The Value of School Camps: Jennifer Oaten

“The Zipline”  “Camping out”  “Canoeing”  “Getting to know others in our Homeroom”

For most people, camps are among the most enduring memories we have of our school years. What could be better than a massive sleepover with all your friends from school, out in the bush doing fun activities, and a world away from the classroom? It’s no different for our girls today.

When they returned from camp on Wednesday, our Year 7s all had different responses when asked what they loved most about their time in Dwellingup. However, they all agreed, it was time happily spent and a great deal of experiential learning took place.

So why do we go on camp?

Camps are huge logistical exercises that require many staff and hours to organise and run. I can confidently say that the value to our girls always outweighs the organisational challenges.

Camps develop confidence; our girls’ confidence that they can manage for themselves. They promote independence and the opportunity for students to fulfill responsibilities such as serving meals, setting tables and cleaning up after meals.

Camps develop problem-solving abilities, for example how to fill a large tube with water, when it has holes in it or how to create a raft from limited materials.

Environmental awareness was also part of the experience. The wonder of everything, from waking up to kookaburras to swimming in the river.

Camps develop social interactions, developing skills of patience, sharing, helping and including others. Team building was evident in every activity they completed.

Camps develop being brave! Some students had not slept in a tent prior to camp or have not been away from home without parents. Providing this adventure enables our girls to develop the confidence to try new and different experiences.

And of course, camp is lots of fun, evidenced by the squeals of laughter I heard on arrival at the Year 7 camp this week, from the group doing the team games activity. These activities create shared, fond memories of school days together as a Homeroom and helped to create a sense of belonging.

Grateful thanks to our  Year 7 Homeroom teachers under the leadership of Year 7 Dean of Students, Tania Hicks, for providing such an awesome experience for our girls.

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