At first you see trees, grasses, a kangaroo, nice views across the canyons ….your eyes adjusting to take in the beauty of nature. Then you clamber over boulders, slip into a cave, thread your way along a creek, sit amongst the trees ….. and that’s when you see the uniqueness of habitat in this place, the things that live here and nowhere else in Australia and the world! Your heart begins to take in the amazing community of beings that call this place home. Respect and gratitude rise up in you.
Then there is adventure. Going inside the mountain on a narrow descent into deep, dark cave, going over the mountain and abseiling down a 30metre cliff, climbing a sheer face feeling for handholds and footholds barely visible, exploring the watercourse of the canyon creek, working as a team – being responsible and responsive to each, sharing with peers the research you’ve done prior to the trip – transforming information into experience.
Alongside all of this, high school students were mentored in life skills by Kalindra and Ross, people who specialise in managing risk, finding courage, taking initiative, persevering, setting goals, living lightly, connecting love of what you do with what is good for the wider world….
Camp Bungonia was more than canyoning – high school students have added to their back packs, life skills, a sense of adventure and the importance of connecting to and realizing what makes your life purposeful.
And from Olive….
Do you see the colours? I can hold them in my hands, feel the soft green pouring through my fingers. It pools at my toes, runs downhill mixing with earth and stone to create browns and greys. It makes moss, grass and canopies. It makes the reason for beauty…
And from Ella…
This Place…I have tried to capture the colours not usually seen in water, but I can see them, disguising themselves as other colours, like people disguising themselves in other people. The reeds shimmer in the slight breeze pure and tall like gleaming fairy queens. I can see down to what seems like a hidden journey. I want to come back here, explore it more thoroughly, find the hidden joys of the secret world with in the caves, canyons, rocks and water. The reflections of crumbly cliffs reflect in the water and it makes me feel a weird sensation, like I need to dive in and reach and explore those reflections, but I know I can’t. The tree reflections reach down like stairs to the underwater sky. I love imagining what it would be like to explore reflections. What do you think it would be like?
And from Dylan…
Everyone knows how our journey ends, but we determine our path.