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In 2023, we are enjoying a rich calendar of activities and are pleased to share with you an update about the first week of Secondary School camps that took place in Term 1.

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Preshil camps are designed to be engaging weeks that helped students bond with their cohort and experience new things, supplementing their school experiences with the IB’s Learner Profile Attributes and Approaches to Learning. Connecting with communities beyond the school grounds and making lasting memories with peers was an essential part of the secondary school experience, and the first week of camps was designed to build connections within year levels, supporting a great start to the year.

BK Camp Experience 1 took place in Week 2 of Term 1 (Monday 6 to Friday 10 February 2023), and we are pleased to share some insights below into the many things our students achieved:

In Week 2, the Year 7/8’s were treated to a week filled with incursions and excursions. This was a great opportunity to reinforce existing friendships and develop new ones between year levels. Some of the activities included a hip-hop-inspired music workshop, where students were guided by Jason and Ben to develop a collective rap.

In the Art Room, students created brightly coloured, tie-dye bandanas and t-shirts. It was a beautiful sight to see the students’ creations hung around the art space and adjoining gardens as they dried in the sun.

A highlight of the incursions included a session run by Preshil alumni, Cam Lee. Cam runs a company called Greenhat and he brought in what seemed like a truckload of small bamboo planks. Students were challenged to make tall, elaborate towers. They had an opportunity to develop their skills in creativity, mindfulness, negotiation and sharing.

On the third day, students left the Preshil campus and ventured to Enchanted Adventures in Arthurs Seat. Students were able to galavant around the immense grounds and participated in a scavenger hunt that became quite competitive. The highlight was when the giant slides were opened and the students bravely slid down a steep hill.

To wrap up the week, Year 7, 8 and 9 students came together and embarked on a trip to Black Rock. It was a stunning day, perfect for paddling in the rock pools and playing beach volleyball.

Once again this year, the Year 9 trip to Anglesea was an adventurous and action-packed week. Day 1 kicked off with a coastal walk that led us down to the beach. Although most were not wearing bathers, that did not stop them from getting in the waves, and more than one person left with soggy jeans for the journey back! The first evening activity was a trivia night, with the winning team only just narrowly beating the teachers!

Day 2 was the day to get wet, and students enjoyed paddle boarding and surfing, with a fantastic music quiz in the evening, which culminated in an epic spaceship-building competition. On Day 3, Year 9 headed to the fan favourite LiveWire Park, an epic high ropes course, where all students were able to show off their outdoor adventure skills. Many also enjoyed the trampoline area where huge inflatable balls were employed to squash more than one teacher! After a mindful walk to Sheoak Falls, we then went down to Lorne Beach for a laze under the trees. On this final evening, students put together a brilliant talent show, including signing, dancing and dramatic storytelling.

We were up early on our last day to get to Geelong, where students tried their hand at a scavenger hunt, which as a group they most definitely excelled at.

Year 9 described the camp as the “most fun camp at Preshil!” Many mentioned LiveWire Park as a particularly great highlight. I mean, what is not to love about a huge trampoline filled with plastic balls?

Their capacity to overcome personal challenges throughout the week was noteworthy, as well as their ability to work as a team… all in good time for their trip to the Northern Territory later in the year! Well done Year 9!

The Year 10 students had an unforgettable trip to Warrnambool, a beautiful coastal town where they enjoyed guided visits to local reserves, museums, a whale-watching platform, and art galleries. The itinerary also included visits to the Twelve Apostles, Torquay, Tower Hill, Port Fairy, Griffiths Island, Logans Beach, Flagstaff Hill, and many more! Although the initially finalised destination of Woolongarra was cancelled by the providers, the students still had a fantastic time exploring Warrnambool.

Finally, the Year 11 and 12 students had a remarkable City Experience trip. They stayed at one of the University of Melbourne’s residential colleges and explored everything the city had to offer, including study opportunities, Amazing Races, escape rooms, gallery visits, and sporting activities. This week prepared the students for their lives beyond Preshil, leaving them feeling confident and independent, ready to take on their DP courses. The students talked about this trip for months afterward, highlighting the impact it had on them.

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