Year 9 Camp 2017: Maximum Participation for Maximum Growth

The Bickley Outdoor Recreation Campsite is a special place where Rehoboth’s Year 9 students participate in unique and exciting outdoor activities in a tranquil bush setting. Our mission this year was to enhance students’ lives through participation and achievement in sport and recreation.

At the camp we were committed to encouraging maximum participation in a wide range of activities and programs. We believe that those who engaged in the camp activities and programs enjoyed:

  • learning skills relating to particular physical activities which help them to be confident participants in the future
  • enhancing their interpersonal and leadership skills
  • improving their self-management, decision making, and time management skills
  • learning to appreciate the outdoor environment

Promoting participation in physical activity was our main aim as we realise the added value sport and recreation has on our wellbeing. Therefore, we aspired to provide a safe and supportive environment for Rehoboth students to attain the holistic benefits that come from quality physical activity.

The camp programs and overnight stays have the power to transform participants in a brief space of time. Bickley Camp provides a large range of adventure recreation programs that are designed to challenge participants on a variety of levels. Overnight communal living environments empower participants to develop various skills in an environment foreign to their everyday life.

Other benefits included:

  • development of communication, interpersonal, leadership and cooperation skills
  • increased accountability for themselves, others, and their environment
  • awareness and management of emotions
  • understanding of responsible risk taking
  • teamwork and collaboration
  • improved decision making and problem solving
  • reduction in antisocial behaviour
  • improved socialisation skills and strategies
  • fun, increased self-esteem and self-awarenss

In order to meet these outcomes, the camp operated on the ethos of “Challenge by Choice”:

“Challenge by Choice” is based on experiential learning theory, which is defined as being able to undertake an experience that a participant can relate back to their life or existing lifestyle in a positive way. There is an understanding that everyone has varying thresholds for challenge and these challenges can range in their nature and variety. We aim to provide an experience that enables participants to determine their own level of challenge and broaden and develop their perceived limitations through participation in adventure activities, both in individual and team environments. All staff aim to provide a safe experience in which participants can explore and extend their abilities and limitations. Rehoboth will never support participation through excessive pressure and intimidation. Challenge by Choice recognises that the attempt is as significant as the result.

Following is a list of the structured recreation programs that the Year 9s participated in at Bickley Camp.

 

Roping Programs

Crate Climb

A roping program that involves the groups building structures to allow each participant to climb to various heights as required by the task. Although only one person is climbing at a time, the rest of the group is required to stabilise the structure and add to its complexity.

Flying Fox

Offers a 50m high-speed traverse across the picturesque Bickley Reservoir. Participants added extra challenges and excitement to the activity once they were familiar with the operation and were deemed confident.

Leap of Faith

This activity consisted of a 9m high wooden pole, with a small platform on top. Participants were required to climb the pole, stand on the platform and then jump for a trapeze bar. Nerves of steel were required for this Leap of Faith.

Vertical Challenges

The Vertical Challenges activity consisted of three independent climbing elements: a ladder climb, vertical cargo net, and a pole climb that incorporates the use of rock climbing holds. Participants worked in small groups to safely belay the climbers up each element before lowering them back to the ground. The use of belay banks allowed all the participants to be involved at all times.

 

Land Programs

Mountain Biking

Bickley Camp offers a 7km bike ride and took us from Bickley Camp site to Victoria Reservoir and back. The ride required a moderate level of fitness and moderate bike handling skills. It takes in the scenery of the Victoria Reservoir Catchment Area.

Search and Rescue

This program is popular as it supports map reading and deciphering skills in a team setting. Participants used detailed topographical maps of the Bickley Valley area and two-way radios to locate the missing military remnants and obtain the code words. They had to be on the lookout for the enemy to avoid being captured.

Team Building

This program was a collection of team challenges designed to make participants think outside the square to solve an array of problems. The problems were designed to develop and improve group skills. Improved communication, cooperation, trust, and leadership were achieved through this program.

 

Water Programs

Canoeing

Participants were guided through basic canoe maneuverability and safety aspects, including the techniques of rafting up and capsize recovery. Each participant was provided with a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) and a paddle. During the session participants were involved in a number of activities including shuttle and obstacle course races, canoe polo, balancing challenges, and simply a leisurely paddle on the reservoir.

Raft Making

Participants were given advice on how to construct rafts using ropes, planks, and drums. They then built rafts in teams in preparation for a major paddle challenge. This program was a unique team building activity, aimed at encouraging a group to work together more effectively.

Student Comments

Some of the comments made by our students were:

“I overcame some challenges and built friendships. On camp, I had to exercise qualities like leadership, patience, kindness, consideration, and encouragement”

“God designed us to be in relationship with others, to have friends so that we can grow together. We need to love all people, not just the ones we get along with”

“Being at Year 9 camp meant that I could grow closer to a lot more people in my year group. I really enjoyed the challenging devotions. I also got closer to the teachers as well”

“This camp has been an opportunity for me for grow stronger relationships with the people around me. When I came to this camp there were a few people that I normally wouldn’t talk to, but now I am able to say that I am comfortable with all the people around me. Because of the devotions, I was challenged to sit with people I normally wouldn’t have. I also wanted to complete all the challenges that were set out for us, and I did”

“Being at Year 9 camp, for me, meant facing my fears. It also helped me make new friends during the time we spent together. On this camp, I learned to push myself even when I was tired. I received lots of encouragement from my peers”

“We had fun. I got to talk to people that I never talk to. The camp helped me make new friends”

“I really enjoyed the Year 9 camp. It was a great opportunity to attempt things that I’ve never tried before. I was able to strengthen my friendships while having a really great time”

“If you want a friend, then you have to be a friend”

“I got to know someone that felt the same way I did, scared of showing feelings because his friends were going to judge him, we had a talk and now we both feel a bit better”

“It has made me look out for others more and see if they need help”

“Being at Year 9 camp helped me get a lot closer to a lot of people I never planned to get closer to”

“I absolutely loved the physical side of things”

“This camp gave me the most memorable experiences such as mountain biking and the Leap of faith. Physically the camp challenged my ability to do physical activities that I’ve never tried. Mentally, it was able to make me go out of my comfort zone and have courage and think positively throughout the entire experience”

“This camp meant that I was able to grow closer to God and closer to friends. I have been able to get to know them better. I also had the opportunity to be in God’s perfect environment and do things that I like such as canoeing, mountain biking, flying fox and crate climbing”

“I enjoyed Year 9 camp a lot! I was able to bond with lots of people who I wasn’t very close to. I have also been able to prove my strength to myself. Doing all the activities has shown me that nothing is impossible with God”

“This camp meant creating great friendships and teamwork skills. That could help me in school and for life. The devotions we had helped me to be happier and more loving towards others”

“This camp meant that I was able to push myself and do things I normally wouldn’t be comfortable doing. During this camp, I was able to face my fear of heights and made me realise that I can attempt to do everything that I’m given”

“Community and family is the first thing that comes to mind when I reflect on the camp. We, as a class and as a school, have all become closer and have bonded over this camp”

“I was able to face some of my fears and definitely learnt how to work together as a team. I was able to achieve something; and that was to ride a bike with Mrs Erispe’s help. I am so happy and thankful that I was able to do something that I have never done before”

“This camp helped me overcome some of my fears and try new things. I also found more understanding about God’s character and love”

 
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