Outdoor education is an important part of the holistic education offered by Saint Stephen’s College. Experiential learning gained through outdoor activities enables students to develop essential life attributes such as self-esteem, confidence, leadership and teamwork skills, and links very closely to the Pastoral Care program.
Students from Years 7 to 12 participate in our annual Camps Week Program.
Our Camps Week program sees our students travel as far as Canberra to learn more about the history and politics of our nation (Year 7); enjoy a number of outdoor activities in the idyllic location of Tyalgum, including a one-night sleep-out (Year 8); spend four days on a sea kayak expedition or partaking in activities such as high ropes and the infamous mud pit at Lake Moogerah (Year 9); experience what it is like to be part of the workforce (Year 10 Work Experience); take a large step outside of their comfort zone for 10 straight days (Outward Bound for Years 9 and 10 students); co-exist with kangaroos and possums at the Bunya Mountains while learning about leadership and what it means to be an authentic leader (Year 11); and prepare for the QCS test and life after school (Year 12).
As you can see, each year level participates in a specific program during the Camps Week, which is aimed at meeting students’ needs, and/or addressing issues specific to their particular age group and stage of development. It is a hugely successful program amongst the students (and staff) – as well as being a fun and educational week, it offers students the opportunity to develop and reinforce friendships as well as further develop their skills and talents.
We always get such positive feedback about the Camps Week Program, which is valuable in so many ways.
Students also have opportunities to participate in various outdoor education programs at Saint Stephen’s College many of these opportunities are funded or partly funded by The Goda Foundation.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award
Gives students the opportunity to undertake new activities and challenges based around four pillars; skill, physical recreation, community service and adventurous journey. Students participate in activities such as abseiling, deep sea diving and horse-riding, as well as community service.
An expedition based program offered each year to interested students in Years 9 and 10. Students are physically, and mentally, challenged in this gruelling 10-day outdoor experience during which they have no access to the outside world and are equipped with only the basics. It involves hiking, canoeing, setting up and packing down camp, cooking over a camp fire and very importantly spending a significant amount of time alone during which they get to reflect on the challenges they have faced and how far they have come.
South Passage Adventure Sail
Provides students with a life-changing challenge on board a 100-foot gaff-rigged schooner built for adventure sailing and education. Students, along with teachers, manage the ship and learn about teamwork, initiative and leadership. During the voyage, students also have the opportunity to explore our waterways, go snorkelling and visit coastal islands.