Energise and Revive Camp Reflection

Stepping off the bus at Hanging Rock after a 2 ½ hour trip, words of excitement began to buzz around. Due to lockdown, this was the first Activities Week Camp for Year 7s, 8s and 9s, so no one really knew what to expect. As we began to climb the step-like rocks, rain began to bucket down upon us. We stuck together, trying to keep each other’s spirits up as the cold droplets began to penetrate our raincoats, occasionally taking cover under the rocks. After what felt like hours of hiking, we reached the top to be met with a breathtaking view. The hand-painted hills of grassiest green and the hazy outlines of mountains were framed elegantly by the weathered rocks. We stopped to admire the cinematic panorama before heading back down the steep path. After a quick lunch, we file back onto the bus for a smooth journey to our accommodation.

Once we arrived, we quickly realised that this isn’t any old ramshackle lodge, but a beautifully re-furnished traditional house nestled in the quiet suburb of Hepburn Springs. After unpacking our bags and settling into our rooms for the week we begin to work on our passion projects, this could be anything from painting to finger-knitting to Lego building or putting together a puzzle, but for me as an avid lit lover, it was reading & writing! As the sun began to set, we all set to making pizzas for dinner. We were all spoilt for choice when it came to topping but I settled with passata, potato, mushroom, and vegan cheese. We all gobbled down the delicious meal that we had all worked so hard to prepare before playing some group games and heading to bed.

The next day hit Monday right out of the park with a thought-provoking visit to the Rocklyn Ashram. The visit entailed a traditional yoga session, a deep meditation, a relaxing walk around the grounds, and some morning tea to fill our hungry bellies.

Wednesday would have had to be my favourite day overall! We took the bus to Castlemaine before catching a steam train to Moldan. The ride was not only thrilling but a one-of-a-kind adventure. When we finally reached what was once a hotspot for diggers, we all were entertained by the intriguing history of what appeared to us as just any old sleepy regional town. We had the opportunity to explore the original 1800s shopping strip, which was an amazing display of Australian historical architecture.

On Thursday we visited “The Chocolate Mill” Daylesford and walked the Mount Franklin hiking trail. We tasted some of the Mount Franklin water too, which even though some may disagree, I though was absolutely disgusting! In the evening we powered through the rain and went to see “Borealis on the Lake”, a spectacular light and sound show that recreated the Northern Lights above Lake Daylesford.

When Friday finally arrived, we were all disappointed to be leaving. We had all made so many cross-age bonds that we wouldn’t have ever made if we hadn’t come on this camp. We spent our last day at “The Amazing Mill Market” and in and around Daylesford. We were allowed to split into small groups and go and buy ourselves lunch in town, my group all chipping in to buy ourselves some fish and chips to finish this amazing camp experience off.

Stepping off that bus for the last time, bag in hand, I was filled with a sense of joy and accomplishment. I had been a bit apprehensive at first at staying the week away but the feeling that I was feeling at that very moment, that was why I had come on this camp! I would highly recommend Energise and Revive Camp to any student who wants to be challenged in a welcoming and supportive environment!

Year 7