Bogong Outdoor Education School – Year 9 Future Makers Camp

From April 26th to May 7th, 24 eager Year 9s took part in the Future Makers program, a camp run by the Outdoor Education School at Mount Bogong. Fitzroy is one of the ten schools that are part of this collaboration. It was a memorable experience for both students and teachers to be immersed in The Outdoor Education’s schools values of Respect, Community, Integrity and Educational Excellence. Most importantly, the Bogong school had a strong focus on:

– self awareness and self management 

– team building and critical thinking 

– understanding one’s well being

– appreciation of nature and one’s surroundings 

Here are some reflections from Fitzroy’s participating students:

Activities

While at Bogong, the Future Makers students were separated into two main groups and each rotated through the activities. There was the ‘Challenge Yourself’ activity, during which we got into harnesses and went to the rock wall and went abseiling and rock climbing. There were also other activities such as the ‘Sensory Trail’. During this activity, you were blindfolded and had to navigate your way through part of the rainforest holding onto a wire while walking and trying to climb the obstacles. Luckily, we had some really warm days of weather so the logs weren’t too slippery.

There were also ‘Team Challenges’ and we were divided into groups. Group 1 did Bridge Building and Group 2 did Raft Building. On the second last day we went to the ‘High Ropes course’ and there were many different ropes courses to go on, such as a flying fox and the last high ropes course people went on was ‘The Leap of Faith’. 

All the activities pushed us out of our comfort zone in different ways. 

  • Billie Mott, 9W

The Hike

The hike (part 2 of the camp) for Group 2 was 40km long over 5 days. The weather started amazingly with sunny days, light winds, no rain and clear nights. After day three the weather changed drastically and it was cold, windy and in moments, hailing. Our group filled up on warm pasta and rice, and many hot chocolates, no matter the weather. Group 2 sadly lost the chance to go up Mount Bogong, but nevertheless we had an amazing hike experience with many beautiful photos taken by our very own photographer, Romi Smith. On behalf of group 2, thank you Romi for also producing a video upon our return! With Jamie from the Outdoor Ed School as our teacher, we all had great fun and many laughs while sharing many long-lasting memories.

What other students thought about the hike

Out of the 24 students who went on the camp, almost everyone would only have positive things to say about the hike. I know that Billie, for instance, had so much fun at the camp and would choose to do it all again in a heartbeat. She says she enjoyed the hike, and had fun doing the activities too. I enjoyed the camp too and got plenty of great experiences out of it, even if it was challenging at times. I think Angus Weaving definitely enjoyed hiking and finishing leftover dinners. He was very optimistic throughout and had a great time. Tom Lee-Bone was fully immersed in the beauty of the outdoors and was usually sticking at the back with Jamie talking about the local area… hearing their discussions kept me motivated to keep walking and provided me with a form of distraction (we had no access to technology for two weeks so I was missed listening to Podcasts and music!). 

  • Charlotte Cave 9W

In the second week of the camp, the weather turned miserable, but this didn’t stop Tom, Angus, Gemma and Jamie going for a walk up to the top of Mt Cope, a short distance away from our hut at Cope Hut. Despite their wet clothes and shoes, they were happy with the reward of seeing another panoramic view. Our group had discussions about returning to the Alpine Region at another time and climbing Mount Bogong with a more favourable climate, the highest mountain in Victoria. 

Upon return from our hike, we had a few days to wind down and had another few activities to explore. I was happy to stay indoors and decorate a beautiful tile (see image below) while others were mountain biking. 

  • Stella Bennet 9W

Students finished their 12 day program with a lovely reflective activity which included takeaways from Tim Cope’s motivational speech that was presented before students embarked on the 5-day journey. This was definitely a highlight. 

Great team effort and a special thanks to the Outdoor Ed Teachers and the Fitzroy High teachers for their contributions. We are also super grateful for good timing prior to lockdown number 4. We encourage current Year 8 students to apply for the 2022 program. Until next time, Bogong! 

  • Year 9 Future Makers Excel