16 Feb Make every term count
Term One is generally seen as “peak time” for school camps and Outdoor Education, but Queensland’s great climate and wonderful attractions means every term is a great time for a school camp or expedition. Our staff put their heads together to come up with the reasons why every term is a good one for a school camp in Queensland.
Term One (Formation):
The best reasons for a school camp in Term One is formation and leadership. At Grade 7 level it’s an opportunity to take the cohort away to bond students from different primary schools. Grade 12s get away lot for leadership programs as they start on the journey of their final year at school. Music ensembles go on weekend camps to get a head start before the Eisteddfod season. One of the great things about early year camps is it solidifies relationships and helps teachers see their students respond to challenges outside of the classroom.
Term Two (NAPLAN):
By Term Two reality has set in and the hard slog is on for the year. NAPLAN can be disruptive and a focus for Year 3, 5,7 and 9. Camps on either side of NAPLAN for those year groups is a great chance to clear heads and de-stress. NAPLAN week is a good opportunity to run Grade 4, 6, 8 & 10 camps, getting them out of the school environment while the grades around them are completing their tests. And the autumn weather is gorgeous, cooler, and often dry – a wonderful time for expeditions programs.
Term Three (Break outs):
Term Three often presents as the “back straight” of a 400m race. The figurative “lactic acid” of six months of study and work is starting to flow but the finish line feels like it’s still a long time away. A camping program in Term Three is a great circuit breaker. Term Three can be broken up with the fun of camp and the odd curriculum-based activity to enhance the classroom experience. It’s a popular time for the spiritual retreats required of the spiritual formation curriculum, with cool nights and fireplaces encouraging introspection. Once again the cooler, dryer weather lends itself well to expeditions programs in Queensland.
Term Four (Reward):
Sure there’s a lot of end-of-year study to be done in Term 4, but the research also shows an encounter with nature clears the head and recharges the batteries. A Term 4 camp is great for de-stressing students and preparing them for the home straight. It provides the opportunity to reward students with fun programs once their study commitments are over and many schools use it as an opportunity for leadership camps for their Year 11s to get a head-start on the following year.
Some schools feel the pressure of their obligations to curriculum. Camps have many tangible benefits which help kids be more focused and “efficient” in the classroom. However, if you want to maximise your time in the classroom, Outdoor Education Centres are still open on weekends, and often availability is better too! The weekends are a great chance to get away for spiritual retreats, leadership camps, music camps and sport training.
Queensland’s climate is the envy of the world and our benign winters and warm summers means it’s always a great time for schools to camp. If you’re looking for innovative and creative camping programs at any time of the year, the staff of Queensland Conference and Camping Centres are available to help you. If you’ve found this blog, you’ll presumably know how to contact us.