A Week of Unity in Nature: Kerry Street’s Annual Camp

We are thrilled to share the incredible experiences we had during our 2023 whole school camp at Wooditjup (Margaret River) on Wadandi Boodja! As we embarked on this journey at the beginning of the school year, we recognized the perfect opportunity it presented to build and strengthen connections within our community and to immerse ourselves in the beauty of the natural environment.

Our camp kicked off with a day dedicated to exploring our surroundings and settling into the serene atmosphere. Along a sensory path, we marveled at the sights, sounds, and textures of nature. Guided by Jacey, our enthusiastic student leader, we engaged in games of King and Hide-and-Seek, fostering a sense of togetherness and camaraderie. Our parents’ love and dedication were evident as they prepared a delicious curry for our first meal. To cap off the night, we continued a cherished Kerry Street Camp tradition with a thrilling game of spotlight, filling the air with laughter and excitement.

Day two began with a heartfelt Welcome to Country by Josh Whiteland from Koomal Dreaming, a cultural custodian of the Wadandi and Bibbulmun people. Josh led cultural sessions, sharing his extensive knowledge of the local Wooditjup area and the traditional lifestyles of the Wadandi people. Our students were captivated by his detailed explanation of the six Aboriginal seasons and their influence on foraging practices. They also had the privilege of examining a range of artifacts and tools while discussing their significance. Interactive music sessions allowed the students to engage with tapping sticks and learn the Yonga (kangaroo) and Weitj (emu) dances, fostering a deep appreciation for Indigenous culture.

In addition to the cultural sessions, students indulged in Art and Drama activities led by Eylish and Caroline. They shared mini performances and diligently worked on items in preparation for the highly anticipated camp concert, where their talents would shine.

After a satisfying lunch, we made our way to the picturesque Gnarabup Beach, where the afternoon was filled with splashes in the waves and basking in the warm sunshine. To promote relaxation and well-being, our amazing parents organized rejuvenating kids and parents’ yoga sessions, providing a moment of tranquillity amidst the camp’s excitement.

As the sun set, we gathered for a delectable Mexican feast, fueling our energy for the camp concert, yet another cherished annual tradition at Kerry Street. The students showcased their incredible acts, and together, we danced the night away, creating memories that will be treasured for years to come.

Our last day of camp embraced opportunities for students to extend their learning beyond the confines of the classroom and actively engage with the environment around our campsite. Bindi-Bindi Mia embarked on an exciting scavenger hunt, searching for both living and non-living treasures, which culminated in art activities on the grass. This experience fostered bonds and support among children and adults alike, solidifying our sense of unity.

Meanwhile, Moorditj Yonga Mia embarked on a thrilling excursion to the Discover Deadly Education Centre, where they encountered fascinating snakes and discovered intriguing facts about turtles. With enthusiasm, they shared their newfound knowledge, including the revelation that a group of turtles is called a ‘bale’ and that these remarkable creatures live for more than 60 years.

Yokine Mia had an awe-inspiring visit to Lake and Mammoth Caves, participating in a captivating Megafauna Tour. The students had the privilege of excavating rocks, touching real bones and fossils, and marvelling at the magnificent stalactites, stalagmites, crystals, and fossils found within the caves. The adventure continued with a bush walk, where they witnessed the top parts of trees whose roots they had previously observed underground, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for the interconnectedness of nature.

Kaarla Mia students took on an orienteering challenge, showcasing their perseverance and teamwork as they followed a set of instructions and used compasses to solve clues. Through this exciting endeavour, they built resilience and communication skills, culminating in the satisfaction of finding a password to complete their quest.

Following a fulfilling lunch, we delved into a crafternoon filled with various artistic activities, including whittling, wet felting, nature clay, and yarn creations. It was awe-inspiring to witness the blossoming creativity of everyone involved, as their unique creations breathed life into the camp atmosphere. To conclude our camp on a high note, we gathered for a delicious BBQ and a relaxing movie night, cherishing the moments of tranquillity before bidding farewell to our memorable experience.

Our camp was an enormous success, and we extend our heartfelt gratitude to our dedicated staff and families for their unwavering support in creating an experience that will be cherished by our community for years to come. The bond we forged, the knowledge we acquired, and the memories we made during this camp will continue to strengthen our unity and inspire us as we journey forward together.

Image – Samantha De Souza Photography