We started by visiting Natural Bridge, where the children were surprised by Rosina who brought all their gnomes out there, a craft project that the class had worked on for an entire year. The children took their beloved gnomes everywhere and cuddled them at night.
At Binna Burra, Groom’s Cottage was our cosy home, built in 1935 by Arthur Groom, with spectacular views all the way to the ocean. This is where we watched the rising sun every morning.
A highlight was the second walk we did (meant to be a short one!), which led us to an enormous cliff with breathtaking views. We snacked on apples and bananas and trotted all the way back, a real challenge for some but likewise a great achievement. Oh, how we welcomed lunch and afternoon tea after that, served at the same time!
The carrying bags up the hill, helping prepare meals, negotiating one’s place in the bunk beds, persevering on the long walks, looking after one another – all these shape a community so caring and tight, observable now that we are back at school. The mood has changed, challenge and effort transformed into perseverance and trust. Being immersed in nature for so many hours a day, deep in the forest, amongst giant trees, boulders held by a web of roots, colourful mushrooms and strangely spiky plants – the children experience an environment away from their usual one, perhaps out of their comfort zones and certainly with different rhythms. Then, new identities and relationships emerge, and a new interest and tolerance for the other, too.
We are very grateful to our wonderful parent helpers Meggie, Ziv and Oren and our accomplished camper Sophie, who ensured that our bellies were full, the cottage was warm, the children accompanied safely on the walks and our wellbeing tended to. It was with glowing faces that we arrived back home, wonderfully exhausted and so proud!
Class 3 Teacher