The spirit of ANZAC and a touch of an episode of MASH pervaded the Year 9s last week, whilst on their survival camp at Hellidon’s Emu Gully Adventure Camp. To understand what it means to show courage in the face of fear, to live out the quality of mateship, persevering beyond what they previously thought their bodies could handle, whilst sacrificing for their mates, their companies and their year-level, our Year 9s tackled in truly impressive and sometimes comical form, some of the greatest battles of WW2 and beyond.
On buggies and bikes they crossed the muddy terrain of the Malaysian campaigns and were forced to ask the question: “do pontoons float?” Happily discovering that yes they do, even with more than 20 Year 9s aboard. Then, sliding through mud and leaping from the highest of heights Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta Companies took on the Kokoda track and destroyed, forever, more than one or two items of clothing.
Though students cooked almost all their food over fires, one Year 9 student showed his ‘citified’ upbringing by asking, “Is fire hot?” As he dug into a well-cooked dinner he received his answer. Though challenging, at times exhausting and often hilarious, Year 9 now stand among the elite graduates of the Emu Gully School of ‘hard knocks’ and are no doubt stronger, wiser and happier for it.