Year 7 students and a team of staff embarked on a week-long camp to our nation’s capital, Canberra. Over the past couple of years we have had the added bonus of visiting Sydney for the day, where our Year 7s see the sights of Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and Bondi Beach.

Students were fortunate to complete their camp before responses to the COVID-19 outbreak resulted in the cancellation of school visits, flights and travel for others.

This year’s camp included visits to Parliament House, Old Parliament House, Government House, the Australian War Memorial, Australian Institute of Sport, Questacon and Geoscience Australia.

While it could be perceived that a camp is simply time away from the rigours of school work, the  reality is that camping experiences provide our children with an array of important learning
experiences that are invaluable to their development. Here are just a few:

  • Social skills – School camps provide lots of opportunities to strengthen established relationships and to develop new ones. Working in groups to ensure the smooth-running of the camp, team-building while supporting each other during physical activity, and  forming a close-knit community with their peers and teachers are just some of the ways that camp  helps students in this area.
  • Independence – For some children, school camp may be the only significant amount of time they spend  away from home. It’s important that we remember that as parents, it is our job to give our children the skills to (eventually) leave home. Camp is a gentle first step, providing an opportunity for  children to take care of themselves. Most children rise to the challenge while perhaps developing a  new-found appreciation for how they are looked after at home!
  • Application of learning – Many of the camping experiences on offer at Redeemer compliment the learning that takes place here at school. Even though the children may not realise it, many important connections are made to previous learning and there are plenty of opportunities to apply knowledge or skills in a new environment.