At the time of writing, Victorians are enjoying their 18th COVID free day; something other jurisdictions could only dream of. Amidst the hardships of isolation and pressure to open up, Victorians stood resolute with a “let’s just get this done!” attitude, that has made us the envy of others around the world. But it wasn’t just adults making a sacrifice, our students gave up their outdoor education programs as their treasured school camps were cancelled due to lockdown.
The Yr 3&4 online camp occurred toward the end of our long lockdown and was the brainchild of teacher Chris Jeffries who commented that, “The children, teachers and parents really needed a break from the sameness of online learning and we were all ready for something fresh and interesting!”
Chris and his enthusiastic colleagues ran a full camp program with their kids at home, creating a refreshing break from lockdown tedium! Year 3&4 students packed their bags, set up tents and blanket forts and whole families enjoyed a range of activities together.
Using whole grade Zoom Meetings, the children played games, built rafts (from ice cream sticks), played hide and seek, undertook night walks, visited the (online) Penguin Parade, enjoyed cooking and movie nights of course! Parents enjoyed the activities and a break from online learning and siblings loved camping out and camp experiences too. Our Beacy parents really made the most of the camp experience, adding in their own activities to enrich the experience for their kids. For most kids, it was the highlight of the lockdown!
The Year 5 and Year 6 camps were a hit too. James in Year 5 claimed:
“It was the best camp ever. We had so many activities and so much fun with our friends and I got to sleep in my own comfy bed every night!”
Mia X. of Year 5 reports that:
“Due to COVID, we weren’t allowed to go anywhere or sleep at school, but that didn’t stop us having fun!” “The activities at camp included tie dying, ‘Fashion on the Island’, raft building, ‘Temple Run’, movie time, ‘Hour of Power’. scavenger hunt, water activities, ‘Going GaGa’ and tons of other activities”. “In the camp at school, it involved the smiley Grade 5’s, the lovely teachers, principals, and helpers. Thank you all for making the camp so much fun! Thank you so much to our teachers for scheduling this amazing camp!”
When I speak to our students, I am uplifted. They have not seen this lockdown time as wasted because their parents and their teachers have pulled out all stops to create wonderful experiences at home and wonderful memories to keep. They will never forget this time, because the people who love them most made the most of time with their families and kept them feeling connected to their school community!
Best wishes for the Christmas and New Year period – keep COVID-safe!