Camp Manyung...doesn't disappoint


We're often presented with old conflicting sayings such as 'when you're on a good thing, stick to it' and contrastingly, 'you can have too much of a good thing.' The former old saying is apt in describing Featherbrook's return to the YMCA Camp Manyung (Mt Eliza) this year is. Our Year 7 / 8 students thoroughly enjoyed their outdoor education experience last year at the camp and so with some adjustments to the selected activities, they returned to the camp again this year. I was fortunate to visit Camp Manyung today to see our students in action. The first group had been at the camp since Monday and were returning home today, whilst the second group arrived at lunchtime today and will remain until Friday. It was fabulous to see the smiles and greetings as the students united on this 'middle' day.

When I arrived, the first group of students were being prepared by YMCA leader Sophie, to enjoy their last round of activities which included the giant swing, archery, initiatives course and international games. Other activities enjoyed earlier in the week were the kitchen garden, high ropes course and the rock pool scramble. I was mightily proud of the way our senior students were demonstrating our college values of respect for each other, teachers and YMCA staff; being collaborative (in bucket loads!); being safe with equipment and when undertaking activities plus having very high expectations of themselves as they attempted challenges for the first time. Congratulations to all students!

As the second group arrived on the bus before lunch, very quickly they were being inducted into the camp by Sam, one of the YMCA leaders. All students listened actively and with great interest and enthusiasm which meant they were able to begin the activities soon after arriving. Off to archery and the giant swing they went, and what a great introduction and lead- into the activities that are going to unfold over the coming 2 days!

I have no doubt the camp experience at Manyung will be etched into the memories of all students who went and will always bring a smile to their faces when thinking back on such a rich, rewarding and exciting time in their lives. I have no doubt the teachers too will hold great memories of this special time with their students.

Post Script

Camp Manyung is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and is a rare example of a purpose built, permanent seaside youth camp, and is one of the longest operating camps in Victoria. Charles Fenwick Crosby was instrumental in the provision of YMCA camps such as Camp Manyung. He was President of the YMCA for 27 years (1911 - 1938) and was one of Melbourne's most generous, active and well known citizens. He gave long and honorary service to many institutions that supported youth. He recognised the needs of young people and promoted involvement in sports, the outdoors and believed that youth were capable of great things and through his dedication and work with the YMCA, demonstrated this.