Year 9 Students Face Challenge on White Water Camp

Year 9 students from Heritage College joined students from sister school Gilson College on Victoria’s Mitta Mitta River for the annual White Water Rafting Camp. Part of the year-long Challenge program, which rotates through four physically different camps through the year, the White Water Rafting camp allows students to spend time in the outdoors where they are challenged to “do hard things”.

Students are given experiences that require them to work together to solve common goals and make decisions both individually and collectively to achieve specific outcomes. Through these experiences, students find that they challenge themselves and negotiate with others to achieve success. This is achieved with experiential learning activities in the form of four expeditions, training days, excursions and other events. Year 9 Challenge camps are an opportunity for students to experience first hand that intense learning can happen outside the classroom.

“This camp is a once-in-a-lifetime experience where students discover what they are made of – and find that perspective and attitude to tough circumstances ultimately determine what we get out of life. I know our Year 9 students have walked away with stronger muscles and minds as a result of their attendance at this camp.” – Miss Maggs, Year 9 teacher

Year 9 students provided their feedback on what they learned from their experiences:

“My favourite part of camp is the satisfaction of finishing the course to know I’ve completed it and that I knew I could do it again” – Elijah

“I learned that I am a lot stronger and braver than I thought and we need to push ourselves to do hard things.” – Eowyn

“Never underestimate yourself” – Brooklyn

“I learnt about resilience and never giving up” – Harrison

“When we all pull our load it makes things easier” – Elijah

“Do things that you think you can’t” – Matthew 


The Challenge Program

Beyond offering a traditional educational experience in Year 9, Heritage College takes students outside their comfort zones with the ‘Step Up’ program, challenging students emotionally, physically and intellectually in a supportive environment.  The aim is to provide opportunities to help students understand themselves better and develop their leadership and teamwork skills.


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