and was able to overcome was definitely participating in the high ropes course.” Madison Pino

 “The Year 9 camp was an adventure for us all. From hiking in the bush to abseiling, our comfort zones were stretched to our limits, and our friendships strengthened. What I enjoyed most was the abseiling because the view going down the cliff was amazing, and the rush was incredible.”  Miranda Young

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