Reflections on Middle Kinglake Broadening Horizons Camp

At the end of last year during broadening horizons week, myself, Tia, Phoebe, Mahayliah, Beth, Cody, Noah and Imogen along with Ms De Jong and Ms Cooper, camped in the backyard of Middle Kinglake Primary School.

In 2009 Kinglake was destroyed in the tragic Black Saturday fires. There were over 100 deaths, and many homes were lost. For 13 years, Ms Cooper and Ms De Jong have taken a group of around 10 students to Middle Kinglake Primary school to help in the classroom and participate in fun activities. This partnership between Woodleigh and Middle Kinglake Primary School began shortly after this tragedy. Each year, a group of students travels to Kinglake where the big kids - us - help out with the little kids and their teachers in the classrooms.

I chose this camp as teaching was something I have considered as a career pathway. It was so much fun developing little connections with the kids individually. It was so rewarding learning all their names and hearing them say my name once they got to know me. Towards the end of the week, some of the girls were drawing pictures of us and writing thank you letters to us.


Year 12

My experience with middle Kinglake primary school was amazing. I really enjoyed creating bonds with the students. During the week we cooked, played games and helped in the classroom. This camp has put me out of my comfort zone and made me grow as a person. I really enjoyed the time we had at the end of the school day. It was nice being able to explore Kinglake and relax. I would highly recommend this camp if you are considering a career in teaching as it gives you an insight into the day-to-day life of being a primary school teacher and all the hard work behind it.

Year 12

This camp was an incredible experience for me because it gave me the chance to go out into the wider community and experience what it was like to be a teacher for a week.

My favourite activity to do with the kids was cooking, even though they made a huge mess, especially the preps!

The most rewarding parts of the day were seeing the kids arrive in the morning, greeting us with huge smiles and saying goodbye to them at the end of the day when they would wave at us from across the car park.

As well as making connections with the kids at the primary school, I got to form deeper connections with my peers that came on the camp as well. We spent afternoons walking around Healesville and Kinglake and eating dinner while sharing our favourite stories of the kids from that day.

One thing that I will never forget about this camp was the last day because our classes gave us so many hugs and begged us to come back again this year.

Year 11

If you think this camp may interest you or your friends you can talk to any of us in Senior Homestead or Ms Cooper in Homestead 6. Again, it is an amazing opportunity and it is a really rewarding and fun week away.