School Holiday Camps

April 2007 Survivor Camp Review

It is a fantastic effort when sixty children aged between 8-13 can go out and catch enough fish to feed themselves for dinner, and that’s exactly what happened at Hinze dam on Sports Tuition’s school holiday Survivor Camp.

Hinze Dam continues to fish really well.  The current capacity is down to 70% and the drop in water is easily noticeable.  The students on the Survivor Camp fished the far upper reaches of the western arm.  When the dam level is higher, and you’re fishing in this area, you normally have the most success when you fish just a couple of metres from the edges and the step drop offs put you in about 10m of water.  As the dam level continues to drop, the depth is only around 1-2m in these areas, so the students had to locate the fish further into the dam and most fish were caught in the 6-8m range.

However, before the fishing component of the camp, there were quite a few activities the students had to complete before they ventured out in the Quintrex 370 Travellers to target Australian bass.

The students who attend the holiday camps attend a variety of schools, and therefore, it is important that the students be involved in a number of getting-to-know-you activities at the commencement of the camp.  Working through a number of activities, it provides the students the opportunity to meet new friends and it allows the group to form tribes and cabin groups.

Once the groups were sorted, the first activity involved the students making a tribal flag, which had to represent every student in the tribe.  This flag would later be used when the students built their shelter to house this flag and their water bomb ammo.

There were also a number of tribal challenges where the students competed in rice making in a billy over an open fire, raft building, tug-a-war, skirmish and creek exploration where the students scooped up freshwater shrimp and yabbies from the creek that flows through the campsite.  The students also enjoyed making fires and roasting marshmallows after dinner. 

After three days of competition and tribal councils, the leading person from each tribe contested the Ultimate Survivor Challenge.  It came down to Peter from John Paul College, Luke and Ashley, both from Ormiston College and Gracie from Groves Christian College.  The first task required the four to build a fire and use their billy and a little bit of butter to cook a piece of fresh fish and the first person that ate all their fish was the winner.  Other tasks saw the students roll a barrel down the hill in the quickest possible time and then manoeuvre the barrel up the Nerang River through the slippery rocks and the freshwater weed to round a marker and return to the starting block.  They had to catch 5 living things in the creek.  They had to hold a log above their head for the longest possible time and they also had to test their balance by outlasting each other standing on a low level fence.  The students also had to solve as many brain teasers as possible that were in their camp booklets, but by this time Peter, from John Paul College, was well ahead on points and comfortably defended his title of Ultimate Survivor.   L. Wilson & Co donated the major prizes for the camp. 
The Ultimate Survivor received a fishing rod & reel, beach tackle pack which included a range of fishing items and a Wilsons towel, the top four challengers also received Wilsons caps with clip on lights which the students will no doubt use in their future outdoor pursuits.  Doug, 9, was awarded a Wilsons cap for the biggest bass caught, which measured 45cm.  All 60 participants were awarded Mustad sample bags which contained a variety of items such as Bush n Beach Fishing Magazine, Learn to Fish DVD, soft plastics, fishing rig, and range of stickers from Wilsons, SureCatch and Bush n Beach Fishing.  They also received Sports Tuition certificates and McDonald’s vouchers. 

It takes quite a bit to win the prize of Ultimate Survivor, not just with the physical and outdoors component, but with the social skills.  Peter has now won the past two survivor camps, which is an extraordinary effort.

Ben and Taylor were thrilled with this Australian bass that would go towards feeding their tribe on the survivor camp.