Stepping foot on South Stradbroke Monday morning, the small group of Year 11s who chose to do the fishing camp weren’t quite sure what to expect. After using upper-body strength to move all the boxes of food, we used guess-work to set up our tents on the island shore.
Tent envy soon ensued, as the two, six-person tents stood proud over their cramped neighbours. After dinner that night, we sat around the first campfire of many.
Early the next day, half of us got up and ready for the first deep sea fishing boat trip. Unfortunately, the sea was not on our side, and it was way too rough to leave the bay. Everyone was surprised to see the boat return so early, but at least they made it back in time for bacon pancakes (with maple syrup, of course). We did have some successful fishing trips over the next day, but we only caught fish that were either too small to eat, or poisonous.
It soon became clear we weren’t going to have much luck with the weather, either. The wind picked up, and dark storm clouds gathered above the campsite. It still didn’t stop us from exploring the island. We walked through a spider web covered sand track and found ourselves on the beach on the other side. Thankfully, unknowing that it would be the source of most of our entertainment, someone had packed a football. We played for a good few hours until the rain became too much, and we had to take shelter.
This became a reoccurring pattern throughout the camp; the sun would start to come out, we would walk to the beach, it would start pouring with rain. It seemed to us that trips to the beach were cursed. We spent a lot of time under roof of the barbeque site. It was during this shelter we became acquainted with the local wallabies, Winfrey and Clementine. We also became experts at Jenga and Uno.
Although we didn’t eat any fresh fish, food was a big part of the camp. When the weather was really bad, eating was the preferred way to pass time. Pancakes became acceptable for every meal. Luckily we had Master Chef Mr Solihin, who made us amazing green and red curries that were perfect in the cold weather.
On the last day, how quickly and easily we worked together to unload the boxes compared to Monday morning was proof of how much we had come together. We didn’t catch any edible fish during the camp, and the weather was mostly terrible, but we all got so much closer. We realised we were all feeling the same way about it being our last camp, and how close we are to being in our final year of school. The week was a reminder that we can always find support in our peers, and that we have more in common with each other than we think. Whether we remember the weather, the bacon pancakes, the wallabies, or the Jenga, none of us will forget the 2018 Year 11 fishing camp.
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