Eighty excited Year 4 students and seven brave staff eagerly scrambled onto two coaches bound tor Tyalgum Ridge Retreat.For most, the excitement of three days outside participating in different activities in nature was exhilarating. For some, it was the first time away from home and a slightly daunting challenge. However, as we drove through Murwillumbah and started to see views of the Great Dividing Range, and the peak of Mt Warning in the distance, apprehension quickly changed into enthusiasm. Year 4 were keen, energetic and ready for a challenge!
And challenges were delivered! Tyalgum Ridge Retreat sits in the scenic rim and is bordered by five National Parks. It provides a beautiful, natural setting for high and low rope courses, flying fox, canoeing, team games, archery, camping skills, rock-hopping walks and a rainforest hike. We also got to play with and feed baby farm animals – including a cheeky alpaca. From the teamwork needed for initiative games to the bravery required for the high ropes course, every student faced the tasks with an open mind and a willingness to take a risk. The use of mindfulness techniques and a growth mindset was rewarded with smiles, cheers and many group hugs, as expectations were met and exceeded.
The staff at Tyalgum were warm, friendly, organised and experienced. We extended our understandings in so many areas through the knowledge and expertise they shared, and we loved the compassionate way they interacted with every student on an individual level. Any fears of fussy eaters disappeared as we were served delicious meals, tantalising morning and afternoon teas (cake, cake and more cake) and the best breakfasts!
Camp is an excellent way for students to move out of comfort zones and explore new ideas. Our ‘Play is the Way’ life-raft of “Pursue your personal best, no matter who you work with” was at the forefront, as we experienced different activity, room and table groups. Our afternoon and night-time activities encouraged us to mix with others we usually don’t get the opportunity to work with, sparking the growth of new bonds and friendships. Both Trinity and Tyalgum staff alike were impressed by the impeccable behaviour of all our students.
We departed after lunch on Friday, feeling tired and a little bittersweet as we left behind a beautiful experience, but took with us warm memories and a readiness for more – look out Year 5 camp!