Power of 9 Island Challenge
This year as part of the Power of 9 program there were two classes of the Island Challenge with one being in Term 1 and the other in Term 4. The Term 4 group recently returned from a 12-day experience in the state’s north east where they were able to explore and experience some of the best environments that this part of Tasmania has to offer. The Island Challenge involves students embarking on an adventurous journey with no prior knowledge of the areas they will be visiting or the activities they will be undertaking. For some students, this can be quite confronting but many revel in the chance to build their resilience, personal independence and team work.
The large Term 4 class was split into three student groups, each mentored by two Outdoor Education/Power of 9 staff and supported by additional logistics staff. Students walked for two and a half days along the beautiful beaches north of the Bay of Fires and learnt more about Tasmanian Aboriginal culture through the educators from Nita Education at larapuna/Eddystone Point. They also explored the Derby area on mountain bikes before tackling the rapids of the nearby Ringarooma River in single person packrafts.
For many the biggest challenge was the culmination of the off-track navigation experience that saw students climbing to the top of Mount Cameron before descending the large cliffs below the summit. This involved abseiling 100 metres in two pitches before having to clamber through a small cave at the base of the descent.
Although the activities utilised are exciting, the real learning potential comes from students working together and being involved in communal cooking, organisation of food, building fires and creating suitable sleeping shelters.
A big thank you to Mr John Braid and the Outdoor Education/Power of 9 staff involved in creating and delivering such a monumental program.