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Year 9 camp and Father/Son camp at Somerset

From Scott Coleman, Head of House (Green)

Year 9 Camp

Between Tuesday the 4th and Friday the 7th of September, Year 9 successfully completed their outward-bound learning experience at Somerset camping grounds. The students were met with some dramatic weather including rolling thunderstorms, hail and some brief moments of sunshine.  Our theme for our camp was ‘Stepping up, Stepping out,’ and it was overwhelming to see the cohort take this on board with each activity. Students managed to step up into leadership and step out of their comfort zone, lessons we hope for the cohort to take into their senior years.

The students took part in a variety of activities, ranging from High ropes, to Kayaking and canoeing, with everyone being provided with a chance to overcome adversity and face hardship along the way. Several of the camp leaders and teachers commented on the way the students collaborated together in difficult situations and developed an understanding about respect towards others as the week progressed.

This year Waverley implemented some new camp initiatives, including placing each student in house groups to create a sense of community within their house. It was great to see students embrace this opportunity to make new friends and develop relationships outside of the usual friendship circles. The experience of camp is also being used as real-world experiences in the PDHPE theory classrooms, to help analyse risk and safety for young people.

As groups sat around the campfire on the last night, they reflected and commented on how they had achieved things they didn’t think possible, and it was that moment for them when they began to understand the importance of participating in the camp. I would like to congratulate the year 10 cohort, who demonstrated incredible resolve and character throughout. Each student faced their own difficulties on camp and hopefully the lessons they learnt will be lifelong and rewarding.

I would like to thank all the Waverley families, for allowing the year 9 students, to take part in such an important part of their learning experience. Some lessons can only be taken outside the classroom and camp provides those. I would also like to thank all the staff that attended the camp, without the teachers giving up time away from their families, it would not be the fantastic experience that Waverley currently offers. It is the drive of our teachers that enables students to face the challenges from the camping program and come through successful on the other side. Our camp leaders for year 10 camp were:

Camp Leaders

  • Kendall Robinson
  • Matt Porter
  • Nicola Silsby
  • Matt Johnstone
  • Bridey Hawley
  • Lachlan Hillman
  • Sam Rowlings
  • Damien Thompson
  • Greg Elliot
  • Richard Bryant
  • Matthew Barr
  • Stephen O’Donnell


Father/Son Camp

This year, Waverley College ran their first ever Father/Son camp at Somerset camping grounds. It was a great chance for fathers to spend time with their sons in a different environment without the use of modern technologies and screens. The importance of the father/son relationship was the key driving force behind why we implemented this new program and so far, the feedback has been incredibly positive.

During the program fathers and sons engaged in an overnight camping experience including 1 wet and 1 dry activity (such as Milk Crate Stack and Kayaking). All meals, equipment and activities were organised by Somerset with safety instructors and camp leaders on site. The campsites had LED lights and benches, grassy areas for tents and a campfire circle. Dads also slept in their tents with their sons overnight.

It was a great opportunity for the 50 dads that attended, to spend quality time together with their son, in a different environment. It was a great opportunity for these Fathers to disconnect for 24 hours from work and reconnect with their sons. All of the Fathers gave very positive feedback and many mentioned they wished that they could spend more time camping with their sons. The boys also displayed many of the skills they had learnt on camp including making dinner and breakfast, setting up tents as well as safety around the campfire.

We would like to thank all the dads that came and took part in the camp this year, we hope to increase our numbers in future years as word spreads about how successful this program was in 2018.