An enthusiastic group of Year 9 and Year 10 students recently enjoyed a trip to the snow.
Thirty-four keen, snow-hungry Year 9 and Year 10 students set off by bus on Friday 26 August at lunchtime, accompanied by Deanne Hardwick (mother of Abbey), Mark Shoebridge (father of Oliver S), Peter Henderson and myself, and arrived at Berridale’s Snowmotel for dinner. After a filling meal, they were all fitted with their hire gear, before hitting the sack tired and in anticipation for what would be a sunny Saturday morning! In the morning, the students were woken at 5.30am for a 6.15am breakfast before departing at 6.45am.
Sunday was spent in different weather conditions as clouds had moved in and the upper parts were foggy, needing some adjustment from all of us as we could less rely on our visual senses and make more use of the kinaesthetic senses to stay safe on the runs. Students again practised and improved their skills in lessons before all meeting up for great group challenge: all snowboarders and all skiers were to take a 1 ½ hour tour across the resort to Perisher Village on ski and boards, including all beginners! We selected the strongest boarders together with Mark Shoebridge and Mr Henderson to lead the snowboarders down and show leadership. Deanne Hardwick and I, on skis together with the stronger skiers, led the skiers down. This is an exercise in trust building, in showing leadership and in strengthening the social fabric of the group.
The weather was a gloriously sunny day when we hit the ski area of Blue Cow in the Perisher Valley by ski tube (underground train). Students attended ski and snowboard lessons to learn or refresh their existing snow sport skills, and were then allowed to go ski or board in small groups before meeting up for lunch. Everyone was safe and happy, so the afternoon was dedicated to more runs, fun and social interaction on the snow.
Bus driver Garry drove us back to the motel, where we dropped our rental gear before heading back home. Happy and tired students were back at school by 9:30 pm, ready to have a shower at home and share great memories of the mountains, the snow and the good company. Everyone loved the trip and would have liked to stay another day! For an educator there is nothing better to see than happy, exhausted but ultimately proud and satisfied students who had learned, achieved and accomplished things that matter to them and have meaning in their world!