Positive Start Camp Experience with Up the Creek

We received another wonderful report from East Loddon P-12 College after their adventures on their 5 day camp with the crew at Up the Creek! By all accounts they had a fabulous time, covering activities like riding 40km along the Warburton to Lilydale rail trail, camping at Cresco Park campground, on the Birrarung; Yarra River, rafting along the rapids of Birrarung, fishing, walking and even exploring shops!  It sounds like an adventure they’ll never forget. Through the Positive Start program, students who may otherwise not have the opportunity, are gaining access to high quality professionally facilitated outdoor experiences. Feedback from both students and teachers  continues to support our understanding that these experiences often elicit lifelong beneficial outcomes for participants. Read the full report of their adventure below

East Loddon P–12 College Students enjoying bike ride
East Loddon P-12 College Students on Camp

Earlier this year East Loddon P-12 College was offered the opportunity to attend a 5 day Positive Start Camp with Up the Creek. They are a boat based social enterprise offering canoe/kayak tours and school camps. Up the Creek focuses on contributing to a healthy vibrant future by connecting people with themselves, others and the environment. With the intent of collaborating with nature and gaining skills that will useful in everyday life.  Students met with Up the Creek owner and manager Derek. He travelled to Dingee to find out what sort of a camp experience students were looking for. Derek was impressed by our students’ ability to articulate their goals which centred around teamwork, to be challenged, yet have time to be, an urban experience and having the opportunity to plan parts of their camp program. Derek was amazed by how our students used the 4R’s (Respect, Responsibility, Resilience and Relationships – our school motto) in our everyday vocabulary.

Students departed East Loddon P-12 College on Monday morning via a stop at the Marong Recreation Reserve due to bus delays. After some netball with a football, cards, playground fun and a hot drink students’ departed for Kyneton RSL for a 2 course lunch. We travelled through Melbourne to arrive at Warburton caravan park on dark. Students set up tents, had takeaway pizza for tea whilst discussing options for the following day eg bike riding or rafting.

Students selected to ride 40km along the Warburton to Lilydale rail trail. Beautiful scenery and a great ride. We had lunch at a spot the Queen once stopped (Woori Yallock train station). Following the ride students navigated public transport from Lilydale to Warrandyte. Students did a fantastic job and even treated themselves to a snack at East Land or alternatively a Lilydale fish and chip shop. Students then camped the following 2 nights at Cresco Park campground (another beautiful spot on the Birrarung; Yarra River).

Day 3 was another adventurous day with students having the capacity to plan out the activities for the day. Approximately half the students said, ‘Yes please’ to the rewarding challenging of rafting along the rapids of Birrarung. It was lots of fun, we flew down the rapids in our sporties and larger rafts. Meanwhile some other students had opted for a spot of fishing and café exploring in Warrandyte, another group took a nature walk and swim.

Day 4 sore students change from the picturesque country scenery to the bright lights of the city. It was the urban experience they had also been eager to explore. Students explored the city within their already established groups (a mixture of males, females, Y9 and Y10 students). They then had the opportunity to select activities such as, the Melbourne museum, Vic markets, aquarium, Crown Casino, all the while refining their map reading and public transport navigation skills. Students then selected their evening meal which ranged from pizza on Lygon street, spoilt for choice at Crown Casino food court and Greek Cuisine. These decisions were negotiated amongst the group members. The final day consisted of a morning at the Vic market where students were given some freedom (safely) to explore the stalls and even given $10 spending money. Students did an absolutely wonderful job throughout the entire camp. We are extremely grateful to Derek and all the staff at Up the Creek. They did a truly wonderful job at making our experience challenging, allowed time to be and relax, yet enabled for team work, an urban experience and fun along the way too. We would like to thank all the staff at Up the Creek for making this a camp to remember.

Sarah Krahe, Senior Sub School Leader at East Loddon P-12 College.