12 Jun 2024

Tales of Expedition and More

Dear all, The temperatures have dropped, and

12 Jun 2024

Dear all,

The temperatures have dropped, and we have been graced with chilly and misty mornings. But, as always, the brilliant sun burns it away quickly, revealing a glorious backdrop of azure blue.

Students were nervous as they embarked on a significantly longer Expedition: five days and four nights in the great Australian Outdoors. The stories and pictures below give you a small insight into the group’s character, resolve and determination.

What was the best thing about Expedition?

I got to spend quality time with my group rather than at the homestead. One exciting thing was that I saw a different side to the people in my group. One unexpected thing I noticed was the amazing wildlife, including Wallabies, friendly birds and Bush Turkeys. I also enjoyed the shower at the end and the fresh clothes!

I absolutely loved hiking with my friends, talking, and singing. We told horror stories around the campfire (which weren’t very scary). The last day was fantastic as we ran through the woods with our instructors. I won’t forget this moment!

I loved canoeing. It was a peaceful feeling floating down the river and admiring the beautiful forests. We also stopped at this strange sandbank along the way. It was incredible spending time with our group and another group too. I didn’t want to leave this special place!

How did you overcome a challenge?

Yesterday, we had a very steep and long hill. Our solution was to talk to the leaders, and they gave us more breaks; we also had different strategies to make it easier for us to distract our brains.

It was very, very, very difficult, but encouragement in the friend groups helped us through. Some of the difficulties included hiking with our heavy bags and being exhausted. The stronger group members were also amazing during the hike, as they helped us when needed and lightened the load.

How did you develop your leadership?

We developed our leadership skills as we took turns leading the group. We took the instructor’s jobs! The brief for us leading the group was:

  • Time management – making sure breakfast was done promptly, tents packed up
  • Delegate tasks
  • Set times for breaks
  • Being aware of the group and their needs
  • Keeping the group together during the hike

Relieved, satisfied, but tired faces greeted us on the return to the Kenilworth Homestead. There was also a distinct, unique smell (as you can imagine) as they wandered, dragging their feet. Students were looking forward to a hot shower! With the washing machines whirring and steam billowing from the shower blocks, life was ‘normal’ at the Homestead. That night, an unbelievable hush swept across the dorms, and dreams of grandeur, green, cold, friendships, and joy visited the sleeping adventurers. Dreams which dissipated as they woke to the azure blue of a well-deserved ‘rest day.’The rest day also marked the halfway point of the program. A lot of learning has taken place, and we are seeing students transform before our eyes. Saying we are proud does not encapsulate the full depth of our feelings! Students spent much of the day reflecting on how far they have come, how they have changed as individuals and as a group, and their hopes for the next three weeks. Some of the questions that were posed included: ‘Reflect on how your team has worked together during expeditions. What have been the strengths and weaknesses?’ ‘Think about the concept of interdependence. How has relying on others helped you in the program? ‘Share an example of how collaboration within your group led to a successful outcome?’ The challenge was to capture these ideas in a creative expression, i.e. song or dance, and present to the cohort.Week 4 marks the moment for the last activities before the students head on their 10-day Expedition. The activities have been purposeful in strengthening the cohesiveness of the groups, working on areas of improvement, and ensuring all members are working together as well-oiled machines. Here are a few moments which give you an indication of what is happening:As always, the long days finish with strong reflection to enhance the personal and collective growth of the groups.Thank you for giving your children this unbelievable opportunity as they grow their comfort zones and become inspiring leaders of the future.

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