BACK TO SCHOOL 2021 Information for RMC Families
Aug 21, 2020

Year 8 Camp

The highlight of this term for our Year 8 students was their recent adventure to the Emu Gully Adventure Education Camp just outside the small township of Helidon Spa. After settling into comfortable dorms with showers, the cohort began three days of activities designed to challenge them physically and mentally.  Before the students ventured out into the field, some lofty goals were set – to look after your mates, to find the courage to overcome your fears and to build personal resilience. These goals were set against a background of inspiring individual stories of heroism from three wars in which Australians took part – WW1, WW2, and the Vietnam War. 

Over the course of the three days, our camp leader, Chris, recounted with compassion and tenderness, the stories of four brave, young Australian soldiers and how they lived and died protecting their mates. These stories then came to life for our students as they experienced for themselves what it would be like to have to drag themselves through wet, underground tunnels in pitch darkness or transport injured personnel by water, under ‘enemy’ attack – teachers with garden hoses. 

On our first night, students traversed steep, slippery and uneven obstacles with only a torch to light the way. Some were even blindfolded and had to rely entirely on their mates for direction and assistance. The highlight for most students, however, was pulling a huge army truck up and down the airstrip using their own strength and helping each other out when fatigue set in. On the last leg home, the students were running with the rope and beat the time challenge. Oh, and if you get a chance, ask any Year 8 student about the mud!

In a poignant postscript to the camp, Edward (Teddy) Sheean whom we learnt about during camp, was finally acknowledged for his bravery in the Timor Sea during WW2. Teddy was a 19 year old gunner and had only been on active service for two weeks when he died having gone down with his ship, the HMAS Armidale, still fighting the Japanese from below the surface. Because his act of bravery was not reported within a fortnight, he was ineligible at the time. However, on the evening of Wednesday 12 August, Teddy posthumously received the Victoria Cross as part of the 75th VP commemorations. On hearing the news, students in Year 8 felt that close link with history, their thoughts focused on Teddy’s bravery and the tragedy of a life cut so short.    

- By Ms Maura Boston, Year 8 Coordinator