An integral aspect of student life at Girton Grammar School, is the compulsory Camps Program that runs across both Junior and Senior Schools.
Beginning in Preparatory and culminating in Year 12, each camp provides students with a wide range of experiences, varying in length, destinations within Victoria and challenges to the participants.
Junior School Camps occur at various times of the year, with a majority towards the end of the scholastic year, whilst Senior School Camps, (Years 7 to 11) are typically conducted throughout ”Camps Week”, last week of Term 1, except for the Year 12 camp which takes place prior to the commencement of the school year.
Some of the camps are held in Homestead arrangements, as a base of/for local activities, whilst others are focused on bushwalking/hiking throughout the Victorian State Forests or National Parks.
Students are also provided with a wide variety of choices to further their initiative, leadership and self- discipline, whilst allowing for specific life skills/general interests to be nurtured.
Senior School students are given the opportunity to become involved in Overseas Student Exchanges, World Challenge Expeditions, Space Camp USA, International Music and Language Tours, or closer to home activities such as, Horse Riding, Snow Camps (Mittagundi), Art/Drama Camps, Vocational Training or to act as Student Camp Leaders for younger age groups.
Preparatory: Extended Stay
In Term Four Preparatory students will participate in an extended stay at school as an introduction to the School’s Camps Program. The students will visit various local attractions around Bendigo as part of this experience. These venues vary but generally the extended stay includes an artistic experience, for example a visit to the Bendigo Art Gallery, and a physical activity such as a trip to the Fun Factory. The day culminates with dinner back at school followed by a movie or a “disco”. This is a great opportunity for Preparatory students to experience some independence without the worry of staying away from their parents overnight.
Year 1: Over Night Stay
In Year 1 we progress to an overnight stay. The Year One Camp is an overnight stay at the Science and Discovery Centre in Bendigo. Our Humanities theme for Term One is Space. The Planetarium at the Discovery Centre provides a ‘hands on’ experience for the children in their quest for knowledge about our Solar system. They identify the various planets as they travel through the night sky. In preparation for camp the Mathematics focus is Money. The children learn to recognise notes and coins. Prior to our stay at the centre the children experience the opportunity of purchasing their own afternoon tea at the Beechworth Bakery with their own money. The children are encouraged to speak clearly to the shop assistant and use their best manners whilst enjoying their afternoon tea.
Year 2: Wesley Point, Lake Eppalock
To prepare students for our school camping program that begins in Year 2, students camp over night away from the school environment for 1 night. Students participate in bush activities, bush walking, camp fire (weather permitting), indoor and outside games and a torch light walk to spot possums and owls.
Year 3: Sunnystones, Bacchus Marsh
Year 3 Students will participate in a three day camp at Sunnystones. This is a fifty acre property that backs onto the state forest. Sunnystones is an accredited camp registered with the Camping Association of Victoria. The camp is situated 5km from Bacchus Marsh. Accommodation consists of bedrooms of four, six or eight with each room having an ensuite. Activities include: Ropes course; initiative course; team building and bush art; orienteering; night time possum spotting and bushwalking.
Year 4: Norval Conference Centre, Grampians
Year 4 Students will participate in a camp at Norval Conference Centre, a Uniting Church Camp in the centre of Halls Gap. Students will stay in fully catered lodge style accommodation. Activities include: bush Walking along Parks Victoria’s walking tracks; visiting the National Park Centre Nature walk; games; visiting Brambruck for an Indigenous Class session and visiting the Wild Life Park.
Year 5: Narmbool Lodge, Sovereign Hill
Students will attend a full day at Sovereign Hill before attending the camp at Narmbool. Narmbool is a benchmark of sustainable land management in a farm environment. Discovery trails across the property have been developed so students can explore its rich biodiversity and cultural heritage. Narmbool activities include bush walking, photography, navigation, scientific investigation, art, Indigenous culture and team work.
Year 6: Canberra
Year 6 Camp is held in Canberra. Traditionally, this takes place in the last week of Term One. This camp links with our curriculum theme of Australian Government. Students get the opportunity to visit Parliament House, Old Parliament House, the Australian Institute of Sport, the Australian War Memorial, the National Museum of Australia and Questacon.
Year 7: Camp Howqua
The Camp is very comfortable and set in a beautiful tree-lined valley. The area is also rich in educational resources which will ensure a most worthwhile experience for all students. The students will be fully occupied during the five days with activities such as bushwalking, cycling, orienteering, horse riding and much more.
Year 8: High Country Bushwalking
All Year 8 students will participate in an expedition into the Falls Creek / Mt Hotham area and along the top of the Great Dividing Range. This is a compulsory part of the mandated curriculum for Year 8. The Year 8 program is about “Stepping outside the Comfort Zone”. Goals of the hike are to enhance the ability to meet positively the physical and mental challenges; leadership skills; team work skills and an understanding and appreciation of the natural environment. Students camp in tents and do return hikes each day to different locations.
Year 9: Urban Camp
The City of Melbourne becomes the classroom for the Year 9 Urban Camp. Students select a number activities to suit their interests, including; City Challenge “Amazing Race”, exploring different faiths by visiting places of worship, an arts experience involving performances, exhibitions, workshops and tours and visiting the Western Treatment Plant to apply and build Science knowledge. This allows Year 9 students to test their understanding of their place in the the world by embracing new and real life experiences.
Year 10 and 11: Opportunities
“Camps Week”, conducted in the last week of Term One, allows all Year 10 and Year 11 students to select from a wide range of age relevant activities and opportunities. Students are encouraged to undertake experiences that test their leadership skills and develop a sense of community spirit, under the guises of many different contexts.
Students may put themselves forward to act as Student Camp Leaders for the Yr 7 to 9 Camps, or participate in the Aviation or Horse-riding Camps. Other options available throughout the week include: Work Experience and Community Service, or the School Based activities such as Digital Photography, activities within Performing and Visual Arts areas, or the recently introduced and very successful, VET based Certificate Course, comprising of: Food Handling; First Aid; RSA & Hospitality; Food Handling/Barista and Drivers’ Education.
NB: ALL students enrolled in Unit 1/2 Outdoor & Environmental Studies or Unit 3/4 Sport & Recreation (Outdoor Recreation) are required to attend their respective Sport and Recreation Camps. These week long camps, also conducted during Camps Week, are an integral part of this subject’s curriculum, hence are compulsory in nature.
Year 11 students may also wish to apply to attend the Lady Somers or Lord Somers Camps which are held at the end of the school year, typically in the Christmas vacation break. Applications can be made through the respective Heads of House.
Year 12: VCE Conference, Melbourne
Participants are exposed to University and residential College prior to the start of their final year of secondary schooling.
A chance for students to embark on challenging 28 day expeditions to one of 40 destinations around the world. Students achieve personal and team goals to develop valuable skills for later life such as teamwork, leadership, problem solving and communications. It truly is a life-changing experience.
The space camp is an exploration of Science and Technology, designed for students aged 15 – 18 with a strong interest in Science and Technology. The trip involves touring and working in NASA Space facilities and is a great opportunity for students who may wish to pursue a career in Science, Engineering etc.
During second term vacation, volunteer Year 10 and 11 students will participate in the Mittagundi Cross Country Skiing experience. At camp students will ski into the Bogong National Park and spend several days in this superb area. A highlight of the experience will be sleeping in a remote mountain hut. Mittagundi is a most exciting and rewarding experience.
Students in Years 8 to 12 have the opportunity to spend a week in New Zealand at the conclusion of the Girton academic year, exploring the incredible natural beauty of this island nation. The trip is designed to spark an appreciation of ancient cultures, to protect the natural wonders of their world, and fuel a passion for learning. Students will explore the diverse environments only available in New Zealand’s thermal, glacial and temperate rainforest regions as well as gain an appreciation for the historical significance of Cook’s exploration in the region, and the impact of colonial settlement on Maori culture.
The trip to France is organised by the School every two years and is a wonderful way to put into practice what has been learnt in class, learn about French history and culture, improve the students’ oral skills and make French friends for life! Students in Years 9 to 11 travel to France and spend the first night in Paris, visit Notre Dame and the wonderful Chateau de Chambord en route to Lucon. Students stay with their host families and attend classes in our sister school in Saint Ursule. The students visit the towns of Angers and La Rochelle as well as the historical Theme Park Le Puy du Fou in Vendée. On the return trip to Paris, the students visit the fabulous cathedral of Chartres. The last two days of the trip are spent in Paris, visiting The Louvres Museum, the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower and the magnificent Chateau de Versailles.
Students also have the opportunity to visit Japan every second year (every year if there is a demand) for two weeks during the September-October Holidays. The first week is spent sightseeing around Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima. The second week is spent at Girton’s sister school, Gojo Senior High School. The students are able to experience Japanese culture and language first hand and experience the Japanese way of life through spending a week living with a Japanese family.