Stage 1 Outdoor ED Camp to Mt Crawford Forest

St 1 Mt Crawford 10

Last week from Wednesday 29 – Friday 30 May our Stage 1 Outdoor Education Class braved some interesting conditions on their three-day cycle tour through the Mount Crawford Forest and surrounding areas.

St 1 Mt Crawford 9

Starting near Mount Pleasant at the south-eastern end of Mount Crawford Forest, students prepared their bikes with Panniers (bike bags) to hold all their food, equipment and clothing for the next three-days. They need to be conscious of what they brought, ensuring they would be ready for all conditions and be properly fuelled for the three-days of riding. An emphasis for the camp was to be lightweight and ensure they reduced waste and excess packaging. A successful first day, saw the students challenged over the 25km route, taking on initial leadership roles, guiding the group’s progress and navigation while learning how to ride/handle a fully loaded bike. With a large amount of rain forecast for the evening the decision was made to move campgrounds, to a location with a large shelter and better protection from the elements.

Thursday brought a downpour of rain and 60+km winds, seeing 15mls drop in 4 hours. With recent units in minimal impact and sustainable recreation at the forefront of our minds a few contingency plans were acted upon, and the group remained at the Fromm’s Farm campsite for the day. An in-depth morning of navigation skills, map reading and route planning, set the students up for a competitive afternoon of Bike Orienteering.

Friday allowed staff members to take a step back, and the students to guide themselves the 15km through to the finish point at Warren Reservoir. Along the way, we stopped in at the Mount Crawford Cemetery, which enables a window into the past and is a humbling place to reflect upon the different pressures we can all face.

The students will now look back on their planning, practical skills and leadership opportunities as they reflect on their individual and group development.

Ben O’Connell

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