Yarrawonga College P-12 year 9 students have once again pushed themselves to new heights, literally, by participation in the annual Bogong Experience.
The college introduced the program four years ago as part of their ‘Future Makers’ initiative to challenge students and help them develop strategies to build resilience, independence and personal strengths.
As part of Personal and Project Based learning students embark on a 12 day adventure at Mt Bogong, a portion of which is dedicated to ‘expo’ where the students leave their base camp at Bogong Outdoor Education Centre for a five-day wilderness hike.
The hike is student driven; they chose a path based on the shared understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their group members.
Together they carry on their backs all that they need to eat, sleep and breathe-in the beautiful wilderness on their five day journey during which they discover their own personal and social growth.
Each student faces their own challenges during the Bogong Experience, including being away from home for longer than most will have been in the past.
Two students, Mitchell Ransom and Aydan Stark-Beswick, shared their thoughts on the Bogong Experience with the Yarrawonga Chronicle.
“One of the most exciting things that I really loved about the whole Bogong Outdoor School experience was getting to be outside adventuring all day, every day, and just having a ball with some very awesome people,” Mitchell said.
“The hardest thing, well I could be speaking for everyone, but I reckon it would be the home sickness…but sooner or later I had to get out of my comfort zone and into the best two week adventure.
“Once I got back from the two weeks of fun I said to myself ‘why couldn’t I stay for longer?’.”
Aydan described his experience.
“The school uses different games and activities to encourage the students to step a little outside their comfort zone to grow their comfort zone then make it bigger again until the student is able to do all the challenges of the camp with ease,” Aydan said.
“The games were really fun, despite my lack of liking heights, I still dipped my toe in the water a couple of times.
“During my time I had my ups and downs which ended up with having a great time.”