IB High School “Tribal”Camp Log
Friday, 11th November
The students had an early start to the day but were very excited to be leaving for the first camp of the school year. The purpose of the outdoors camp activity was for students to experience life in the ‘wild’, learn essential survival skills in the process and for the Grade 10 and 11 staff and students to bond. The ride to the camp site was short but pleasant and the students’ first task was to gather in their House Teams and come up with their own unique house sloganand draw their totems. The students also painted their faces and decorated their heads with feathers to get into the tribal theme for the camp. The winners were the Yellow Eagles and the runner-ups were the Red Kingfishers. The students then set up their own tents and had a simple lunch. It was the first time many students and teachers have built their own tents so they learned a lot from the experience.
In the afternoon students completed a treasure hunt around the large parkland and then were taught how to build a large shelter in case of emergencies, such as being prepared for a large downfall of rain. They used ropes, bamboo and machetes to help them complete the shelter. The teachers again voted for the best shelter and the red Kingfishers were declared the winners this time. The criteria used by the teachers for judging the shelters included creativity of design, durability and beauty.
The weather during the evening turned very cold and the students were given a treat of being able to use their phones for half an hour. After half an hour of phone using, the phones were collected for safe keeping. Lights out was at 10:30pm, and silence descended on the whole field of tents, apart from occasional snoring and whispering in the night.
In the morning everyone was up and ready by 7:30am and all enjoyed some hot ginger tea. Shortly afterwards, morning exercise commenced with a run around the parkland followed by a game of Tug of War. The winners this time were the Blue Dolphins. The rest of the morning was spent collecting and preparing lunch. The majority of the boys opted to learn how to capture some chickens, while the rest of the students dug up root vegetables from the ground. The students then had to clean the food they had just gathered, prepare their live chickens for cooking by removing feathers and the wastes and then finally cook their own dishes using a live fire and woks. Smoke got everywhere and students had to take turns to have breaks to recover from their burning throats and watering eyes, but everybody felt a huge sense of satisfaction seeing and enjoying the feast produced at the end.
After a break the students learned basic first aid for treating a broken arm and leg and were also taught how to make their own makeshift stretcher. They watched demonstrations from the instructors and then practiced on their team members. The leader chose certain members to pretend to be ill while the others had to carry the injured member on their stretchers towards the camp site. Teams carried their 'injured members' for about one third of the journey to the camp site and all students hiked the rest of the journey back to base camp. The actual hike was around 5.8km long with some rocky terrain to manoeuvre.
Evening saw the students have a simple dinner of instant noodles. All students from the four different House Teams gathered round the camp fire to show off their house performances. Students were all in high spirits and many students went in front of the fire to sing songs or dance. Finally, a winner was voted for by the teachers and the camp leaders to be the yellow Eagles for their creativity in using shadows in their performance. The runner up was the red Kingfishers for their use of tribal elements. There was an optional supper of sweet potatoes roasted by the camp fire and again phones were returned to the students for around 35mins of use. Students were chased back into their tents around 10:30pm for lights out but the distant barking of dogs and the heavy pitter patter of rain drops on the tents some time later added to the music of the night.
Sunday, 13th November
The last morning of the camp was full of action once the rain had stopped. The students readied their tents and backpacks, had team discussions about their final speeches and then had another simple breakfast. After breakfast the House Teams took turns giving speeches on why their house deserved to win overall. The Yellow Eagles emerged the overall winners even though the red Kingfishers were considered the winners of the speeches as they showed great reflection on all the activities covered in their speeches. Finally it was packing up time and after taking a few group photos, everyone took the coach back to school. Along the way back, students talked about their reflections over the whole camp experience. Among the most memorable events were the killing and preparation of chickens, the shouting of house slogans and the campfire performances. Everybody came away from the camp with new skills, new horizons and above all, precious memories.