Canberra camp made possible again
The Cowell Area School Middle School Camp to Canberra was implemented in 2007, with students travelling from South Australia to Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory once every three years. The 2019 camp was to be the fifth rotation and it has become a part of the school culture with students, staff and families looking forward to the experience with great anticipation.
Previously, the local community had committed to raising the necessary funds to enable all middle school students to participate in the camp at a highly subsidised rate however with the impact of the drought and downturn in the oyster industry, the school committee reduced fundraising activities as families simply couldn't afford extra costs. In 2019, 37 students across Years 7, 8 and 9 (aged between 12 and 15 years) were due to attend the camp. Providing the students an opportunity to participate would allow them to partially remove themselves from their hardship for a brief moment, promote a sense of community and give a sense of hope and direction for the future.
An $11,000 Tackling Times Together grant, funded by the Australian Government, made up the shortfall, enabling the camp to go ahead as planned.
While in Canberra students furthered their understanding and interest in Australia's history, civics and governance through visits to Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial, the High Court, the Museum of Australian Democracy (Old Parliament House), the Electoral Education Centre and the National Museum of Australia. Visits to Questacon and the National Gallery of Australia will supported learning in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths). Experiences at the Australian Institute of Sport, rock climbing and the snow at the Perisher Valley enabled students to be involved in challenging and unfamiliar sports and recreational activities which cannot be accessed in Cowell - building students' confidence in trying new things and working together.
Students, parents and the RSL were particularly proud of our students who represented the community and laid a wreath at the Last Post ceremony at the Australian War Memorial.