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Year 8s tackle Kokoda at Cootha!

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On Monday 21 March, the Year 8 cohort travelled to Mt Cootha to participate in the Kokoda Challenge. Over the course of the day, Ormiston students involved themselves in activities such as hiking, stretcher bearing, barbequing and team building, all of which were underpinned by the spirit of service and camaraderie.

Upon arrival at our destination, students stepped off the buses to experience a rather warm 28°C day. To their credit, this did not diminish their enthusiasm as they were soon organised into platoons and ascending hills with approximately 35-degree gradients. After much scrambling and sweating we finally reached the top where Clare, our facilitator, talked to us about the “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels”, and how they utilised teamwork to help our Australian troops transport injured soldiers during WW1. We should have seen this as a sign as our next task was to reassemble our platoons and take part in a stretcher bearing activity.

Teams were provided 30 seconds to assemble their stretchers, and in groups of approximately 10, they carried their peers the last kilometre to Grey Gum Picnic Area. As a teacher, it was wonderful to see our students communicating and working together in order to achieve a common goal. Having reached the picnic area, we took a short morning tea and a well-earned drink before moving to our team building games.

These were just the precursor to a lunchtime activity that had all the teachers rather nervous. Clare informed us that students would be cooking their own lunch on open barbeques. Barbeques that were to be lit and cooked on by our own students. The Year 8s mastered the task and the fire and food were of a high standard. Clearly the Kookaburras thought so too. Some of which attempted to swoop down and snatch burgers right out of our hands. Nonetheless, it was a rewarding and fitting way to end the term and I look forward to working on our leadership and team building activities in the future.

Eli Gilfedder
Year 8 Coordinator