In the second week of the Term 3 break, ten students and three staff ventured to Kangaroo Island for a conservation focused program. The aim was to support the local community and help repatriate local environments, whilst learning about and enjoying unique settings. We partnered with Hanson Bay Sanctuary and the Department of Environment and Water to complete a lot of hands on work, and it was great to establish these connections. The students from Years 7 to 12 applied themselves exceptionally well, they learnt a lot about the area and enjoyed their time away. We hope this opportunity and the connections made will extend into the future and become a regular fixture in Pulteney’s Experiential Learning schedule. Please find a brief exert from one of the Year 12s reflection of the program.
After helping to organize needed equipment for the camp with some of the supporting teachers we left for KI. I was able to give my input on where we would get food from for the week. It was beneficial to shop once we got there, at a local supermarket, to give some money back into the local economy.
While on this day we didn’t undertake any of the activities I was about to develop my personal and social capability by introducing myself to other attendees and getting to know some of them. As one of the senior students of the group it was quite clear early that the workload might be a bit higher.
While wet and cold, I was able to quickly help work with the group showing a few members how to perform the days task, which involved removing Scotch thistle. This was also beneficial in getting to know the group better and how they would go for the rest of the week. One of my roles was performing headcounts, which was useful today, as before leaving for the afternoon activities I found that we were 4 people short. They were hiding from the rain in their tents!
While we performed our activities and bonded as a group, I was also able to be the group photographer, capturing the experience for presentation once we returned. This was a task I enjoyed and will enable us to plan and promote the opportunity further in the future. The weather today was improved, and we were able to meet the DEW people and learn about Dunnarts. These little creatures were severely impacted by the fires and it was interesting to set up camera traps and see what the habitat corridors can achieve.
The last official day of activities consisted of mostly tourist activities with sight-seeing and some information sessions about endangered species on the Island. Whilst out, one of the other senior attendees and I volunteered to cook for the group. This involved preparing, cooking and cleaning during free time and it was rewarding to see the younger students enjoy the food we prepared.
The last day we packed up camp and visited a couple more iconic places on the way back to the ferry. I enjoyed the opportunity to relax and switch off from technology.
Overall, the camp was a great success as the feedback from the group and staff was positive. By being able to collaborate with the other organisations on activities and campsites, I found that it was beneficial me to understand programs and the local area better. I also enjoyed doing something productive and meaningful in my spare time and it was good to see the interest from the younger students.
Experiential Learning Coordinator