“If you could relive half an hour of your life again, what would it be?”
“Would you rather the superpower of Flight or Invisibility?”
“What is the holiday you would like to give to your children when you’re a parent?”
“What is the one event anywhere in the world you would like to attend?”
None of these questions seem particularly important when you are leaning backwards over the edge of a 60m cliff, or lugging a 20kg backpack in the shadow of St Mary’s peak. But when mixed together over a week, they capture the essence of what creates such a special time on our Year 9 camp in the Flinders Ranges.
Our 85 Year 9s have just spent an enjoyable and rewarding week away with their Rite Journey groups. As one of the Rite Journey teachers, the expedition is the high point of a significant year spent with our class. Our time away brings together so many of the conversations which we have covered during lesson time, and allows a greater depth in what we do in class afterwards. Already in the last fortnight, I have seen the benefits of this time in our discussions.
The Year 9 camp speaks to the basis of the Rite Journey curriculum in the way that it asks our students to confront a series of challenges with resilience, as well as to work together to support their peers in the day-to-day living of camp.
Student reflections from the camp have been about how much fun, and how rewarding their time away was. The solo night spent alone in a tent, relying on their own emotional resources, followed by a 60m abseil pushed many of our students to their limits. As each group trekked out across Wilpena pound with the stunning reward of the view from the top of Tanderra saddle awaiting, they all experienced a sense of corporate achievement.
A consistent reflection from my group was how supported they felt by their class mates during the camp. Many commented that they had formed new friendships with those in the group, especially those with whom they had previously had little contact. So much that stands out in the way that our Year 12s work together in their final year can be traced back to the experiences which they have shared in the previous years. Our Year 9 Rite Journey camp does so much to build the foundation for these strong relationships.
The Rite Journey camp has shown our Year 9s that they may never have the “Superpower of Invisibility”, but they can learn to develop their own strength as individuals and as a group.
Rite Journey Teacher