There is no substitute for experience! In term 4 last year, High school covered 3000km in two weeks, exploring the diverse regions of NSW. We explored the coastal region of Durras to Eden, the South East Forest National Park, Kosciuszko National Park, the Hay plains, the desert at Lake Mungo and the fossil – mine trail Canowindra/Orange.
We sketched, wrote, swam, bounded, climbed, walked, sang, gave presentations, met with locals and pondered the life lessons each of these unique environments could bring us… we experienced the treasures of hidden wonderlands, the power of surging ocean, the sweet secrets of mountain cascades, the extraordinary cooperation of rainforest, the tenacity of desert and the eureka moment of prospecting for the gold of friendship and camaraderie at Ophir.
Every journey had its feats and accomplishments, its wonders and challenges. The sharp observations and deep reflections of the students, captured in their daily journaling, revealed empathy, connectedness and hence care for each of these wild and unique environments. Yes there were bumps and pointy edges but there was also honesty, openness, kindness and generosity.
These students are all genuine travelers now. In the words of KaIindra, they were able to separate from “the herd” for a time to consider themselves in the context of the greater, complex and wonder filled world that we are all a part of. We climbed mountains, walked the plains, swam rivers and descended into caves, we went back in geological time and projected our thoughts into the future. These are deeply ethical young people. Their optimism and zest for life, is like the morning song of birds that continually encircles our earth. You can’t do all of this in the class room. But you can do it in two weeks on the road!
“Fears are our boundaries, but fears are not our limits”. Olive
“Everyone knows how our journey ends, but we determine our path.” Dylan
Walks on the wildside
Her totem is wolf
Waves tumble and crush her –
She comes up laughing
Eager for more.
Crack open the thunder
egg of Bella
And she sparkles like cut quartz –
Light dances off
Clean, facetted edges.
You can’t put it back again!
A lofty soul
But as down to earth
As a bloke can be –
Silver and gold!
Some folk are poetry in motion
Silver tongued syllables
Make rough roads smooth
And unexpected twists and turns
Into gift wrapped surprises.
The word is his sword
and his shield.
He wields both in a tournament
Of changing characters
Rolled out for the mirth of his friends –
Foes retreat, friends advance
When the songman charms…
Who else can la la the complete canon
Of Pacobel, and wax lyrical on Picasso
While she deftly draws
the iconic lace monitor – Aboriginal style;
to make a postcard for an asylum seeker
Sharp as a tack
With a fair dose of wit,
A swample of courage
And a handshake you can bet
He’ll honour for the rest of his life.
He’s dry as a drought
And yet quenches thirst!
His funny ways will lend you
The stitches you need to put your life
Back together – seamlessly!
Draws her friends around her
Like a cloak of finely spun silk
With the slightest gesture, she sends them
Shimmering and swirling around her,
Like ocean froth
Strike a light! And there
Goes Dylan – striding, direct,
Observant, throwing light around
Like there is no tomorrow