What a blessing it is for both the students and the staff to attend camp! For all kinds of reasons, many schools no longer engage in this activity. I remember going on camp in Year 6. Only a handful of students were selected to attend. Their names were drawn out of a hat in a whole school assembly. Mine was one of them. I remember the train trip up to Lake Keepit. There were no supervising staff on board and somehow I made a lifelong friend that day.
Camps are worth the effort for so many reasons. Here are a few:
Educational: The Year 5 + 6 camps in particular have an educational focus. However, all camps offer students an opportunity to learn about curriculum matters. In Year 5, students pan for gold and learn about life on the gold fields. In Year 6, they learn about government and the democratic process. These hands-on experiences teach in a way that simply can’t be replicated in the classroom.
Social: Everyone has value and something to contribute to society, regardless of age. Camps are a great chance to get to know and appreciate others in a new way. There are many new enrolment in Middle School, each year. It’s hard enough managing change, let alone making new friends. Thankfully, our students here at Charlton are very friendly and welcoming.
Student/Staff Relationships: Student /staff relationships are important in every year of schooling but particularly in Middle School. This is the time when students start to distrust the motives of adults, (parents and teachers alike), and look to their peers for guidance. If we can show them that we care deeply and want the very best for them, then they are much quicker to respond in matters of learning, discipline and welfare.
Teamwork: One of the highest-ranking qualities sought by employers today is the ability to collaborate and work as part of a team. However, in our ever increasing, self-centered, independent culture, these traits are not easy to cultivate. At camp, students are forced to work together and get along in close quarters. It’s real life-learning.
Meeting Challenges: The Giant Swing and rock climbing are just two activities that present challenges to students in Year 7. Students find themselves stretched outside of their comfort zones. Meeting these challenges can be very rewarding. This can also be true when students face even smaller fears like staying away from home for 2 nights. Everybody grows a little at camp.
Fun: Learning should be fun! At least, that’s what we think!
Mrs Tammy Perrim / Head of Middle School