Greetings from Camp Licola: Years 5 and 6
The gentle breeze of the crisp country air welcomed us as we arrived at Camp Licola. The students, tingling with anticipation, were eager to stretch their legs and explore the camp that had been so highly spoken about.
We were all together, which was the most important part. The week was full to the brim of everyone reaching the edge of their comfort zones and then bravely stepping over them with the unwavering support of their peers and friends. Exhausted and with our buckets full we have so many stories to tell, so please enjoy some reflections on the week that was.
JACQUI, JONO, ANDY and ZARA Year 5 & 6 Teachers
Well, I’m off to camp! A week of excitement ahead!
Camp was a great experience for me. I felt very organised in my cabin because everything had a place where it belonged. It felt amazing because at home I’m … well, I’m not a very “clean” person. Turns out being organised at camp changed me. At home my room is spotless and I’m doing very well keeping it like that!
Hehe, Icebergers. Fun, right?
I committed to Icebergers on camp. Basically, this means getting up early every morning before everyone else and going swimming in a pool. It was kinda hard. I had to wake up at 6am with the rest of the cabin because they were all doing it too. On one of the days, I was sick so I couldn’t do it. I was so upset I didn’t do it every day, but that’s ok!! My cabin group and I didn’t keep track of the time on some of the days, so we had to sprint out to the pool!
On the giant swing, I really pushed my limits. When I got to the top, I could hear my heart beating like a drum. That moment, when I pulled the rope, I felt like I was going to fall. But when I started to swing everything felt amazing! The butterflies inside me just flew away. It was one of the best days of my life!
In conclusion: camp was amazing!
I've got one word and one word only. Camp! The camp was great! I learned that I'm actually good at rock climbing. I have done rock climbing before, but have never made it to the top. When I made it to the top the first time it gave me the confidence to do the harder climb. I was proud that I was able to make it up to the top twice.
Spotto is another highlight of camp for me. I had had some practice from the year 2 sleepover the week earlier, so I was ready to go! We had 3-minutes to find a hiding spot, and I was panicking a lot. I started running around like a chicken in excitement. I decided to hide behind a fountain, and I thought I was going get found straight away. It felt like 8-hours, but it was only 8-minutes and many torches passed by. Then the siren went, which meant the round was over and the year 6s had won! A rush of relief went straight through me. Maybe the fountain isn't a bad hiding spot after all.
Camp, camp, camp. How to put it? Maybe ... fun, exciting, busy, and a way to connect and learn about the people in our community. I think reflecting on it, I would say I took all the opportunities. If it was jumping off the leap of faith, going to the top of the giant swing, getting across every part of the high ropes, or even just getting up on the stage and dancing for my group in Red Faces.
Going on camp, I didn’t really have many nerves, but I knew it was going to be a bumpy path for others. I think I did the best I could to respect that. To me, being on camp is like being at a footy game: you may have to stay up late, the adrenaline is always running, and so are the nerves, things might seem to be going terribly but at the end of the day, everything will be all right, no matter what is happening in the moment. So, if I were to do it all again, I would do the exact same thing. (Well, everything but getting back from icebergs late and having to have a cold shower).
So, after this, if I could give one piece of advice to the next kids going to Licola, or any camp would be to take all opportunities possible, because if you don’t, you’ll regret it forever.
The camp was amazing! My favourite activities had to be the giant swing, the flying fox, and the high ropes. The giant swing was so fun. You were pulled up, then you swung over a river and back and forth, the first few seconds were when your stomach dropped and you felt like you were going to die. The flying fox was so big and exciting, I felt like I was on top of the world. I went upside down for a little while.
Sometimes in activities like rock climbing, I tried to do things too fast and would mess it up, but I would always try again a bit slower. Red faces were really fun! Even though my group didn't win, I still loved seeing all the different acts (and dressing up as a grandma). I got to know some people a lot better too, like how I hung out with KevIn and Jess from year 5.
One experience that was funny and a bit stressful was when I choked on honey. It got stuck in my throat and I keep thinking it was still there, it felt like I had a burning beehive in my throat.
Two activities were my least favourite in different ways. The first one was the orienteering; it was tiring and just not as interesting as the others. I felt like I wasn't getting much out of the activity, and that might be my fault for not trying my hardest. The other one was archery. It was hard to keep the arrow going straight because the wind was having a wild party of some sort. I still hit the target a few times with persistence, even though it did make me feel like I wasn't good enough when I missed it.
Every morning I got up and did Icebergers. I think it was a refreshing way to get the blood pumping and the mind going each morning.
I was ecstatic when I learned I was in the same cabin as my best friend. I'm not sure if I would have made it through the week without their support. The two bus rides were different; the first one was a bit lonely because I didn't have anyone to sit with. It reminded me of the bus rides at Sovereign Hill where I was alone the whole time. It didn't make me feel wanted. But then I started talking to the people around me and watching the movie, and I felt better. The second ride, I got to sit with my best friend, and I felt amazing if not disappointed to be leaving camp.
Overall, the camp was the best. Go Licola!
At Camp Licola, I had lots of fun. My top three favourite things were the Flying Fox, the Giant Swing, and the Leap of Faith. The Flying Fox made me feel happy, nervous and excited all at once. As I pushed off the platform, I felt a hyperactive butterfly in my tummy, it was a good feeling!
As I strapped myself into the harness once again for the Giant Swing, I looked up at what looked like an enormous pendulum swinging left and right with Tilly hanging at the bottom. The butterfly returned with a nervous friend. I felt like Spiderman, webbing between buildings.
The Leap of Faith was my biggest stretch because I thought I might not be able to stand on the pole and jump off. To my surprise, I managed it; not only once, but twice!
Licola was an interesting experience as there was a lot of variety in what we did. One moment I was skipping stones on a river, the next I was on a Flying Fox zooming forward in a harness at what felt like blistering fast speeds; (it wasn’t actually that fast). Since we had so much to do, and walking around the camp was a major part of most of the activities, it was exhausting at times. Being able to go to the cabin and flop onto my bed and play a round of Uno or play a tense game of volleyball with my friends, was a great way to chill.
The food breaks were also good; the food, not so much. But being able to talk with my friends was great. Red Faces was a big highlight, it was fun being able to watch the performances and being able to do my own! (Winning wasn’t on my agenda, but I did it anyway). And the disco was a fantastic way to end the last night at Licola. Sleep was also a thing I had to take into consideration. Most nights I got some sleep, and some nights I didn’t. In total, it wasn’t that bad. All in all, Licola was a really enjoyable experience and I hope I can do something like it again.
The camp was scary. I definitely didn’t feel ready, but I made it through. Every day there was a new challenge: whether it was going on the Giant Swing, or just staying another night. My favourite activities were the Giant Swing and rock climbing. Red Faces was also fun, even though I didn’t win. Night was fun, since we got to giggle in our cabins just talking, even though it did have consequences, AKA being very tired in the morning. Even though I got homesick at some points, it was fun. Camp was as tough as a rock! So was Mrs Stocker for not letting me go home, but I’m glad she didn’t let me because I feel proud now.
A memory that resonates strongly with me from camp is Icebergers. Jumping in a freezing cold pool at 7am really wakes me up. I liked doing it so much that since returning from Licola, I have started doing it at home. As soon as my parents wake up, we go outside to the pool and do two laps.
I was placed in an Activities group without my friends. But by the last Activities session, I had made friends with some of the people in my group. I first found it hard, but eventually I found it easy.
This is my reflection on some things that happened when I was at our camp in Licola. You’ll read about my cabin, sad emotions, and the giant swing! Enjoy reading this chaos of a reflection.
When I arrived at Licola many emotions were rushing through me but the most prominent was fear and worry of being in a new environment and being away from home for five days. Walking into my cabin was nerve-racking because I knew I had to sleep there for four nights. I was happy I was with one of my friends in a room. Another thing that felt weird was that the rooms were big, and I wasn’t really comfortable with it. My bedroom at home is very small and crammed with my stuff, but by the third night I was used to the room.
Out Of My Comfort Zone
When I was at Licola, I had to do a lot of things I wasn’t used to. I had to face a few challenges, such as the Giant Swing. When I was getting pulled up, I felt very uncomfortable and out of my element. I was pulled up halfway, then I yelled stop! There I was, a few feet up in the air feeling extremely nervous. Then I heard, “3, 2, 1!”
I pulled the string and I flew down and up until it stopped. I felt so proud of myself after doing it. Now I can proudly say, “I went out of my comfort zone, and did the giant swing!”
The camp was in a majestic place, and was so much fun. It went rapidly. Most of my feelings are; sick, I was so sick on Tuesday. It was a disaster! Throughout the week I started feeling better.
Some of my other emotions are happiness, because of all the Activities. Speaking of Activities, my favourite activity was the Giant Swing. Coming in second was the Flying Fox. While I was on the Flying Fox, all my fear was taken away as I was flying.
3, 2, 1: I dropped down from the very top of the Giant Swing, I almost flipped UPSIDE-DOWN! It was one of the best memories of my life. The Iceberger Challenge was a highlight as well. I couldn't believe I got up at 6am and jumped in the icy pool at 7am. The best part was probably running back to our cabins. Of course, ours was one of the furthest away.
Licola was one of the best camps I have ever been on.
My first day at Licola was calm, and I learned about the place. Every day we would be in a group, and would do different and unique activities together. Being with other people in a group felt weird at first, but then I felt safe and relaxed.
The Activities we did were challenging. Some I felt like I did not want to do, but when I did it, I felt happy and calm. My most frightening activity was The Leap of Faith, an activity that pushed people out of their comfort zones in a scary way. The Leap of Faith worked like this: one person would have a harness on and climb up a pole. When that person got to the top they would have to jump 20 or more feet in the air and hit a ball attached to a string. My heart pounded as I got up and looked down. I hate heights, but after doing that I felt brave and proud of myself. I realised that heights aren’t as scary to me as they were before.
We all slept in cabins with between 5 to 10 people. I had 6 people in my cabin and dealing with that many people, I went crazy. At the end of the week, I felt relieved I was going home and did not have to put up with 6 people. It was a giant challenge I had to face as when I was in bed, other people in the cabin were awake, and I could not get that much sleep. I had to deal with dirty clothes on the floor and a very dirty cabin. At home, I keep my bedroom clean. When seeing a mess everywhere, I wanted to jump out a window.
One challenge I faced was the worst out of them all: no VIDEO GAMES! I love video games and not being able to do that on camp, I was bored most of the time and really wanted to hop in a car and drive home and game all day.
Rock climbing was one of the activities I did, and my brain was telling me to not try it, but I did. It’s very difficult climbing, with rain pouring on the rocks making it slippery. My determination to complete rock climbing was very low as I have not done rock climbing in a very long time, but I made it!
Being away from my family was depressing and sad, because I could not mess around with my dad and not play board games with my mum. It felt like a year on the bus waiting to go home and see my parents. When I did though, I felt amazing and grateful: I made it home safely.
From Licola, I learned quite a number of skills. Some skills were easy, and some pushed me outside my comfort zone. The first one was making damper without an oven, but with fire! I thought it was not going to work, but I was wrong. It slowly cooked over time and was a nice treat to have. The second was archery. It’s very difficult to aim your arrow at the target and try not to move. I have never done archery and when I did it, I enjoyed it. The last skill was hiking, which tore my legs and made me fall over. I learned that when you're on a hike, always watch out for sticks, mud and holes!
Licola is a wonderful place to spend a week because of the different activities and the food. The place has good food, trust me!
In Licola, I experienced a lot. Some of the things I experienced were Giant Swing, volleyball, Icebergers, orienteering, and Spotto. In these activities, I felt a range of different emotions. When I was on the giant swing, I felt very excited. When I was pulling it wasn't very fun, but it had to get it done so others could have their go.
In volleyball, I felt content. I was proud whenever I made a good play, or we won a point.
Icebergers was refreshing and I really enjoyed it. I was very proud after I completed all 5 days of Icebergers.
Orienteering was like an Olympic race. It was pretty stressful running around the camp looking for answers. It was like running a marathon, but once it was completed, I wanted to run more even though I was tired. In Spotto, my heart was racing, looking for a spot to hide. I was stressed. Once I found the perfect spot, I was so glad and I knew we weren't going to get found. Once the year 5s were released from the hall, I felt stressed again when they were near us. Then when it was all over, I couldn't stop smiling because I was so glad Cooper and I had survived.
Being at camp was a whole adventure, one too long for me to write. I did everything from facing my fears to overcoming homesickness. I feel it is safe to say it was one journey. Though the camp was challenging, mentally and physically, I don’t regret going. I have learned many things I couldn’t have learned on my own. So let me tell you about it.
When I went to camp, my usual sleep schedule was corrupted by nighttime activities and early Icebergers. Icebergers is a challenge the school sets you to do every morning of camp at 7am. The challenge is usually swimming laps of the pool, but sometimes can differ depending on the availability of the chosen pool. Having to find the motivation to wake up at 6:15 every morning was very hard for me. I usually wake up at 7:30 and lay in bed until 8:00. Icebergers challenged me to find motivation when I was extremely tired. You can also say the cold green pool didn’t look that advertising to swim in either.
On the last day, after Red Faces and the disco, I was extremely tired. I also decided to sleep on the floor in my sleeping bag with the other half of our cabin for a memory to remember. My back was hurting and I could barely keep my eyes open, but I pushed through and felt very accomplished at the end. Even now after camp, I have a habit of waking up at 6-ish. So, no matter the circumstances, you should always seek to push yourself just that little bit more.
When you are homesick and tired, facing your fears is extremely hard. You really need to push yourself and live like there is no tomorrow. I was scared to do Red Faces. I hate when I have to perform or come up with ideas to share. Knowing this you can imagine my worries about the topic. I didn't want to regret not doing it, but I also didn’t want to face my fear. I made a decision that I would do it no matter how hard it would be. I got with a group of people and shared my ideas. I helped come up with our act and our name, ‘The Full Stops.’ Together with my team, I conquered my fear. Although we came somewhere around last, I was still happy I overcame my fear. So, you should always try new things but more importantly, you should always have faith in yourself.
At the end of the day, the camp challenged me in so many different ways. Although I am relieved, I am back home with the people I care about I have to give it to the camp for giving me the opportunity to do new things and face my fears. So, I give you this message. Even when you seem lonely, sad or anything in between, you should always try to find light in other things, and you should always have faith in yourself and the people around you.
While I was on camp, I absolutely loved the Giant Swing. The sudden drop at the start was terrifying and exhilarating. I also loved the bush cooking activity. I loved sitting around the fire, cooking damper for 25 minutes and then enjoying it. Both activities were different, and yet I loved both equally.
On the obstacle course, I was uncomfortable going through the tires because when I first tried it, I got stuck and I do not enjoy tight spaces. However, even though the tires felt as hard to get through as the eye of a needle, I still tried it. Not only did I get through it but got the best time because of it. I was also uncomfortable with the leap of faith because I have a fear of heights. I really didn't like the small square you had to stand on. I climbed up the ladder but couldn't bring myself to get on the square. I still managed to jump off the front hook. While I didn't jump from the box, while I was up the ground felt as far away as China.