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1981 Gladstone SHS Camping Notes

This product is proudly Australian Made

ISBN : None allocated

Published Date : 01 January 1981

Product Code : 1981 GSHS

Format : Free PDF for download

Funded by the Gladstone SHS P&C, this project purchased enough camping equipment to take 400 students on a grade 8 camp.  A joint effort between the Science and Geography Departments, the program drew on the philosophies of the Maroon Outdoor Education Centre.  In the forward Bob writes ...

Probably one of the best things done at Gladstone SHS in the later 1970's and early 80's was to introduce Outdoor Education. 

The school was greatly influenced by Denis Bridger from Maroon Outdoor Ed and the camping philosophies of School Principal Barry McGuire.

Gladstone was an industrial town in the 1970-80's.  Parents worked long hours and there were weeks on end where they were on strike over many issues, so the kids were poor.   

The school used to run school bush camps for 400 year 8 kids for less than $12 per student. 

It was a simple program.  Kids brought their camp clothes in their school bag with an old broom stick.  We used to take the bus to the side of the road about an hour from school and then treck to our camp site in the bush to get there by 3 - 3.30 in the afternoon.

In groups students would set up their campsites, collect wood and cook a simple meal - sausages, potatoes and tinned veggies.  Dessert was often creamed rice and then biscuits, tea or cordial. Night activities were spotlighting or astronomy.  We used builders black plastic for tents and the kids slept on the ground.  Bacon and eggs for breakfast, spam ham sandwiches for lunch and then precooked corned beef for dinner, again with potatoes and tinned veggies, but this time damper with honey and jam. 

Day activities often involved were hiking, animal and plant ID, knotts, team building trust exercises where we tried to teach the kids that you can only go as fast as the slowest or less able.

Then on day 3 (Wed) the groups came home, to swap with the next group till Friday.

The program was extended to reef ftrips to North West Island involving the newly formed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority where Marine Biologist Len Zell played a great role in educating the school in marine management and conservation strategies.

The program is alive and well today. 

Teachers Information


Thanks to Greg Martin, who gave me, the idea, Dennis Bridger, who changed my attitude about lightweight camping and all the staff and students at Gladstone State High School who pioneered the ideas contained herein. 


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1. Preface

2. Why Go Camping

3. Aims

4. Teaching Strategies

5. A Camp Programme

6. Evaluation and Resources

7. Organisation - Meetings - Resources

8. Duties of Teacher Aide, Form Teacher,Participating Teachers, other Teacher

9. Duties of Co-ordinator (previous year camp

Appendix 1 Student Information Sheets #1 - #4  

Appendix 2 Staff Memos #1 - #7

Appendix 3 A $7.00 Menu 

Appendix 4 The Shopping List

Appendix 5 Basic Equipment Required

Appendix 6 Safety and First Aid

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