At the beginning of each new school year, the Prep School provides opportunities for Year 3-6 students to attend Outdoor Education Camps.
Outdoor education is an essential part of the King’s experience – ever wondered why?
School camps provide the perfect opportunity for students to experience positive interactions with each other outside of the classroom, develop and extend their relationships. At the beginning of the year, each Year group, especially Year 5, have new students joining the School. Attending camp in Week 5 of Term One provides an opportunity for these boys to integrate with the other students, so by the end of camp they are one homogenous group; there are no longer any new boys to the School.
Fun and challenging activities, team sports and teamwork challenges both help develop new relationships and deepen existing bonds of friendship. Research shows that these bonds created on camps, between students, between staff and students and between staff are also maintained back at school. Camps provide opportunities for participants to see others in a different light, and these changed views are maintained back in school. Students’ empathy and respect for one another increases through being involved in camps. Camps can break down the barriers between different groups within classes, which can see a reduction in bullying and teasing.
Development of Independence Skills
For many children, camp is the first time they have spent days and nights away from family and home. School camps are a great opportunity for children to learn independence skills. They are given the freedom and accountability to make conscious and positive decisions such as being responsible for their own belongings, being on time to activities, or making choices about what they are going to eat.
Living as part of a Community
Camps provide the opportunity for students to understand what it is like to live with others who are not part of their family. Students have the opportunity to learn about caring, understanding and acceptance. They need to consider how to share a room, including keeping their belongings tidy, going to sleep, how to share facilities like bathrooms, and how to serve others at mealtimes.
Camps will provide an opportunity for the students to engage in a variety of unique experiences. The camps we attend at King’s Prep provide the boys with opportunities to go surfing, paddle boarding, quad biking, exploration of mangroves, sailing, canoeing, abseiling, rock climbing, raft building, archery, low ropes, fishing, bush cooking, catapulting, and bike education. School camps offer a variety of experiences that the students may not otherwise get to enjoy.
Increased environmental awareness
During King’s Prep camps, students are exposed to real nature-based experiences. Hands-on activities in the outdoors stimulate all senses and assist in their learning. They can decrease stress and anxiety, help us sleep better and regulate emotions in adults and children alike. Students become more aware of the environment, develop outdoor skills and an appreciation for nature. They stimulate a greater sense of responsibility for the environment and living things.
The types of activities chosen for King’s Prep Camps are designed to challenge the boys and to take them out of their comfort zone. Sometimes the boys will struggle, they will experience failure, but will also have success. They will need to work as a team and encourage and support others. They will need to be involved in the activities whether it is a 35 or 20 degrees celsius and raining. These are all characteristics and traits we expect of a Kingsman.
We are fortunate to partner with Youthworks for all our camps. This means we have Christian instructors who have a biblical Christian worldview, which is fully integrated into the program. School camps are an important part of our Outdoor Education Program. They offer so many benefits but most importantly, camps are about having fun and often become cherished memories that the students will remember for the rest of their lives.
Mr Greg Blackman, Deputy Head – Co-curricular The King’s School, Preparatory School