School Holiday Camps

June 2009 Survivor Camp Review

Winter is always a magical time to hit the water. The water surface temperature is around 15-16 degrees, but there is enough heat in the day to be comfortable, and we've experienced so many days without a breath of wind, which has made it that much more pleasant to be on the water. It's been one of the most productive winters I've experienced too, which has just topped off the experience.

Winter also signals the time the school kids have a break and these school holidays provided an opportunity for a group of boys and girls between the ages of 8-13 to campout and participate in Sports Tuition's Survivor Camp. The location was Maroon Dam, with the camp base being Lake Maroon Holiday Park. The camp commenced mid-morning with the set up of tents and air mattresses, which was followed by the students being split into tent groups and tribes. A tribal name and flag was created which signalled the start of the camp. The first task for the youngsters was to gather wood for their fires so they could cook their hamburger meat patties. After lunch it was off to archery, team building initiatives and shelter building. Day two was where the fishing came in. It was a short stroll down the hill to the water where the fishing and canoeing took place. It was another day without a breath of wind and it was like fishing on a sheet of glass. We could not have had better conditions to be on the water. The students all took turns in driving the Quintrex boats which are powered by 55lb Minn Kota electric motors. The greatest obstacle in getting to the desired fishing location was to navigate through the thick weed in the dam. This weed caused havoc on our last camp at Maroon, but thankfully there has been a bit of rain in the region lately and the water level has risen to 62% capacity which meant some areas had enough clearance above the weed not to clog up the electrics. The students were very sensible and took great care not to enter thick weedy areas, which at times proved to be very challenging considering it extends out about 300m from the bank. It would be impossible for any land-based fisho to fish from this area. Maroon Dam always holds bass around the dead timber in the water and on this particular day, it was no different. The students headed straight for the timber and tied their anchor rope to a tree. The Wilson Foreshore rods were rigged with a paternoster knot and a Mustad size 4 big mouth hook was secured about 50cm above the one ball sinker. The students had to bait their hooks with live shrimp. It didn't take long for bass to be caught with a number of bass being pulled in around the trees close to the bank in around 6-8m of water.

The Scenic Rim certainly does have some spectacular scenery and when the students were abseiling, they had a bird's eye view of all the fishing and canoeing that was taking place on the Dam.

We were extremely fortunate to have the fishing conducted in perfect conditions, because the next morning at around 4:30-5:00am the wind started to howl through and some tents started to be blown over. I'm no weather expert, but the winds must have been around 80km/hr. Some boys had to abandon their tent and it certainly created pandemonium, especially when another one was virtually blown over about half an hour later. Do you think the kids were worried? Not in the slightest, there was so much excitement in the place and they thought it was the greatest thing ever, but it did mean a long day ahead. With the group was up early and rearing to go, they started packing up, gearing themselves for the water bomb skirmish challenge ahead. There was also one final tribal council vote to determine who would be the top six competitors vying for the Ultimate Survivor prize. There were actually about twice the number of girls on this camp than boys, which is the first time it's has happened. It is great to see the girls getting out there and roughing it and getting dirt underneath their fingernails. But it wasn't enough to stop Ned, 12, from Brisbane Grammar taking out the Ultimate Survivor Award, just pipping Victoria from Somerville House and Charlie from Churchie by one point after a number of mini challenges. The top six competitors were awarded with Angler's Choice Tackle boxes with 100 pieces of tackle, Wilsons, SureCatch and Live Fibre stickers, McDonald's voucher and Ned also received a SureCatch rod & reel combo and a Humminbird and Minn Kota fishing shirt. Every participant also received a certificate, cap and sports ball. All the boys received a soccer ball and the girls received a netball. The sports balls and caps were courtesy of McDonalds. A very special thank you to L. Wilson & Co, BLA and McDonald's for providing the prizes.

The tents look good, but will they stay up?

This tribe did a great job creating their flag.

Allie focused on the target.  Everyone loves archery.

The abseilers had a bird's eye view of Maroon Dam.

Anais taking the plunge.

Maggie caught the first fish of the camp.

Jeremy picked up this nice Australian bass around the timber in Maroon Dam.