Camping Program

Camps at Fitzroy High School are an integral part of the Year 7 – 10 program.

The focus and the challenge of each camp is different but the underlying ethos is the same: camps are an excellent vehicle for enhancing the strong relationships which underpin the success of our curriculum delivery.

Students need to have strong self-knowledge, an appreciation of other students’ strengths and tolerance for others’ weaknesses.

Teachers need also to know their students well to help direct their learning. The informal opportunities for working together and chatting together provided on camp are unique and invaluable.

Year 7 Camp

The Year 7 camp is held in the third week of the year and allows students a relaxed opportunity to interact with each other and with their significant Year 7 teachers.

This 3-day camp is held at the YMCA’s Lady Northcote camp near Bacchus Marsh. The activities revolve around group challenges and fun and include canoeing, mountain bike riding, yabbying and high ropes challenge.

The camp gives teachers an excellent opportunity to start the process of getting to know each of their students as individuals with capabilities, likes, idiosyncracies and, sometimes, even fears are revealed.

Students come back from camp with a sense of belonging to the whole student cohort which is a great way for them to start the year.

Year 8 Camp

The premise of the Year 8 camp is quite different; it is a journey rather than a base camp, held at Cape Otway. Students are involved in learning the history of the lighthouse by living 3 days in the life of an 1800s Lighthouse Keeper.

On rotation, they man the lighthouse 24hrs a day, doing the checks and recordings that were necessary in the pre-electronic era. They hike out to the river mouth to pick up supplies, raft those supplies up river and camp out overnight.

The essence of this camp is teamwork and leadership, as the students are given various responsibilities for the leading of the trip, but also allows for learning about history and the environment.

2012 Student Reflections

For year 8 camp this year we went to the Cape Otway Lighthouse. On the first day my group hiked about 5km to a place called Parkers Inlet where we went for a swim due to the great weather. Then we camped in a campsite overlooking the inlet. On the second day we did the first and second our three main activities. The first one was rafting. This was supposed to represent how the lighthouse keepers got their supplies. First we built the rafts from logs and ropes and barrels, and then we raced to the end of a small river. Our team won! Then we packed up and left for the lighthouse. At the lighthouse we went inside and learned about how to man it and other lighthouse related topics. That night we slept in cabins, which were very nice. On the third day we did horse riding at Bimbi Park. This wasn’t that good because it was just a 40 minute walk! We then hiked to our campsite but got lost. Nothing much else happened on camp – except Joel and I almost got vomited on, on the bus trip home.

Tom H

We left for Cape Otway on the Tuesday, traveling by bus with a driver who had obviously never had fun. Upon arrival we were split into groups: Alpha, Bravo and Charlie. The three groups would be rotating through the activities throughout the camp. I got put into Charlie, and we hiked 5kms with our packs to Parkers Inlet, the place where the lighthouse keepers got their supplies. We set up our tents and had a swim in the river and ocean. The next day we packed our packs and walked back to the light station. We got cabins that night and we also got to go up into the lighthouse with Paul who taught us some of the things about the lighthouse. The day after that we walked inland to the horse riding location. The riding was slow and uneventful, with the exception of a shrieking koala. We got lost on the way to the campsite but finally arrived carrying firewood. I got to have a couple of cups of precious tea while the fire roared in the background. On the bus ride back we had the same grumpy driver, and while were driving through the suburbs with the whole bus chanting, he decided to pull over and tell us to be quiet!

Joel C

For this year’s camp we went to Cape Otway, and it was fun. We went swimming in the river and in the ocean. We went rafting in the river, and the river was so, so cold, but the ocean wasn’t cold, so we could swim in it. We also went walking a lot to each campsite. The longest walk was 5km and the bags were really heavy. When our group was staying in a cabin, we did lighthouse lookouts. When the first group came back they were told by the camp staff to say it was really spooky so the next group would get scared: it did not work. The best thing about the camp was for me to sleep in a bed, it was so, so good. The bad thing about the camp was not to sleep in a bed, but that doesn’t mean camping wasn’t fun.

Aaron T

Year 9 Camp

The Year 9 camp is extended to 4 days and involves a base camp which is team-work and challenge based like the Year 7 camp, but with the challenges heightened. Year 9 camps have been held at Valley Homestead in the Ovens Valley, Roses Gap in the Grampians and Ace-Hi Riding School.

Year 10 Camp

The Year 10 camp idea is being extended following the highly successful Malaysia trip last year which was planned and organised by students.

The notion is for Year 10s to be given a range of “camp experience” options from which to choose – they might opt into a local or rural Victoria experience, or it could be an inter-state or overseas experience.

Students will form groups according to their preference and they will plan and organise their trip which will run at the end of the year.