Earlier this term Kurnai College took 10 students from year 7 and 8 to the Boys to the Bush camp approximately 30kms outside of Albury in NSW. For many of the students attending this was the first time they had been interstate and the bus trip was full of excited chatter all the way, despite the 6:30am departure.
The Boys to the Bush camp provided our students with the opportunity to develop new skills and build positive relationships with each other, teachers and camp coordinators, as well as members of the local community.
The students were staying on a small farm run by sheerer, Richard, who opened up his home for the camp. Our students were encouraged to engage in a range of activities that they would not necessarily be exposed to at home or school, including yabbying, fishing, building rafts and go-carts, working on cars, welding, spotlighting, chopping fire wood and building fires. Students also had the chance to experience a working sheep farm and to help out the shearers. They attended the Howlong Men’s Shed where they worked on furniture restoration and discussed the importance of maintaining positive relationships with their communities. They also had to help cook each of their meals, clean up, and look after all their own dishes for the week. The students were frequently out of their comfort zone and had to display resilience, teamwork and maturity to deal with the situations they faced.
The camp has given staff opportunities to have many positive conversations about the experiences on camp and to continue to build on the rapport developed while on camp. Many of the students that attended were often disengaged with their education and the camp has provided them with a range of positive experiences they now associate with school. Other teachers have also commented on the change they have seen in the confidence and engagement of many students since attending the Boys to the Bush camp.
The camp has proved thoroughly worthwhile for our college and we eagerly anticipate sending another group of Kurnai College students next year.
This program is an outstanding opportunity for any boy to be a part of. I hope the program gets the funding it deserves so more young males can be offered the opportunity to attend.
Clancy Bennett | Humanities KLD Leader
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