Scarlet 10 Experience

The Scarlet 10 Experience is a unique component of the Year 10 program that was first implemented in Fitzroy High School in 2010. Essentially, this opportunity allows for groups of students to collaborate, develop and lead a rich and authentic learning experience either locally, nationally or to an international location.

This year one group traveled to Hong Kong and China, and the other to the local destination of Apollo Bay. Those students attending the camp participated in the relevant Excel programs leading up to their departure, these classroom sessions explored the history, customs, traditions and language of the destinations (this was more specific for the international camp), as well as looking at the practical aspects such as planning the activities for each day.

The learning outcomes of such a program are outstanding, from the acquisition of knowledge and understanding of new and different cultures, to the development of the individual. As one teacher stated on the last night of the camp, “This experience wasn’t so much about the destination, it was more about the journey.”

A special thank you must go out to those students who drove this program this year – you know who you are.

Hong Kong and China - 2013

After landing in Hong Kong, Pauline guided the team through the hotel, well, the hotel that we were supposed to be staying at... Moving on (I think we have moved on...) the group crashed at a very lively part of Nathan Road - Hong Kong's main street. Lots of culture and electronic shops, a good mix.

Day 2 was fantastic - it opened with a visit to one of the greatest food courts of all time in Hollywood Plaza. People felt the freedom to start the day with dumplings, Hot Korean BBQ chicken and noodles, rice pancakes and blueberry Oreos. The group then moved onto Chin Lin Nunnery and the Nan Lian Gardens - a majestic little oasis in the heart of the hustle and bustle. The gardens provided many photo (and selfie) opportunities. After wandering through the gardens we moved onto conquering Victoria Peak. It took some serious walking (thanks to Jamie's poor navigational skills) to get to the Peak Tram. Upon arrival we noticed a rather large line - we were told that a 3-HOUR WAIT was expected if we wanted to take the trip to the top. So the group, tired and emotional, decided to get something to eat to lift our spirits and move back towards the harbor to catch HK's famous 'Symphony of Lights'. In the poignant words of Rhys, "It moved me emotionally. It was beautiful." Everyone was ready for bed after the light show and decided to retire to their rooms for some R and R - an early start was planned, as the team would be tackling the Giant Buddha, the nearby markets and some serious street food.

The next day began with a little bit of bread and croissants down in the subway on the way to the Big Buddha and the surrounding attractions. The cable car to the top of the mountain area was daunting to begin with, Jordan quietly whispered, "That thing goes pretty fast..." It did. Very enjoyable. Once on top of the mountain the team explored the Big Buddha, the chopstick gallery and the monastery. Once fed and enlightened the group hopped back on the cable car to return for, wait for it... some more shopping. Our feet were screaming for a rest, so we headed back to our accommodation to recharge the batteries.

The next task was to negotiate the Temple Street Night Markets - famous for its fortunetellers, terrible karaoke and cheap knock offs. It's fair to say that there were some hairy moments throughout the evening, plenty of people, lights and bargaining = nightmare for teachers.

Hong Kong was sensational - plenty of laughs, some tears, but memories for a lifetime. Long live 'The Mansions!'

The next two days were been jam packed full of movement and information. The first major event was the short trip from Xi'an to take a sneak peek at the Terracotta Warriors. Walking into the first pit that contained the warriors was sensational. The size and scope of the area was impressive, however the most mind-blowing aspect of the attraction was the intricate details of each of the warriors - simply outstanding. Another interesting aspect of going to the see the warriors is that you can get a signed book and photo with the original farmer who found the warriors nearly 40 years ago. After moving through the pits, the group moved to a more quiet area of the warrior village to have dinner with some locals - Mr. Yang and his family rolled out the red carpet and provided a meal to remember. Good on you Mr. Yang!

One of the most common ways to cover large distances in China is by a sleeper train; so in order to 'live like the locals' the group packed their bags (for some, it was more bags than at the start of the trip crammed full of bargains) and headed for Xi'an's train station. The station was busy and hot. Once we boarded things calmed down and we settled in for the long haul. After being screamed at by a local for being to noisy, the team moved to their bunk beds and attempted to get some sleep. For some it was successful, for others, not so much. The warm shower waiting in Suzhou was heaven. The afternoon in Suzhou involved visiting 'The Lingering Garden' - without doubt one of the most tranquil and beautiful gardens you will see anywhere in the world. The zigzag layout of the garden instilled a sense of space and the traditional performances by the local musicians added to the atmosphere. The night was topped off with another banquet at a local restaurant and an evening stroll along Suzhou's 'Little Venice'.

The last mode of transport the group experienced was the famous bullet train to Shanghai. This train reached 310km per hour – now that’s pretty fast. On arrival we walked along The Bund and did what everyone does in Shanghai - shop. Shanghai was the last stop for the tour and we finished the experience by having a lovely group dinner and watching the world famous Shanghai Acrobats.

All students thoroughly enjoyed their traveling experience, from the airplane food to walking on The Great Wall, many memories were made and good times were had.

Chilli P – Scarlet 10

Year 10 Experience 2013 – Apollo Bay

On the 7th of October, 18 Year 10 students and 2 teachers grouped together early in the morning to prepare for a 3 hour road trip to Apollo Bay. Their drive towards the coast was delayed only by a quick stop in Werribee to pick up another student along the way. The crew arrived at the accommodation that is situated right in the heart of Apollo Bay Township. It was an old house with many rooms, a table tennis set, no shortage of dust, and an equipped kitchen for our home cooked dinners. After everyone settled in, we drove up to the Supermarket to stock up on some weekly supplies. Whilst the night’s dinner group was preparing a ‘Special Tran curry’, everyone else was enjoying some free time and explored the area.

The next morning we set out to the Otway Fly for a fun adventure amongst the treetops. There we traversed a zip line course. This was a great experience for students to build confidence, build trust and for some to overcome fears. After this we journeyed back to Apollo Bay for an eventful afternoon down at the beach. People were swimming, sunbaking, playing cricket, beach volleyball, frisbee and we held a sandcastle building competition. That night, after dinner was cooked, we took a night walk along the rock wall and the pier, to soak up the beautiful atmosphere and view.

Wednesday arrived and it was action-packed! We started the day with an eventful horse-riding lesson, we were taught how to control the rails on our horse and also how to trot. We rode through a bushy and hilly trail for an hour and a half, most of the horses behaved very well, but every now and then, there would be a little drama. Later on that day we had a surfing lesson in Lorne for two hours, lots of people managed to ride a wave and others persisted. The weather was absolutely marvellous and the waves were brilliant for surfing. Later on that night we had a scrumptious barbeque down at the park, kicked the footy and relaxed. As the night crept in, a few of us planned a game of murder in the dark up in the attic as well as very fun and competitive rounds of Uno.

We started off Thursday with a relaxing stroll to a beautiful waterfall. Then we headed to Lorne for lunch and some free time in the town, after this we were scheduled for another surfing lesson and refined our skills. After our two hours of surfing in the rain and the cold we made our way back to the bus. This bus ride was a lot more enjoyable than most of the others, this was mainly due to the people that were singing along to the tunes on the radio and we continued doing this for the rest of the bus rides. When we arrived back at the house, some people enjoyed hot tea and cheery conversations, table tennis, footy and dinner - a delicious stir-fry was prepared. That night everyone had a plan for no sleep; this was to be our epic last night of camp! The next morning everyone was hesitant to get up to pack and clean but eventually we got the job done and were on the bus ready to hit the road.

The Apollo Bay camp produced some great memories and experiences, and a whole lot of fun to remember and cherish.

Atiida and Asmaa – Scarlet 10