Challenge Week: Building resilience through outdoor adventure

By Jon Dunk Year 9 Coordinator | Digital Learning Innovator May 24, 2024

Every year, our Year 9 students embark on a unique journey known as Challenge Week. This outdoor education camp, held this year at the picturesque Crossland Convention Centre, is designed to foster resilience, one of our core school values, through a series of adventurous and team-building activities.

The week-long camp offers a variety of challenges, beginning with the essentials of camping. Students learn to set up their own tents and master the art of cooking on Trangias, a type of portable stove perfect for outdoor conditions. These initial activities are not just about survival skills; they teach the importance of preparation, patience, and teamwork.

One of the highlights of Challenge Week is the canoeing experience. Paddling through serene waters, students must work together to navigate and propel their canoes efficiently. This activity emphasizes the value of communication and cooperation, as well as the physical and mental endurance required to push through when the going gets tough.

Mountain biking and hiking are also integral parts of the program. These physically demanding activities test the students’ stamina and determination. Conquering steep trails and rugged terrains on bikes or on foot provides a tangible sense of achievement, reinforcing the idea that perseverance leads to success. The stunning views and fresh air offer a refreshing break from the classroom environment, allowing students to reconnect with nature and themselves.

Team-building games are another crucial component of Challenge Week. These activities are designed to break down social barriers and build stronger bonds among the students. Through problem-solving challenges and collaborative tasks, participants learn to trust and rely on each other, fostering a sense of community and mutual support. These games also highlight the importance of resilience in group dynamics, showing that working through differences and setbacks together can lead to collective success.

By the end of Challenge Week, students return not only with new skills but also with a strengthened sense of resilience. They have faced physical and mental challenges, pushed beyond their comfort zones, and discovered the power of perseverance and teamwork. This transformative experience instils a deeper understanding of resilience, equipping them with the confidence to tackle future challenges both in and out of the classroom. Challenge Week at Crossland Convention Centre is more than just an outdoor camp; it’s a journey of growth, camaraderie, and personal development that leaves a lasting impact on every participant.