News from the Field Studies Centre

News from the Field Studies Centre

The boys on Field Studies Programme 2 had the opportunity to spend a lovely day with their families on Sunday. Big smiles and warm embraces abounded on the day, as the boys welcomed their families to the Woollamia Campus and showed them around the impressive facilities. The FSP leaders shared some insights into the last five weeks with those assembled and we were then treated to some short videos that each group had put together to capture their experiences to date. The visiting day provides families with an insight into the growth that has occurred for each young man and the progress they have made in terms of becoming increasingly independent.

Last week the Academic fieldwork trip provided an opportunity to learn more about the local area, as the boys investigated the impacts of tourism and man-made structures on the natural environment in Huskisson. The students then spent time scouring the nearby rock platforms, uncovering an abundance of marine life. The collaborative spirit and sense of awe displayed by the boys as they peered into rock pools and checked off species from their identification guide, was wonderful to see. Boys thrive when they have opportunities to take abstract learning and make it concrete and practical, and this was one of many such experiences on the FSP. The wild weather at the beginning of this week meant that some of the outdoor programme activities had to be adjusted or cancelled. However, this provided an opportunity for several groups to visit the Australian Fleet Air Arm Museum at HMAS Albatross, which piqued the interest of many of the students.

The boys continue to progress through more and more challenging elements of the outdoor programme, with the solo and Coolendel hike in Morton National Park both included in the next cycle. Getting more and more comfortable in the great outdoors and having time to reflect on the journey that they have been on during the FSP, is the focus of the solo activity. The students have a range of reflective and practical tasks to complete and although they are positioned away from other students, they are made aware of the location of staff should they need them. The Coolendel hike provides an opportunity for the boys to put their navigation and bush walking skills into action in more challenging off-track terrain. Climbing from the valley floor via distinct spur lines to the top of a ridge rewards those who undertake such bushwalking journeys, with spectacular views. The final six-day pinnacle pack and paddle expedition is coming up in week 8, and the boys will be well prepared after the weeks of training that they have undertaken. These trips also satisfy the adventurous journey elements of the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award for those boys who are engaged in this fantastic youth development programme.

Tim Knowles | Head of the Field Studies Centre (FSC)

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