Year 10 Camp – an event that seemed impossibly far away when first announced but that, after being postponed, came sooner than expected. We departed on cramped and crowded buses on Wednesday morning, excited at the prospect of a few days away from the stress of schoolwork and daily life, happy to spend some time connecting with other people.
On that first day, we went to the beach – a little disappointing after we had to leave the water and walk back with sandy feet, but suddenly ten times more exciting as we wandered around a playground, co-existing with that one kid in the Fortnite shirt and playing like we were his age. After that, an afternoon of free time, and choreographing together during House activities, it became clear that Year 10 at QACI was unlike any other school – we were all connected and inclusive, putting in our energy and enthusiasm into every activity and every interaction we had.
Dragon boating the next day was just as engaging. Chanting war cries and putting in all the energy our little teenager stick arms could muster into paddling the boats alongside our peers left everyone drenched but smiling nonetheless, and we winded down with some mindfulness activities: painting, listening to music, sitting outside. The atmosphere was lovely, all of us chatting and laughing, making new friends easily, comfortable in a way we'd never really felt before. At dinner, writing notes for people we liked, being kind without feeling judged – like jumping off a cliff into a pile of marshmallows, it was about taking risks and knowing you were in a safe environment.
The talent show was especially memorable! Everyone stomped and clapped and cheered their hearts out at every performance – from energetic dance routines to beautiful poetry readings, from comedic little stunts to tear-inducing solos, the energy in the crowd was through the roof. Afterwards, still high from the rush of performing and whooping in the crowd, we walked around the hallways, passing the cabins of people who we barely knew grinning and high fiving each other, all friends and acquaintances despite our differences.
The next day, as we wrote Letters to Self and did some mindfulness activities, we also realised that this camp was about both connection and reflection – reflection being, in some way, connection with ourselves. Writing a letter for our future selves was a cool activity; it's a reflection of who we are now, and, in the future, it'll reflect how we've changed and grown throughout this year. We finally did some Aquafest practice, taking time to connect as a house and put our House Spirit and dancing to the test and then, eventually, we loaded up the buses and made our way home.
Camp was, overall, incredible. It went above and beyond all expectations, leaving everyone with at least one nice memory to look back on fondly and a full camera roll. Our cohort had a wonderful time with each other, as well as the Year 11s and staff, who made the experience fantastic: we're truly grateful for the opportunity we had, and even more excited for all the great things to come during our first year at QACI!
…article written by Mariana, Year 10