The theme of Program in Year 9 is ‘real responsibility’. Students are encouraged to take on a greater degree of responsibility for themselves and others and develop their leadership skills.
Three programs were available – Raft and Walk, Paddle and Pedal, and Rock and Roll – with students given the opportunity to choose their preferred program.
I really liked that we got to choose what we wanted to do, this made a big difference for me.Year 9 student, Casey
The choice of program was a highlight for students as each program offered a different approach to self-catering, alternative locations, activities and levels of challenge.
Raft and Walk
Located in the Greater Eildon Area this program gave students the opportunity to participate in a two-day white water rafting journey, a two-day bush walk and the chance to further develop their outdoor skills in between these activities.
This program also provides a foundation of knowledge and preparation for students who are interested in completing the challenging, 20-day Mt Kosciuszko to the Coast expedition in Year 11.
“I would really like to do the Kosi to the Coast trip and I think this program has been really helpful in preparing me for it,” said Lucinda.
The hiking component of this program was quite difficult for the students but they ultimately enjoyed the experience.
“We hiked 17 Kilometres in one day and there was a lot of uphill sections but it was really rewarding when you got to the top,” said Bayden.
Students also had many encounters with Australian wildlife, during their journey.
“Our group saw two platypuses which was really cool,” said Lucinda.
Paddle and Pedal
This program saw students spend time both kayaking on Lake Eildon and cycling the Great Victorian Rail Trail through Mansfield and its surrounds.
“I found the bike ride really challenging, as the terrain had a lot of uphill and downhill,” said Zoe. “It was really satisfying when we finally made it to the end.”
Students also had the opportunity to relax and get to know one another away from the traditional school setting.
“Getting to know our group was great,” said Casey. “In the afternoons once we arrived at our campsite we often had some spare time where we played cards and talked.”
Rock and Roll
This program took place in the Grampians, where students experienced rock climbing, abseiling and cycling.
One of the benefits of undertaking this program in the Grampians is that this spectacular location caters to a wide range of abilities and levels of confidence.
“The 40 metre abseil was the hardest thing for me, especially taking the first steps over the ledge, the second time was a lot easier,” said Gus.
The environment of the Grampians and the history of the region was also a highlight for the students.
“All the places we went during Rock and Roll were great, we also saw a lot of waterfalls which were amazing,” said Hugo. “I would definitely recommend this program to other students.”
“We visited a cave which had Aboriginal rock paintings and our leader told us all about the story of the paintings which was really interesting,” said Gus.
On completion of all programs, students were able to return from Exodus with greater confidence in their skills and feel excited to continue their Outdoor Education journey at St Michael’s.