With Covid19 restrictions easing across Victoria, many schools have been enjoying a return of extracurricular activities, such as school camps.
In most instances, the camps have been significantly modified and condensed but the students have rejoiced all the same; excited (and a bit nervous) to regain some freedom away from home.
A Trip Down the Road …
At Katamatite Primary School in the Goulburn Valley, students in grades 3 and 4 have recently returned from a camp in Yarrawonga.
Granted, the two towns are all of 34 kilometres from each other, and the camp was only for one night, but Principal Jason Whiteley says it was a meaningful experience.
‘The kids left school at one o’clock on the Wednesday and returned for the end of school on Thursday, so it was short but sweet,’ Mr Whiteley said.
‘It was interesting to watch their initial response to it all; at the start we had a fair bit of anxiety about going away and then that moved towards extreme excitement, and it became a very noisy drive,’ he said.
‘As one student said, “it was just nice to get out and have fun again”, and it really was.”
The students were each given the opportunity to drive the boat on Lake Mulwala.
So, how did it go?
The students stayed at the Airtree Resort and enjoyed a tour of the Yarrawonga Weir, learning about its function and history.
This was followed by some kayaking on Lake Mulwala lagoon, assisted by the Yarrawonga Canoe Club, and then a nature-walk and a boat cruise around Lake Mulwala.
‘The students have had a very disrupted year, we all know that, but this camp was an opportunity to celebrate their achievements and to thank them for their perseverance through such a tough year,’ Mr Whiteley said.
‘The vision of our camps program is to extend classroom curriculum but, equally, to provide opportunity for students to bond and grow as people,’ he said.
‘The kids all went home talking about better friendships and what a great time they had, and that makes us immensely pleased.’
It’s hoped next year will see a return of Katamatite’s full suite of extracurricular activities, but for now the students and teachers are just grateful for a return to some normality, with their overnight camp providing a happy bookend to the 2020 school year.
‘I’d have to say the parents have been most thankful – the kids, yes – but the parents have been calling the school, expressly, to thank us for providing the opportunity, and for supporting the kids,’ Mr Whiteley said.
Oh Captain! My Captain!
Off they go for a paddle.
Beforehand, preparing to paddle with the Yarrawonga Canoe Club.