Outdoor Education

Ambrose Treacy College believes in the holistic education of the young men at the College. Year level camps play an important role in our formation program with students. ATC deliberately and specifically has chosen the word ‘formation’ to describe the actions we look at in the development of our young men. In choosing the word ‘formation’ we see that we have an active role in the process of forming young boys into young men and that this process is the culmination of a number of groups of people who provide opportunities for our young men to discover who they are, what their purpose in life is and importantly how they can play a positive role in the world that they will live in.

An important part of forming young men is to look at ways in which they can be challenged to experience the highs of achievements and learn to deal with the challenges of disappointments. We feel that it is important that young men growing up have opportunities to get out of their comfort zones and to attempt things that they would not normally have the opportunity to experience in the normal run of life.

The ATC Outdoor Education program aims to:
• promote positive relationships between students and their peers, and between students and staff
• challenge students and provide them with opportunities for growth
• promote personal resilience
• develop co-operation, teamwork and an awareness of the benefits of group cooperation and unity
• develop positive attitudes towards conservation and a sense of stewardship of all Australia’s natural environments
• provide opportunities for students to learn and demonstrate leadership
• allow students to have fun

The program is sequential in nature and strives to build upon past experiences. The program begins in Year 4 with basic outdoor activities and focuses very much on experiential education. This increases to expedition components in Years 8 and 9. All programs are designed to complement the physical and emotional maturity of the group. The outdoor camps serve to offer students the chance to experience independence by having to look after ‘themselves’ for two days / one night in Year 4 through to four days / three nights in Year 8 and 9 and to be taken out of their comfort zones in some of the activities we run. The comfort zones we explore may be in the form of challenging physical tasks, challenging emotional experiences or challenging group activities that take away personal achievement in favour of group dynamics. The introduction of the Senior School at ATC in 2017 will provide a different program for the Year 10 students, who will be able to select one of five options covering a range of activities, and not solely outdoor education programs.

One of the EREA Charter Touchstones is based on Stewardship. At ATC we will continue to develop learning programmes and experiences which instil in students a connectedness to the environment and a commitment to being active environmental stewards.

The ATC camps are a time where our typical ATC dynamic unfolds i.e. boys being allowed to be boys, lots of fun and hopefully some real opportunities for growth as they are challenged in so many ways.
In 2017 the program will be based at the following venues:

Year 4 – Outdoor Experience – 2 days – 1 night – Cabins – Tambourine Mountain QCCC
Activities include Damper making, Rock climbing, Low Ropes, Archery, Survivor Challenge, Glider Possum. This camp has a focus on getting to know each other and fun.

Year 5 – Outdoor Experience – 3 days – 2 night in cabins – coastal Experience – Currimundi Recreation Centre
Activities include Body Boarding, Beach Games, Catapult, Giant Swing, Canoeing, Fishing. This camp has a focus on team building and working together.

Year 6 – Adventure / Cabins – 3 days – Emu Gully Laidley
Leadership focus with activities based on army adventures – Chicken Leadership, The Charge, No Man’s Land, Swinging log, Commando Cable Crossing, Escape from Colditz, Night activity, Bridge over the River Kwai, Tunnel Rats of Tobruk. This camp has a focus on Leadership, challenge and team building.

Year 7 – Adventure / Camping and Cabins – 3 days – Kindilan Mt Cotton – 1 night in cabins and 1 night in tents
An introduction to camping for many new students plus a stepping stone for all students to Year 8 expedition. Activities include Canoeing, Raft Building, High Ropes, Low Ropes, Flying Fox, Abseiling/Rock Climbing Wall, Mountain Biking, Camping Skills. This camp has a focus on Interaction, Values and Teamwork.

Year 8 – Expedition/ Camping – 4 days – Uki NSW – Outward Bound Intel
An expedition in small groups involving hiking and mountain biking with activities along the way including Big Ben, Canoeing, Raft Building, Leap of Faith, Climbing Wall, Mountain biking, High Ropes and Initiatives. This camp has a focus on Team building, working together, resilience and achieving.

Year 9 – Expedition plus Camping – 4 days – Sunshine Coast QCCC – Coastal Discovery
An expedition in small groups and meeting up at night, the half groups head south to north and the other half north to south. There is two nights in camp grounds plus one night in a beach wilderness camp. Activities include beach walking, raft building, surf school, surf awareness, sea kayaking, navigation and camping . There is a focus on Leadership, Challenge, Initiative, Decision making, Team building and time to hang out together.

Year 10 – Activities Week
Students select one activity from a large range of choices including:

Expedition to Yuraygir National Park – “Coastal Trek” – Boys will hike the Yuraygir Coastal trail carrying their own pack with camping and cooking gear. Boys will be responsible for planning, purchasing, carrying and preparing all their own meals. Activities including hiking, swimming, canoeing, fishing and bush skills.

Expedition to Cania Gorge – “Wilderness Trek” – Boys will hike the Gorge walk trail carrying their own pack with camping and cooking gear. Boys will be responsible for planning, purchasing, carrying and preparing all their own meals. Activities including hiking, swimming, canoeing, fishing and bush skills.

White water rafting – “River Wild” – Boys will meet river guides at the Clarence Wilderness Lodge and canoe down the Clarence River, stopping each night to camp on the side of the river and prepare their own meals. The stretch of the river that the boys will be canoeing is fast moving and features long stretches of flat water and narrow sections of challenging rapids and white water.

Indigenous cultural immersion- “Emerging Elders” – Boys will spend the week staying at the Barrambah EEC learning about indigenous culture. Boys will visit the historic town of Cherbourg and spend time at the Ration Shed Museum engaging with local indigenous people.

Service Immersion – “Street Retreat” – A service program around the city where boys will stay at the Blind Eye Mission and spend time walking and working with the homeless and needy in South Brisbane. This will include working in street vans, running a daily meal service for the BEM community. Boys will spend time with those living on the margins and learning about the people and community groups who dedicate their lives to others.

Cultural immersion – “Arts project” – Boys will spend the week engaged in arts workshops cumulating in a performance and exhibition for family and friends. Each day will include visual art, drama, music and technical production such as sound and lighting. Boys will attend professional performances and exhibitions in the evenings such as musicals, plays and art galleries. They will return home each evening. The camp will also include daily collaboration with Year 10 girls from Brigidine College who will have a role in the final performance.