The Armidale School activities week tests students

Leaping into water-filled canyons, trekking to the top of mountains, spraying fire retardant and reading a coastline for rips – students from The Armidale School strapped on a growth mindset and overcame challenges during the school’s annual Activities Week.

As part of a mandatory component of the TAS outdoor education program last week, Year 6 developed teamwork and skills at Camp Cooby near Toowoomba while Year 7 kayaked and camped out with Frontier Adventures at Buccarumbi.

The bulk of the school’s cadet unit were based at Nymboida, where abseiling, canyoning and overnight treks were part of the routine.

Year 10 cadets in the unit’s A Company rotated in a three-leg challenge in the Clarence Valley, canoeing from Maclean to Lake Arragan, trekking from Lake Arragan to Sandon, and cycling from Sandon to Maclean.

Further south, 21 Year 11 students achieved their surf Bronze Medallions spending the week at Sawtell Surf Life Saving Club, whilst another 25 of their classmates donned helmets and hoses, earning bush fire fighter qualifications with the New England RFS Dumaresq Brigade.

“It is a week that some look forward to with great excitement and others with trepidation, but it is equally important for both,” Headmaster Murray Guest said. 

“Those with a passion for the outdoors or a love of the structures and responsibility of leadership were in their element having the chance to shine may be something they have been waiting for.

“Others will be tested as they found themselves in an environment and engaged in activities that they would not have chosen and this is a good thing too.”

He said the phrase ‘out of your comfort zone’ was used so often these days that it had become cliché, but said that made it no less important.

“Whether it is in the classroom, on the stage, during sports or in the bush, it is the struggle that defines us, not the comfortable. I have yet to hear departing Year 12 students reminisce about the times they sat back and enjoyed themselves,” he said.