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Year 5 Camp makes a splash

Kayaks, sun, snorkelling, fish and the gentle sea breeze. For the Year 5 camp experience in 2022, our students explored and appreciated the beautiful wilderness that we have right here on our doorstep in Sydney.

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As part of Wenona’s outdoor education program last week, Year 5 went to Clifton Gardens for a three-day camp filled with adventure on both land and sea. The camp’s experiences were designed to support students in developing risk-taking and teamwork skills in a supportive environment. The girls showed a great sense of courage, collaboration and spirit each day.

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The girls spent most of the three days on and in the ocean. They participated in kayak trips around Georges Head and paddleboarded in the harbour. A session spent trying to master raft building by creating a design that would float helped to build teamwork skills and humour as none managed to stay afloat! A big hit was jetty jumping from the Chowder Bay pier. While some took the plunge straight away, others spent some time contemplating the jump and their ability to be a courageous risk taker. The girls showed a strong sense of community, supporting and encouraging each other with wild cheers echoing across the water when someone new dove into the water. Angelique said she felt pretty scared looking over the edge of the jetty but in the end she was able to jump. Afterwards, she reflected that she felt happy that she had accomplished overcoming her hesitation.

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The girls engaged with the environment and learned about the natural world around them. While hiking to Bradleys Head, they were taught survival strategies and indigenous knowledge of our bush. Some girls shared some indigenous seasonal wisdom around the connection between plants and the ocean with the colour of ferns signalling sharks laying eggs. The girls also learned about sea life while searching for herds of seahorses, which can be found in the Chowder Bay nets. Evita enthusiastically shared her sightings of schools of fish and dancing seaweed, reflecting that she felt calm and energetic at the same time.

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Kite building in the afternoons was met with great joy. The girls created colourful and quirky designs which they were able to fly in the afternoon breeze. As the wind picked up on the final afternoon, it offered the opportunity for a kite flying competition. Willow and Mr Gasparinatos exercised their creativity by tying many knots to combine the string from two kites then sending a new super kite twenty metres up into the air. Through giggles, Willow said it was a really fun experiment especially because both her and Mr Gasparinatos didn’t think it would work. Interestingly, Willow said that the higher the kite climbed into the sky, the heavier it felt as the wind held it more tightly.

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On Thursday we celebrated with an evening barbecue together, which quickly turned into a dance off, with some very impressive dance moves (including the worm) evident.

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The Year 5 teachers were so impressed with the girls’ spirit of adventure and the unwavering support they showed each other. The camp offered a rich opportunity to make new connections and deepen the old through developing shared memories and stories!

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