Year 12 Program Observations

Last month I was lucky enough to catch glimpses of a program that was part of a year 12 retreat. A local school had used our camp as a base for their Year 12 program. The teachers had spent many hours planning their own workshops and powerpoint presentations to deliver to the group.

This got me thinking of the values of school camps and the potential for outcomes.

On arrival

When the group first arrived, yeah sure there was some excitement and smiles, and everyone seemed happy to be there. But at the same time, there was this sense of uncertainty around the group. And most people stuck with those that they already knew.

During camp

Throughout the camp, the groups did a mixture of indoor and outdoor workshops. They made use of the shaded break out spaces as well as the projector/movie room. There was painted faces and banners being made.  Free time included tennis, ping pong, volleyball and pool.

The last day

The thing I liked about this camp was that on the last day the buzzing energy and vibes from these students and teachers was incredible. The atmosphere within the group, when compared to their arrival day, was much different. The group was much more relaxed, there were so many laughs and personalities really shone.


I was thankful that I got to see one student from each group present their thank yous to their teacher/group leader. The students were very appreciative and grateful for all they had learnt over the two days of camp. All had mentioned how their group had grown and become more comfortable with each other and everyone was thankful they had learnt something about themselves.

The group was kind enough to present a personal thank you to me and the Great Aussie team.

We had provided catering for the group and created a quick round robin style afternoon session filled with challenging activities such as Archery, Canoeing and Team games. Although activities such as these do have a big impact on students when it comes to learning about teamwork, self-growth and challenging yourself; full credit goes to the teachers organising this camp for creating a safe and welcoming space for the group to connect and reflect.


These children had not only grown within themselves but they had grown as a group. And they got to know their fellow teachers ready for the year ahead. I can imagine that the positive effects this camp will have on these students in the classroom would be endless.

Relationships are an important part of growth and play a big part in broadening your comfort zone and challenging yourself.

I am very lucky to be part of a facility that can provide experiences to groups such as this and catch a small glimpse of the positive outcome! If only I could be a fly on the wall in those classrooms in the year to come!

Bobbie-Lee Sutherland, School Camps Program Director

Bobbie-Lee Sutherland
GASC Program Director