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Outdoor Education

Our acclaimed Outdoor Education Program takes students from Class 3 and above to some of South-East Australia’s most remarkable locations. Our program aims to prepare students to overcome adversity, work alongside others, provide meaningful experiences and become comfortable in the natural environment. We build skills in adventure activities that enable our students to complete major journey based expeditions in the senior years.

Most year levels go on at least one camp a year, while Class 9 students undertake several camps learning self-reliance, cooperation, commitment and a deepened love of nature. This experience lays the foundations for the seminal Class 10 exchange program, where students spend up to a term living with a host family and attending a sister school in France or Switzerland.

Our program is designed around Connection to Place - building a relationship with different environments, and through that connection, fostering a stewardship of the natural environment. 

The primary base camps are the introduction to many varied environments (coastal, bushland, arid/desert, forests, rocky, rivers, lakes). The secondary school camps see the students return to many of these environments by way of journeying: through hiking, paddling, and cycling.

Students embark on a journey through Sophia Mundi’s enriching outdoor education program, with each camp thoughtfully crafted to support their developmental stage, enhancing their love for nature and fostering essential life skills.

Outdoor Education: Sample Program Overview

Below is a sample of some of our school's previous camps. Please note that the location, duration and number of camps do change from year to year.

Class 3

Boonwurrung Country: Point Leo Foreshore Reserve Base Camp
Students immerse in a three-day coastal camp, learning about local ecosystems and beginning their journey in outdoor education.

Education Focus Outcomes: Nature observation, map skills.
Main Activities: Nature walks, map reading, tent pitching.
Student Developmental Stage: Creativity, practical learning.

Class 4

Wurundjeri Country: Lerderderg Gorge Forest Base Camp

A four-day forest immersion deepens students' connection with nature and introduces survival skills.

Education Focus Outcomes: Curiosity, observation.
Main Activities: Bushcraft, bushwalking, river exploration.
Student Developmental Stage: Inquiry, nature study.

Class 5

Taungurung Country: Cathedral Ranges Base Camp

During this four-day camp, students engage with the history and culture of indigenous communities and local ecosystems.

Education Focus Outcomes: Cultural respect, ecological understanding.
Main Activities: Bushwalks, hut building, cultural learning.
Student Developmental Stage: Social skills, physical coordination.

Class 6

Dja Dja Warrung Country: Kooyoora Base Camp

This five-day camp in the dry woodlands and open forests introduces students to First Nations learning and consolidates their outdoor living skills.

Education Focus Outcomes: Cultural heritage, navigation.
Main Activities: Orienteering, cave exploration, environmental education.
Student Developmental Stage: Independence, self-reliance.

Year 6

Emerald Base Camp

As they near the end of primary school, students take a four-day journey to reflect on their transition to secondary education.

Education Focus Outcomes: Self-sufficiency, teamwork.
Main Activities: Meal preparation, group activities, transport navigation.
Student Developmental Stage: Responsibility, communal living.

Year 7

Murray River Raft Builder Journey

Students embark on a five-day rafting experience, honing their teamwork and problem-solving skills on the river.

Education Focus Outcomes: Leadership, trust-building.
Main Activities: Raft building, water navigation, campfire cooking.
Student Developmental Stage: Ethical thinking, physical endurance.

Northeast Victoria Cycling Journey
A five-day cycling journey encourages students to explore regional trails and develop their understanding of social justice and ecological issues.

Education Focus Outcomes: Cycle touring, ecological consciousness.
Main Activities: Road and trail cycling, group management.
Student Developmental Stage: Physical coordination, risk management.

Year 8

Gunditjmara Country: Glenelg River Canoe Journey

Over five days, students learn about the local ecosystem and biodiversity while developing their canoeing skills.

Education Focus Outcomes: Ecological systems, biodiversity.
Main Activities: Canoeing, water safety, environmental studies.
Student Developmental Stage: Identity, cultural appreciation.

Jiatmathang Country: Yackandandah Mountain Bike Base Camp
An eight-day adventure challenges students with mountain biking through rugged terrain, promoting individuality and leadership.

Education Focus Outcomes: Personal development, wilderness skills.
Main Activities: Mountain biking, trail navigation, endurance.
Student Developmental Stage: Self-expression, peer leadership.

Year 9 – Comprehensive Outdoor Education
The Year 9 program is particularly intensive, featuring five distinct camps. This is a pivotal year where students are on the cusp of entering their final phase of schooling. By engaging in multiple camps with varied focuses, students are equipped with a broad range of experiences that foster resilience, adaptability, and resourcefulness. The variety and frequency of the camps serve several purposes:

  1. Skill Consolidation: Multiple camps allow students to solidify the skills they've learned in previous years, ensuring they're second nature by the time they reach senior years.
  2. Maturity and Independence: With adolescence comes a search for identity and a push for independence. The range of experiences allows students to explore these aspects of their personality in different settings and contexts.
  3. Social and Emotional Development: Year 9 students are at a stage where their social and emotional skills are rapidly developing. Engaging with peers in diverse environments strengthens these skills.
  4. Intellectual Challenge: The intellectual capabilities of students expand significantly at this stage. The camps offer complex, real-world problems to solve, which can enhance critical thinking.
  5. Preparation for Senior Responsibilities: As students approach their senior years, the expectation for them to take on more responsibility increases. The camps introduce leadership roles and self-directed learning opportunities to prepare them for Year 10 and beyond.

Dja Dja Warrung Country: Kooyoora Expedition Hike
Embarking on a four-day hike, students develop their bushwalking skills and self-sufficiency in the rugged terrain of Kooyoora.

Education Focus Outcomes: Navigation independence, bushwalking skills.
Main Activities: Off-track walking, cave camping, nocturnal navigation.
Student Developmental Stage: Intellectual exploration, emotional and social growth.

Gadubanud Country: Otways Bushwalk Expedition Journey
This four-day expedition through the Otways fosters a connection with coastal environments and introduces students to the rich local history.

Education Focus Outcomes: Adventure expeditions, historical insights.
Main Activities: Coastal bushwalking, environmental exploration, team building.
Student Developmental Stage: Communication skills, emotional intelligence.

Boon Wurrung Country: Wilsons Promontory Bushwalking and Surfing
A five-day exploration of Wilsons Promontory's bushland and coastal areas, where students learn surfing and deepen their environmental appreciation.

Education Focus Outcomes: Outdoor skill consolidation, personal reflection.
Main Activities: Bushwalking, surfing, remote camping.
Student Developmental Stage: Self-reliance, environmental engagement.

Taungurung Country: Lake Eildon Combined Hike and Canoe Journey
Students undertake a nine-day combined hiking and canoeing journey, honing their wilderness skills and team dynamics on land and water.

Education Focus Outcomes: Expedition planning, open water navigation.
Main Activities: Bushwalking, paddling, camp management.
Student Developmental Stage: Resilience, collaborative problem-solving.

High Plains Bushwalk Expedition
In a five-day alpine expedition, students challenge their outdoor abilities, engaging with sensitive ecosystems and enhancing problem-solving skills.

Education Focus Outcomes: Alpine camping, environmental adaptation. 
Main Activities: Alpine bushwalking, ecological studies, survival techniques.
Student Developmental Stage: Critical thinking, resilience.

Year 10

Dyurrite, Jardwadjali Country: Arapiles Rock Climbing and Abseiling Base Camp

A five-day camp at Arapiles invites students to engage in rock climbing and abseiling, promoting independence and career exploration.

Education Focus Outcomes: Risk management, personal growth.
Main Activities: Climbing, abseiling, leadership challenges.
Student Developmental Stage: Career interests, identity formation.

Year 11

Djabwurung Country: Grampians Peaks Trail Bush Walk Expedition

Over five days, students traverse the Grampians, reflecting on their journey and preparing for their future roles as leaders and environmental stewards.

Education Focus Outcomes: Outdoor leadership, journey reflection.
Main Activities: Advanced bushwalking, environmental immersion, peer leadership.
Student Developmental Stage: Future planning, adulthood preparation.