42 Year 8 students from Kurnai College, Morwell Campus went to Karoonda Park, during the first week of term 4 for their school camp. On the way there, the students stopped off at Buchan Caves and went through the Royal Cave. The limestone cave consisted of many chambers, filled with calcite rimmed pools and stalactites crystals covering the cave’s roof. Jumping back on the bus the students travelled the last part of the journey before arriving at Karoonda Park. Excitedly the students exited the bus ready and wanting to explore the place they would call home for the next week. The students settled into their dorms and were treated with some free time, before a delicious three course meal of soup, roast beef, and chocolate mousse with ice-cream. A night hike around the farm and neighbouring bushland entertained the students as they went searching for native wildlife. Possums, Koalas, Frogs and Spiders were some of the many creatures spotted.
Miserable weather on the Tuesday didn’t stop the students from getting stuck into a day full of activities. The morning commence with a rotation of activities involving indoor rock climbing, leather work, and meeting the horses. After a scrumptious lunch, the students ventured out to the Snowy River National Park, where they explore the spectacular sights of Little River Gorge and Little River Falls. Upon returning back to camp the students divided into teams of four and played minute-to-win-it. The students were very competitive as they rotated through the 15 different challenges. A three course meal consisting of soup, chicken schnitzels, and apple crumble satisfied the hungry students, before they settled into a movie night.
By Wednesday the weather had cleared up and another full of day of activities kicked off after a delicious hot breakfast. The students divided into their six groups, with three of the groups heading off to abseiling and the flying fox, while the other three groups stayed back at base camp and rotated through horse riding, initiatives and disc golf. After lunch the groups swapped over their activities before returning to camp in the evening exhilarated and weary from the day’s adventures. The students were treated to another appetising dinner of soup, lasagne, and hot jam donuts for dessert. Before heading off to bed, the students enjoyed another movie night.
Excited and full of anticipation the students were up early on Thursday to have breakfast and prepare their lunch before setting out of a day of rafting on the Snowy River. On the bus ride to the starting point, the student stopped off at the ghost town Suggan Buggan, and explore the old 1865 preserved school house. Venturing on, the students arrived at Willis Campground, less than a kilometre from the Victorian and New South Wales border, where they would begin their journey down the river. The first group of very excited and some very nervous students paddled their way down the Snowy River, travelling through the rapids and paddling along the more placid parts of the rivers. Exhilarated, the students reached the exit point, hardly minding that they were soaked from head to toe. Getting change and having lunch in front of a warm fire was a welcoming sight as they exchanged stories of their adventures, and waited for the second group to come down the river to join them for afternoon tea. Despite some student’s earlier reservations about rafting, their doubts were washed away once on the water, and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Many exhausted students slept on the bus ride home. Their final dinner at Karoonda Park was another three course meal consisting of pumpkin soup, roast pork, and butterscotch pudding. To commemorate the final night, the students built and lit a massive bonfire. With tunes pumping and enjoying one another’s company, they gathered around the bonfire and roasted marshmallows.
Getting on the buses Friday morning and embarking Karoonda Park was an experience meet with mixed feelings. The students were sad to be leaving camp but were excited to be heading home to see their families. The students would like to thank all the teachers who took the week to come out away from their families and spend a week with them. To the student’s credit, they were well behaved and the staff were very proud of how the students engaged and presented themselves throughout the entire camp experience.