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Upwey HS Year 8 Camp 1 & 2 Blog

When the buses from Upwey High School rolled through the gates of The Summit on an unusually warm Monday morning, we were hopping and jumping around preparing for what was going to be an amazing week. The energy and enthusiasm of all the students, particularly Tom B., were out of control and we loved it. The other coaches and I gathered in the Stadium with them to introduce ourselves and our Five Keys of Have Fun, Play All In, Make Mistakes, Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable, and Don’t Go Home Wondering What If, before playing a couple of games, showing everyone our harnesses and how to set themselves goal-setting techniques, Targets, Stretches, and Super Stretches, and getting into our first round of activities.

The Giant Swing and Laser Skirmish were the instant highlights, the Bush Challenge was epic, and the Rockwall was not what anyone expected. During our first rotation, it was time to sit and create a tribe name for each group. The imagination was epic, even though there was a heavy reliance on the words “Skippity” and “Sigma”, but they all worked. The names they came up with are as follows…

Grp 1 - The Skippity Strikers

Grp 2 - The Sigma Dragon Circle Squad

Grp 3 - The Skippity Sigmas

Grp 4 - The Pre-Adolescents

After an epic Board Break evening on the first night of Camp, Tuesday was kicked off with a morning Intentions chat in the form of setting our day up well and remembering even the slightest positivity from us can influence those around without even meaning to. We then battled the heat and got straight into the next rounds of activities. The afternoon turned out to be as much fun as the morning did, but we don’t think anyone was as proud of themselves as Spencer was when he conquered our hardest level of the Rockwall!

On Tuesday morning, we also had the opportunity to introduce four new activities. Our dizzying Summit Window, the terrifying Leap of Faith, Monty, Hercules, and the nail board in Snake and Nails, and a round of games run instead of our unfortunately powerless Inflatable course.

Tuesday afternoon we also embarked on our epic Monster Course, a wet and dirty run around the grounds of The Summit involving tyres, charades, dirt, cargo nets, holey buckets, water, a ball pit, and a whole lot of fun, or at least we tried to!

The course was supposed to be scored using each team's improvement time from the first lap to the surprise second lap, but it seems Mother Nature had other ideas. It was about halfway through our second lap when we were hit with a change that literally blew us off our feet. The campers responded amazingly to the storm front by gathering in the Stadium and regrouping for a quieter evening. The coaches and I gathered to work out which of the groups responded to the parts of the second lap that we were able to complete to come up with at least a finishing order the kids could be proud of. Unfortunately, this was also when we lost power, yet another hurdle that all campers and staff responded to with professionalism, and we can’t thank everyone enough for their handling of the incredibly rare situation we found ourselves in.

Wednesday started with another chat about Gratitude in the form of taking a moment to look back on what we must be grateful for, especially those things we take for granted.

We then asked each of the kids to vote on a Values winner, or the person in their group they felt used our 5 Keys the best to make camp a rewarding experience for not only themselves but their whole team. The winners are listed below with all the times for each of the recordable activities.  We gathered at the Barbeque shelter for the last time to say our thank yous to all the people involved in making this camp epic before reading out the winners of the various activities and rewarding our Values winners with a ride on our WW2 ARMY TANK!

It was at this point we prepared for the second half of the school and regrouped in the Stadium with the kids and newer teachers to start the process over again. This was much more challenging without the use of power throughout the camp, but the coaches and I adapted again with the incredible assistance of the teaching staff on hand.

This time after going over our introduction we moved down into the park to introduce a new wave of activities. The Flying Fox was an instant hit, Tash’s Ladder was a lot more challenging than expected, Snowy River Challenge brought the teams together and the Cave scared more of the participants than they were willing to admit.

In conclusion our first rotation, the groups came up with their team names which were as follows:

Grp 1 - Alpha Sigma Sushi’s X-Force

Grp 2 - The Yappers

Grp 3 - Ladies with Gentle Hands / The Renegades

Grp 4 - W in the Chat

Wednesday night was capped off with a quick Trivia night before we wandered through the dark on our Night Walk.

Thursday started with a chat about how we can influence our day with a little self-visualization before heading down into the park and completing our rounds of activities and introducing our next lot of activities. The kids tried Abseiling, which was terrifying, the Sky Bridge, which was a tremendously physical challenge, The High Wire which brought out the best in almost everyone and Scavenger Hunt, which was just fun!

That afternoon the kids gave the Monster Course a go and smashed it! Everyone performed so well that we were able to fit in a turn on our epic Drop Slide, a large black slide straight into the lake that everyone loved! It was also an amazing relief to hear the power back on in the form of music pumping through the park that we all missed so much over the last few days.

Friday morning saw a chat about gratitude with a video about taking what we have for granted before finishing off our last rotations and gathering for our farewell. The groups again got together to vote for Values winners who were rewarded with a ride in our WW2 army tank after lunch, before hopping back on the buses and waving goodbye.

The times and winners for the second half of Upwey HS' experience are below.

The Summit would like to say thank you to Roger, Katherine, and the team from Upwey High School for what was an incredibly challenging week, and one unlike any other we have had in many years. You handled yourselves professionally and we are extremely grateful. We at The Summit can’t wait to have you back again soon.

Liam, Tim, Sam, Miriam, Sara, Luke, Matt, Odile, Sophie, and Adam


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