As a Gappy it is our sworn duty to make sure that we pack absolutely everything needed for year 9 camp. This was our last camp that we would be preparing ourselves for mentally and physically.
I tell you this now, nothing could have prepared us for what was about to come that week. After weeks of preparation the day had come that we were ready to leave. We still had 4 BBQ’s, 3 gazebos and a few more crates of gear to load onto the buses, and yes, it had already started to rain. But we didn’t know what we were in for until we got there after a 2 hour bus trip with 100 students and 20 members of staff.
We finally landed in what we thought was Dam Aqua, which we later found out was actually Dam Hike. It felt like the journey was a lot longer than 2 hours and I came to realise this rain was going to be relentless and I was going to have to accept that I was going to get wet. If you haven’t been on year 9 camp then you won’t know but both the dam camps are on fairly substantial hill. The bus driver probably didn’t realise how wet the ground was when we went down the hill but he soon realised this once the bus started sliding and eventually got stuck in the mud. We then found out that we weren’t even in Dam Aqua but at Dam Hike which were thankfully only a short 200m walk from each other. We made a plan to leave the bags on the bus to preserve them from the rain and head over to Dam Aqua to help set up the numerous amount of tents. We started in the rain and finished in the rain. There were smiles all around knowing that we had dry clothes and warm showers to jump into after we had finished setting up. This would not be the case for me. I had sent one of the students to get my bag, who will always remain unnamed and in the panic of bringing my bags over he decided that it would be drier under a tree next to a drain than the gazebos we had just managed to set up. I only found out where my bag was located after finishing off helping with the tent set up, and at that point all of my clothes were soaked. I had prepared for this I had bagged all of my clothes in a bin liner, which I did believe was water proof. I was wrong.
This would start off one of the most eventful but enjoyable weeks of my life. The chance to get to know the students on another level and have 4 very different camps in one week just made for such a good experience. I loved how the students pushed each other to face their fears and do things that they may not have done out of choice. Some of the activities just to name a few were; rock climbing, abseiling, kayaking, canoeing, hiking and swimming.
After finishing the camp our job isn’t finished, we had to pack up everything we brought, however, everything was soaked, dirty and broken. We spent the whole week with GT or as some of you may know him as Mr T. We dried out every single one of those tents and made sure that they had everything in their bags; the two day period that we spent doing this was above 30 degrees. The aftermath of camp is usually more draining than the packing as there are always things missing, broken or problems. For us it was mould in some of the food crates. For me I think we get to see how much enjoyment our work building up to the camps create for the students which in itself is priceless. This was by far the best camp I have been on.
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