Year 10 Outdoor Education White Water Camp
This year as part of Year 10 Outdoor Education, students attended one compulsory overnight navigation and coasteering camp on Bruny Island in addition to selecting two camps from the following options: bushwalking in Pine Valley, rock climbing at Sand River, mountain biking at Derby, snow camping at Mount Field, walking the Overland Track in winter and whitewater paddling in North-West Tasmania. Recently, 17 students attended the whitewater camps with one group completing a three-day journey down the Alum Cliffs section of the Mersey River whilst the other group utilised the Forth River, the Arm River and also on an overnight section of the upper Mersey.
The Alum Cliffs group paddled two-person inflatables under the guidance of Whitewater Instructor Mr Matt Eaton, Mr Robbie Tuck and Senior Whitewater Instructor Mr Richard Guy (Outdoor Education casual staff member). They paddled a huge number of rapids and spent all of their second day travelling through the impressive large gorge of Alum Cliffs. Although a challenging trip, the group experienced a part of Tasmania that is really only accessible through whitewater paddling. Along the way they even managed to have over 10 platypus sightings.
The second group in packrafts with Mr John Braid (Whitewater Instructor), Mr Daniel Blake and Mr Mark Oates (Senior Whitewater Instructor) started on the Forth River Whitewater Course which provided an excellent initial training venue. After camping there the night they then headed to the Arm River to practice swimming and wading techniques as they explored the area around Arm River Falls. That afternoon students and staff walked for two hours with all their camping and packrafting gear into Lees Paddocks above Lake Rowallan. The final day involved paddling the upper Mersey and negotiating three large waterfalls which they portaged around.
Experiences such as these provide an incredible opportunity for our students to learn more about Tasmania, themselves, their peers and also staff. Although these adventurous activities may appear to be high risk, the students learn how to manage these risks and hazards appropriately and safely. This is ultimately a highly valuable skill for our teenage students.