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Ulladulla High School

Ulladulla High School

World Class Global Learners who achieve the Summit

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Jindabyne Year 7 Camp

students on camp

The inaugural Jindabyne Year 7 Camp got off to an early start last Monday 13th with a pleasant journey over Clyde Mtn and down the Bredbo Valley to the Snowy Mountains, glimpsing a vista of white snow caps in the distance as we approached. Jindabyne Sport and Recreation Centre is the first-class facility you’d expect in our nation’s alpine adventure capital. Setting the scene is the neighbouring National Snowsports Training Centre with its Olympic sized dry slope airbag jump. During training the sound of zipping skis followed by an eerie silence then a cushioned landing was off in the distance, with an occasional hoot or holler.  

The Sport and Recreation Centre, located on 87 acres, has extensive facilities and accommodations, sport and outdoor recreation infrastructure. The park-like grounds made an excellent outdoor free time space for our students where they enjoyed volleyball and basketball courts, outdoor table tennis, oversize checkers, any number of equipment and games provided, or just simply hanging out with peers. Bounding this space students accessed their lodgings, the rec hall and dining hall which were all tailor-made. The surrounding acres are gold and green slopes dotted with the quintessential granite boulders and snow gums, and various setups of fun looking things, which certainly built the atmosphere and peaked the interest and excitement of our students. The sights and sounds of hopping kangaroos and the caws of crows where in competition with that of 150 Ulladulla High kids having the times of their lives.

The Centre’s program was excellent, providing a variety of engaging outdoor education activities over the 3 days with eight 1 ½ hour rotations. Our number were divided into 6 predetermined groups led by the Centre’s expert instructors with support by two UHS staff per group. The Centre’s staff were fun and engaging. and truly professionals in their field.

Mountain Bikes were a favourite, catering for all levels from novice to seasoned riders. Students were able to find their balance and wind through the gears on the velodrome before heading through a series of graded tracks with increasingly difficult timber features, ramps, sea-saws, and dirt berms.

Survival Skills was double length activity. Students learned practical skills including building a shelter tested by a mock up torrential storm (aka hydrant). Students made their own fires from scratch, lighting it with a flint and steel, and made their own damper sticks which were devoured with sweet honey.

Dodge Frisbee was the culmination of a series of team building games in the rec hall. Throughout this session students strategized and cooperated to achieve the common goal – destroy the opposition. Archery tested students focus in chasing the elusive bullseye. With some expert tuition everyone hit the mark, or at least the target board, and gained points for their team. The Initiatives course challenged student’s kinaesthetic thinking and problem solving. The Maze challenged students with a range of individual and group tasks to achieve within a labyrinth. Tag Archery was another favourite, extending students archery skills beyond static targets, and from basic strategy games to all out military offensives.   

Students were well catered for in the extensive dining hall with plentiful, balanced meals and fruit galore. The Centre staff put on an excellent Nightshow both nights, with games in the rec hall one night and trivia the next. Following the evening entertainment students retreated to their respective lodges where they could relax in the lounge room before getting their well-earned bedrest for the next day.

No matter how well fed they were the planned early dinner stop at Queanbeyan was the hot topic of conversation for the return trip. It was like “What are you gonna get?” “Oh, I’m hanging for this, that and the other”. That was in between random bursts of singing InSync “That Way”. Overall our students conducted themselves in a manner we can be proud of and demonstrated personal growth and interconnectedness within the group. Well done Year 7. 

A big thank you to UHS staff who supported the camp, including those covering classes back at school. And a special thank you to Mrs Whitford who made the trip with baby Maisie to visit and be part of the fun.