Outdoor Education

The College’s Year level camps for students in Years 7 to 11 offer a multitude of benefits that extend beyond the traditional classroom setting. These camps provide an immersive and experiential learning environment, fostering personal growth, teamwork and resilience. Students develop crucial life skills such as leadership, problem-solving and communication while engaging in outdoor activities and challenges. The camps encourage peer bonding, creating a sense of community and camaraderie among students. Moreover, they offer a break from routine, allowing students to explore nature, gain independence and build confidence. 

Year level camps are not just recreational; they are compulsory for all students as we know just how invaluable they are in shaping well-rounded individuals, equipping them with skills that are fundamental for their academic and personal development.

South Passage Adventure Sail

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.

GODA Foundation

The GODA Foundation

The GODA Foundation has played a vital role at the College for over a decade. The late Mr. Humphrey Firkins established the GODA Foundation in memory of his late wife, Goda Firkins. The Foundation aims to add value to the students learning journey by offering unique outdoor experiences. Some of the outdoor educational programs financially supported by the GODA Foundation include South Passage and Pindari.

Pindari Experience

A 10-day hiking expedition adventure offers students in Years 9 and 10 a transformative experience that brings forth numerous benefits. They can step out of their comfort zones and develop resilience, building self-confidence and belief in their abilities, ultimately empowering them as individuals and as a team. The circle work and restorative concepts involved in these immersive camps enable students to develop their self-regulation and abilities to manage their daily lives on campus and the broader community.

Engaging in physical challenges promotes physical health and well-being, fostering endurance, strength and coordination. An immersion in nature during the expedition cultivates environmental awareness and appreciation, fostering a sense of responsibility for conservation. Working collaboratively with their peers, students learn valuable teamwork and communication skills, essential for success in various aspects of life. The serene environment allows for personal reflection and mindfulness, aiding self-awareness and clarity. Overcoming obstacles during the adventure develops resilience and problem-solving abilities, equipping students with crucial life skills. Moreover, the hands-on nature of the expedition facilitates experiential learning, complementing classroom education. Lastly, students gain independence as they navigate trails, take responsibility for their well-being and contribute to group dynamics. In conclusion, the 10-day hiking expedition adventure for students in Year 9 and 10 offers a holistic development, broadened perspectives, and the acquisition of valuable skills for their future endeavours.

The benefits of PINDARI include:

  • Personal Growth: The camp provides an opportunity for personal development as students step out of their comfort zones, overcome challenges and build resilience and self-confidence. This growth includes actions and choices. Every choice the leaders and team make requires actions. These actions always have a flow on effect and consequences, whether this be positive or negative. Learning these choices and their effects in a controlled environment enables deep reflection individually and as a team.
  • Physical Fitness: Engaging in hiking and outdoor activities promotes physical fitness and well-being, encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle.
  • Environmental Awareness: Being immersed in nature fosters an appreciation for the environment and promotes environmental stewardship. This is ingrained in the duty groups as the environmental crew are responsible for the bins/upkeep of the camp and cleanliness throughout the day/evening of their shift.
  • Teamwork and Collaboration: Students learn to work together, communicate effectively, and rely on each other during hiking expeditions, fostering teamwork and collaboration. This is supported by the rotational groups: Leaders (2) Hygiene, environment, fire and cooks.
  • Problem-Solving Skills: Facing the challenges of navigating trails, setting up camps and overcoming obstacles helps students develop problem-solving skills and adaptability. This is an integral part of the action/consequence component of the camp. Every action of the group and their decisions have a ripple effect whether they be positive or negative. These are then reflected on each evening in the sessions by the leaders and then by the team of students.
  • Independence and Self-Reliance: The camp encourages students to be self-reliant, make responsible decisions and develop independence in a supervised and supportive environment. The 24-hour solo experience is the all-encompassing component of independence and self-reliance. This is a test of being able to be with oneself for 24 hours, disconnected from peers. It is a time of self-reflection and time to connect with oneself in a deep manner which benefits emotional well-being.
  • Resilience and Perseverance: The physical and mental challenges of the camp promote resilience and perseverance as students push their limits and overcome obstacles. This is encompassed throughout the daily routines and activities of the 10-day expedition.
  • Appreciation for Diversity: Students encounter diverse natural environments and engage with peers from different backgrounds, fostering an appreciation for diversity and cultural understanding. Being aware that everyone has a story and being able to hear these, respect and include these in their daily thoughts and processes both on the camp and beyond in a real-world context develops confident and empathetic individuals.
  • Connection with Nature: Spending extended time in nature allows students to develop a deep connection with the natural world, promoting well-being and a sense of awe and wonder.
  • Memories and Camaraderie: The shared experiences, challenges and accomplishments during the camp create lasting memories and foster strong bonds among students.

Overall, the 10-day bush/hiking camp for students in Years 9 and 10 offers a holistic experience that promotes personal growth, physical fitness, environmental awareness, teamwork, problem-solving, resilience, independence, diversity appreciation and a connection with nature.

The Duke of Edinburgh Australia Program

The Duke of Edinburgh Award Australia program offers a transformative and experiential opportunity for students in Years 9 to12 (The Bridge is not offered at the College due to timetable and time constraints).

This internationally recognized Program aligns with our College’s mission and values, providing a framework for personal development, leadership, community service and outdoor adventure. The Duke of Edinburgh Award Australia program empowers students to challenge themselves, develop valuable life skills and cultivate a sense of resilience and self-belief. This rationale outlines the benefits and demonstrates how the program aligns with our college’s core values of Perseverance, Responsibility, Integrity, Diversity and Empathy.

The benefits of the Award are immense, some of these include:

  • Personal Development: The program offers a structured framework for personal growth, enabling students to set goals, step outside their comfort zones, and develop resilience, determination and self-confidence. This aligns with our College’s values, as students take pride in their personal achievements and growth.
  • Leadership Skills: Through the program, students can engage in leadership roles and develop essential leadership skills such as decision-making, problem-solving and teamwork. This fosters Responsibility, as students learn to take responsibility for their actions and decisions while leading and collaborating with others.
  • Community Service: The program emphasizes the value of giving back to the community through volunteering and service projects, fostering a sense of social responsibility, empathy and citizenship. This reflects our college’s value of Integrity, as students learn to act with honesty, fairness and respect towards others while engaging in meaningful community service.
  • Outdoor Adventure: The program encourages students to participate in challenging outdoor expeditions, fostering a connection with nature, developing outdoor skills and promoting physical and mental well-being. This promotes Diversity, as students engage with diverse natural environments and learn to appreciate the beauty and importance of our diverse natural world.
  • Recognition: The program provides internationally recognized certifications and awards, showcasing students’ achievements and enhancing their resumes and College applications. This recognition supports Empathy, as students understand the importance of recognizing and valuing the achievements and efforts of themselves and others.

QCE and Curriculum benefits of the Award

Nationally, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (commonly known as the Duke of Ed) is recognised as part of the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) program. The QCE points awarded for each level of the Duke of Ed award are as follows:

  1. Bronze Award:
  • QCE points: 1 credit (equivalent to one semester of study in a subject).
  1. Silver Award:
  • QCE points: 2 credits (equivalent to two semesters of study in a subject).
  1. Gold Award:
  • QCE points: 3 credits (equivalent to three semesters of study in a subject).