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The Smith Family Year 7 - 11 Camp Blog

On the 1st of November 2023, the Smith Family girls rolled through The Summer gates yet again. With fourteen of the girls ready to go, we introduced them to the Stadium; everyone then got in a circle and introduced themselves and something they liked doing outside of school. We then broke the ice and played a game of Screaming Turtles, where the objective was to look up and look down at people in the circle and try not to make eye contact with anyone else. Coach Mim and Spinks introduced the girls to the Five Keys of camp.

  1. Have Fun

  2. Play All In

  3. ake Lots of Mistakes

  4. Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable.

  5. Don’t Go Home Wondering ‘What If’.

The following things introduced 'Target, Stretch &B Super Stretch', a goal-setting strategy to help them break big things down into small manageable pieces. We then played an initiative called ‘Where is George’? It is a game of rescuing a small chew toy pig named George from coach Mim, they had to work together to communicate a rescue of George by moving towards him. Mim had her back turned away from him. After some solid attempts at this game, they completed it, and they felt so much joy/relief. We moved into our first activity, which was the Rock Wall; all the girls learned to rely on each other and trust in the team of three people who were in charge of belaying their climber (supervised) up the wall, as they were stretching themselves out of their comfort zones.

The girls had some afternoon tea and played a quick game of Clap-ball before heading into the last activity of the day, the Snowy River Challenge. The girls had to complete five different obstacles, from a balance beam across the water to a giant wall that had to scale up and over with the whole team to a wobbly V bridge across the creek as a caterpillar crawl, where they had to get five of them together and transport their entire team from point A to point B. The girls did all of this in 25 minutes; when they were asked if they wanted another challenge, it was time for them to choose to face the Cave, an artificial tunnel that was designed to be friendly, small, and dark, the girls were pushing themselves through their fears through the tunnel and up and out the other side. Lots of fears were faced and a few dirty knees as well.

The girls created a name for themselves as they liked Georgia a lot, the squeaky mascot we had along with us, so we named our team George, and a massacre was George. As we put our heads in after every activity, George would go on top of the pile, and we go 3,2,1… Throwing George into the air and catching him on the other side became a bit of a tradition throughout the next two days.

As day two began, Spinks ran the girls through an intention session to see what they wanted to get out of their day and have a set focus. I started the talk by saying a few I AMs; examples were, 'I am playful', 'I am courageous', and 'I am brave' which were some of the many words we used. Everyone got to share one each; with those in mind, they had to explain what they wanted their intention to be for that day as Mim shared her story of why she wanted to be brave today and how that was going to look to remind ourselves. We got all the girls to grab a pen and paper and write down who they wanted to be for that day and some of the ways they tried to do that we also checked in with their same intentions and we did the same at lunchtime to make sure we can check back in with ourselves to see how we were progressing throughout that day.

Ready to go for our first activity, we headed on over to the big tower where our first two activities of the day were Abseil and Summit Window. Before any of that could start, we had to warm our bodies up by playing a game of Jockeys where they had to jump up and drop down, piggybacking each other like going through each other’s legs and of course, running around a lot to move our bodies to get going for the day. All braved with harnesses and helmets, they make their way six at a time up the big tower. They completed the Summit Window, where they had to climb a ladder at the top of the tower another two metres to get to a viewing platform to get a look at a panoramic view of the West to Gippsland. They then made their way down the pole back into the tower. They made their way around to Spinks, where she would then Abseil them down the side of the wall where they got to repel, bounce, slide, and step, making their way down the wall, having all the fun, and pushing those limits, after all the girls had done and completed this challenge it was time to do the Monster Course. It was a great race, and everyone did a phenomenal job. We lost a few shoes along the way, and that's OK. We then gave the girls a quick halftime speech because it's not over till it's over. As some of the girls were aware, but not all, we intended to do two laps of the course to prove and improve our first time. Our first time enhancing was 45 minutes, which was pretty good, but the second time around, we wanted to improve that time by as much as possible. Hence, the girls talked about how they could improve their time and how to get better and better; with all those strategies, and plans in mind, they took off on the second lap, blitzing through the course and completing everything that was done in the first. Still faster, they found their stride, completing the course in a whopping 20 minutes more quickly. Well done, ladies, for getting around each other and giving yourselves all the evidence to show you that you are more capable and have more in the tank than you think you did at the beginning.

It was time for lunch, and the girls were hungry, so up to the showers they went to rinse off and get changed. At lunch, we checked in with the girls about what they've written down as an intention for the day, explaining to us so far what part of the day they found doing their intention the easiest versus when they were finding it hard to meet their intention and what point in the day that was. Moving our bodies with a quick 101 or timed race around the Inflatable City, we made our way to the laser field. Just before Laser Skirmish, we played a short football game. All dressed and ready to go for laser tag: blue versus red. We had a lot of music playing and a lot of drama happening. All the people who then got tagged on the field had to throw themselves on the ground and ask for a medic or, in German, the word ambulance. There was a lot of laughter and fun that was hard as we were running around playing. The blue team may have won in the sense of the least re-spawns, but the red team won in the amount of flair and drama they added to the games.

With Laser Skirmish done and dusted, we headed over to The Summit's very own Giant Swing. The girls had to partner up and let everyone know they could go as high as they wanted on the swing, either red, yellow, or green (different height indicators on the giant swing). Still, of course, they couldn't get there alone; they needed their entire team to pull their love to the top or where they needed to be, which took a lot of strength every time we had to get them up. After a big day, they made their way for some free time and ended the day with dinner and a movie before sleeping.

The last day rolled around, and it was almost time to say goodbye, but we weren't entirely done yet. We started the day with a gratitude session, while we talked through the written forms of gratitude(GMIC) as well as the verbal forms of gratitude, we watched a video about giving and getting a compliment; I’ve got the physical sense of gratitude where we can give each other a hug or high five acknowledgment. So, with that in mind, we asked them what they're grateful for, small or massive things, and what made them feel happy.

As a final challenge to the girls, we asked them to pick their phones up to send a message to somebody that they appreciate, who they are grateful for in their lives, just to tell them how much they care. We then headed to Sky Bridge where they got to move their bodies once more, making their way from one side of the bridge to the other as there were 84 steps in between and all very wobbly and the girls had to be sure about where they wanted to go and what they wanted to do. With music playing on the other side with their song of choice they move towards the music, concentrating every step of the way. Well done to all the girls who made their way across and pushed themselves out of their comfort zones.

It was time for the last activity, the Leap of Faith. With heaps of different options, they could choose from to push themselves, every girl leaped to the bar and then was set down to the ground. The girls celebrated every completion with hugs, cheers, and high-fives, it was a remarkable sight! On the debrief, we asked the girls what they got out of the Leap of Faith, and how they are going to connect it to their situations outside of camp.

They then voted for four different people in their group that they felt represented the team in these categories: the hero of the group, the heart of the group, the hardship of the group, and the Values winners. These four awesome individuals then got rewarded with a hot lap in The Summit's very own WW2 army tanks!

After lunch we had our final camp wrap-up debrief which we call our rock, stick, and leaf debrief. In this debrief, each of the girls tells us what rocked their world about camp, what will stick with them the most about camp, what they would leave behind, and what they're the proudest of doing. On the buses, they went and out the gates, as Mim and Spinks (and George) were waving them goodbye, we’ll see you next time, I'm sure. Thank you again for coming and making this camp always memorable. Take care of yourselves and each other.

All the best

Spinks and Mim


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