The Year 9 Outdoor Education Program centres on the qualities of perseverance, support and encouragement, energy and involvement, a positive attitude and physical challenge. At the beginning of the Program, girls select a glass bead bracelet that symbolises one of these five attributes. While also a memento from their time at Marrapatta, the girls wear the bracelet throughout their week at Marrapatta, as a reminder to focus on that attribute during the Program.
Year 9 students complete a number of activities while exploring Marrapatta and Borumba Dam, including canoeing, biking and walking. These physical challenges require students to set goals, adopt an open mindset, navigate social interactions and make valuable contributions to the group throughout the week.
While some girls find aspects of the Program challenging, overall students were positive when reflecting on their time at Marrapatta:
‘I was apprehensive at first about some of the physical challenges but I’m so pleased I pushed myself. The sense of accomplishment I felt after completing an activity was extremely rewarding. The challenges weren’t actually as difficult as I had thought; in fact they were fun. Bike riding was a highlight of the Program. When riding uphill I really had to persevere, but going downhill I felt wild and free!’ – Grace Paschkewitz (9O)
‘My bead was ‘persevering’; it made me think more deeply about how to find new ways and different solutions, and not give up.’ – Hana Phua (9O)
‘My bead this week was ‘positive attitude’ and it was an appropriate reminder for the bike ride. It made me think of the outcome and what it was that I was working towards.’ – Lily Blanshard (9R)
‘This week has been challenging, rewarding and fun. Seeing my bead throughout the week helped me stay positive.’ – Vicki Chuang (9E)
‘The activities were physically and mentally challenging but nothing we couldn’t overcome as a group. My bead was ‘support and encouragement’. I consciously supported others on the high ropes, and during canoeing I tried to stay calm and encourage others even though it was frustrating because of the wind.’ – Anna McAuley (9R)
In the final weeks of Term 3, the remaining Year 9 classes will participate in the Outdoor Education Program at Marrapatta. During Term 4, Year 7 students will attend Marrapatta in their House groups. Marrapatta staff will brief Year 7 girls in Week 10, Term 3, in preparation of their Outdoor Education Program.
Mrs Carol McIntosh
Outdoor Education Teacher