Year 5 QCCC Mapleton Camp

On the morning of Wednesday 26th April, many excited 9 and 10 year olds woke up early (although some did not sleep at all), finished packing their bag's, put on their extra warm gear and made their way to St Finbarr's in attempt to be the first ones to secure the best seat on the bus. We were about to embark on our first school camp to QCCC Mapleton for 2 nights and 3 full days. As we arrived to school with eager, smiling faces, along with Miss Bechly and Mrs Lawson, the enthusiasm was in the air.

Once we had been farewelled by the School Community, the 16 children and 2 teachers piled onto the bus for a beautiful drive up the coast through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. It was not long before we reached our destination, QCCC Mapleton. Slightly struggling with the excess Winter gear, the students made our way from the bus to our dormitories that would be their home for the next few nights.

After settling, choosing beds and making sure we knew where all the important amenities were (namely the dining hall), our group leader Julia collected us to complete a tricky afternoon of archery. Thinking of ourselves as much like Robin Hood and his Merry men, it wasn't long before we had grasped the steps of loading the bow, aiming and releasing, and were shooting arrows into all sorts of targets (some not official) around the area. Bullseye Bechly (as we now refer to her) was the first to shoot a bullseye earning a whoopping 30 points for her team. Many followed suit, shooting moving targets as milk bottles swung between the beams.

The afternoon was spent relaxing in the pool, slipping down the double slide, and diving into the deep pool. Realising the temperature was about to drop, we quickly changed into our tracksuits and headed to the dining hall where we met the 2 other schools sharing the facilities. We filled our bellies with homemade pizza then returned to the common area to watch a movie and eventually fall asleep.

Up early on Thursday, we collected our backpacks, filled our tummies and set off on our next adventure, canoeing. Out on the picturesque lake within the camp grounds, we paired up and gave our arms a workout circling the island, playing gang up tiggy and attempting not to capsize! Although efforts were made, no one capsized, however we did take a quick dip in the lake to sooth our biceps!

A quick change of clothing later, Julia collected us to move onto the next activity... THE GIANT SWING! Yes, it was as terrifying as it sounds, but EVERYONE, had a turn being pulled 15 metres above the ground and let go. Scary right?! It was clear from the echoes in the forest, and the gush of scared wildlife, that Collette won scream of the day, Miss Bechley close behind.

But wait, there's more! The Van Diemen's Land Obstacle course was yet to be completed! Once again we made our way back to the lade where a piece of timber and 4 barrels were waiting to be assembled to assist the convicts (Year 5) to cross the crocodile infested water to reach freedom! With a lot of team work, communication and muscles, the convicts pulled themselves across the late to the island where a Governor was elected to oversee those who dared disobey her commands. Ella ensure that all her prisoners worked hard on the land and on the water, returning them back to the captivity.

Such an action packed day guaranteed that bedtime would approach quickly after another delicious homemade meal. Tired eyes attempted to stay open whilst watching The Wizard of Oz, however we soon closed easily dreaming about the final activities to come the following day.

Quick! Time to wake up! Friday morning was a crazy rush of wet cloths, showers, toothbrushes, bedding and warm clothes being thrown into suitcases before breakfast! Our final activity was waiting to be completed! Rock climbing! This one required a lot of concentration, co-ordination and confidence as we trusted our group members to carry our weight up to the roof, literally. With our safety equipment on, each of us had the chance to face our fear of heights and climb as far as we ould up the wall. By the end of the hour, Year 5 had turned into mini Spidermen, crawling up the walls with ease.

Thanking our group leaders and kitchen staff, it was finally time to make our way home after such an amazing trip. Another beautiful drive through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland sent us on our way. As a parting gift, the camp provided us with lunch so we could stop and admire the Maroochy Bushland Botanical Gardens on the way home. We watched the local birds flock to meet us (and eat some of our food) and viewed sculptures by local artists places around the park. Once we had demolished the ham and salad rolls, it was time to head back on the bus and return home.

Miss Bechley and Middle School Charity