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Building our Culture Year 10 Camp

 
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A sunny 27th of January was the day that teams of fresh-faced year 10 students made their way to McCaskie Park, ready to board the three buses that would take them to the Maroochy Waterfront Camp & Conference Centre. Excited silence, broken most sharply by the clatter of suitcase wheels against the pavement, pervaded. The three days of camp that were to follow were the first three as part of a new generation of QACI students, affectionately known as the 'qack pack'. It facilitated, among other things, the familiarisation of students with their connect groups and mentors, members and managers of their pod and houses as well as several of their teachers.

Upon leaving the buses, students were assigned rooms and had a quick morning tea, and then were off for an 'Amazing Race' with their pod. It was during this time that students first began to open up as they engaged in a variety of activities, including blind drawing, riddle solving and Yahtzee/Boggle.

House and pod spirit was also built through the performance of House war cries and Aquafest planning during 'Secret House Business', alongside the creation of house themed artwork and pod mottos.

Dinner soon became conversation walks, in which students unknown to each other went for a 'rumble', sharing their stories. Through these walks, students made connections with different people, further opening up students to one another.

The eventful day ended with a highlight of the camp: the 'big ups'. It was during this time that students voiced their gratitude for the kindness of others, regardless of the magnitude of the act.

In the early morning, a selection of students somehow managed to drag themselves out of bed for a river view walk around the campsite. The rest of the cohort, yawning and bleary eyed, proceeded down to the breakfast hall sometime later where any weariness was replaced with excitement when the day’s activities were laid out. Split into house groups students completed three rotations: busting out some dance moves for the highly anticipated Aquafest, competitions with the year 11 connect mentors and the biggest event of the day… Dragon boating. An Èveiller student explained that this was a really beneficial team-building exercise. Vivezza was the last house to experience this sport. Students learnt to coordinate their strokes and speed through the water whilst they were drenched from above and below as rain poured down around us. Once the final race within the house was completed, a champion boat was selected to verse Matjiin and Èveiller. Three boats were lined up side by side with war cries and chants reverberating across the river. The race was a blur of water and oars but Vivezza’s boat was the one that emerged victorious. The days adventures did not end here however, as dinner and dessert were quickly consumed and the talent show for Year 10 students began. From singing, to dancing, to stand-up comedy routines, the confidence and skill of the acts blew everyone away leading to numerous standing ovations. This enthusiasm shown by all present flooded over into loud music, group dance moves and choruses shouted at the top of their lungs as part of a late-night rave party. It didn’t take long for everyone to fall asleep that night, energy at last drained.

The final day of the trip came all too soon. With new friends by our side and new stories to tell, the students took the bus down to the beach singing along to Bohemian Rhapsody and ABBA. The strong tides prevented swimming in the waves but much enjoyment was found dipping toes into the cool water and hitting cricket balls across the park. The day was bright with a cloudless sky and after three days surrounded by the supportive QACI community everyone was prepared to take on anything that the school term could throw at them.  By the time the bus arrived back at school, all fears about the following week were forgotten with everyone was glad to be part of such a supportive crowd and ready for a long sleep in their own beds.  

Throughout the three days, students became close with others in their pod, as their meals, cabins and activities were shared. This created strong camaraderie and respect, as well as a greater understanding of each other’s stories; connections which will undoubtedly be lifelong. This was especially strengthened in the aforementioned ‘Your Story’ activity, wherein students discussed with their connect group how they came to be at QACI. One student described this process as, “a good experience to meet new people and connect with others.” In addition to making great friends, grade ten students learnt about QACI culture, the foundation on which our school thrives. This included but is not limited to the concepts of acceptance and belonging, elevator and stair etiquette, house spirit and collaborative teamwork. Ms Joubert highlighted this beautiful culture throughout the week, leaving everyone optimistic about their future at QACI. One student explained that, “QACI culture genuinely seems amazing... it’s like everyone is looking out for everyone else,” a sentiment which has so far proven itself true. Even though camp is over, the lessons students learnt and the friends they made persist. QACI culture now thrives with its newest members, who will one day pass this knowledge on to future cohorts, thereby completing the cycle. Camp truly was an exceptional experience which matured everyone emotionally and socially, preparing them for their future in the “quack pack” and as custodians of the QACI culture.

Article written by Hannah Burgess, Una Stanic and Jess Stone, Year 10.

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Last reviewed 10 February 2021
Last updated 10 February 2021