Everyone in the school has been champing at the bit to go on camp once again. We were lucky enough to be first, soon to be followed by most of the rest of the school this term.
With the summer we have had, it was likely we’d have some rain, but it turned it in! We started asking, ‘Where is Noah when you need him?’ I am sure some of our tents started to bob on the streams flowing under them. In the beach photo, we had blissful times like this, while watching the horizon for weather. Ten minutes later it could be teeming with rain, but we kept on playing and swimming: still blissful.
Camps are an essential part of our curriculum. The most memorable element of a Kindlehill child’s schooling, where friendships are forged and deepened, where self-reliance is shaped, and where a classroom lesson is transformed into living experience. Our camp was the culmination of The Mountains to the Sea lesson. We looked at the landscapes of tablelands, ranges, escarpment, coastal plains and rivers, swamps, estuaries, mangroves, headlands, dunes, beaches and rock shelves. We explored the activities that arose from these landscapes: dry-land farming and coastal dairy farming, whaling, timber-getting; and the historical evolution of transport, through shipping, to rail, to road; and the towns that sprung up around these activities – all through densely constructed stories. We sang our Bridge Building song as we crossed the bridge that Happy Harry built over the Shoalhaven, and sat on the dunes that had protected his campsite under the dancing-bangalay trees.
As little children, we commence our camping life by looking after our own bag. By High School, the students self-organise to prepare meals, set up their own tents and the camp kitchen, and pack up and tie down the trailer, ready to drive to the next site.
And lastly, I should mention the parent camp crew that help make the camps happen. I have been blessed with some fabulous crews over the year, none better than the group that kept our children warm, dry and fed on this camp under the most trying circumstances. It is hard work but, if you haven’t been a camp helper, it comes highly recommended. It is great for the children to see their parents working in this little community.
As I thanked our camp helpers, noting… ‘most impressive of all, your cheery, nothing-can-faze-us demeanor carried the children along (‘If all the adults think everything is fine and fun, it must be’). A deep and life-long lesson for the children about dealing with the seemingly insurmountable challenges of life with resilience, composure and humour.’
Blessed be the campers.
After 20 years working as a civil engineer, manager and general manager, John joined the School in 2001 and has taken several cycles of primary school students from 1st to 7th class. A founding Director, he has also been the School’s Business Manager and Company Secretary, and currently chairs the Finance Committee.
“Through an education immersed in beauty, imagination and creativity, the growing child can step into the world with independence, confidence and deep social engagement: liberty, fraternity, equality.”