Last week the Year 8 Cohort of students participated in the new 6 day Grampians journey as part of the school’s Pushing the Boundaries Program.

The students departed early Sunday morning, and made the long trek over the Victorian border to arrive in the Northern Grampians around 3pm.

Upon arrival students were straight into meeting their group leaders and packing wisely for the week ahead. Each mentor group was divided into 2 smaller expedition groups for the duration of the journey, often meeting up in the evening so that the school mentor teacher could touch base with both groups.

Each expedition experienced the following activities:

Rock-climbing and abseiling in Summer Day Valley – the boys definitely found the abseiling more confronting than the climbing, but were nicely challenged by the 14metre climbs.

Cycle touring – the route crossed undulating landscapes which gave the boys some great downhill sections to enjoy after the more grueling uphill sections, on quiet back country roads. 

Bushwalking – over rocky terrain, and uphill to be rewarded with the magnificent views of McKenzie waterfalls. 

Survival Activity – a highlight for many boys who enjoyed the thrill of “surviving overnight” with minimal equipment.  It was fantastic to see that some of the skills learnt on the lead-in program assisted with the construction of some brilliant shelters!!

The boys responded exceptionally well to the the program and it was evident that their organizational skills and journeying capabilities had definitely improved on last year’s experience.

The boys approached challenges in a positive manner, and should feel extremely proud of what they managed to accomplish in the space of a week. Blessed with fantastic weather there was such a positive vibe in the field and I look forward to sharing the Year 9 experience with the boys next year.

Some of the feedback from boys to date includes comments such as:

“I really enjoyed survival night because we had the freedom and trust to do things on our own, I feel very happy that we did survival night because it was such a great experience. I enjoyed abseiling at first I was nervous but once I got over the edge it was amazing. When we got up to the top of flat rock and when we got to Mackenzie falls the view was amazing”.

“I enjoyed the feeling of completing the really hard challenges such as walking 18km over 2 days and the rock climbing. I felt like I accomplished something, I don't usually feel this feeling all the time so I am quite happy about this. I was challenged by the 9 k walk as it was almost non stop walking the whole way. We had very few breaks and lunch at mid-day. The main character strength I showed through out the camp was curiosity. I wanted to explore all the time. When we went on the walk, I was always curious about what was around the corner. I learned more about my friends and what they like and do in their free time. I knew more about who they really are. This journey will help me whenever I come across something that I don't enjoy or feel grateful for”.

“The character strengths that I utilised throughout camp was resilience when I was hiking, teamwork when we set up the tarp, zest when I was happy and excited for the next day and bravery when I abseiled. What I learned is that if you push yourself you can always achieve anything and this happened when I rock climbed. This journey would help me with situations that I encounter at home or school as if I think it is challenging or tough I can relate to camp and think that I can do it”.

Emma Lowing
Director of Outdoor Education