Year 10 Outdoor Education - Barwon River Trip

The Year 10 Outdoor Education classes have been learning about the Barwon River through a variety of avenues:

  • Historically, by researching past and current uses of the river
  • Culturally by investigating Indigenous interactions with the river and comparing them to European interactions
  • Ecologically, by understanding the way different living and non-living components of the river are inter-related
  • Experientially, by canoeing on the river

This week, we have been exploring the river upstream from Geelong for a whole day. This has been invaluable in providing some of the experiential learning as well as skills preparation towards the upcoming 3-day river journey on the Murray. Here are some of the students’ reflections on their experiences this week:

The day trip on the Barwon River, aimed mostly at improving our skills for the upcoming 3 day Barmah camp, was tough, although rewarding. My biggest challenge throughout the day was the rapids and communicating with my partner in these areas, although I overcame this by remaining confident in myself and my partner, and listening closely to my teacher’s instructions. What fascinated me today was how the vegetation around the river banks aid the river, by drinking up the water, creating habitat for animals, and also the effect it can have on rapids, which felt like a vigorous waterslide. The trip provided insight into our focus area research, in which we take our knowledge and experience from practical’s like this, and apply it to our learning. During the trip, as it was our first time on rapids, we witnessed the effect of rapids and how they can form eddies. An eddy is when a large object blocks the current, and the water, wanting to be level, swirls backwards behind the object, creating an area which is calm and a place to rest.  While I struggled over some periods of the day, I enjoyed every minute of the trip and feel more confident in my canoe skills as well as my knowledge of the river.    Makaira Carmichael 10.T6 

One of my highlights was certainly experiencing shooting down the rapids. Even though it was outside some students’ comfort zone, we were all successful at it by the end of the day. Communication is definitely the key. Gaining knowledge in class beforehand about rapids, paddle signals and names of canoe parts made a significant difference because you could understand what someone (usually a staff member) was referring to. One thing that surely amazed me was the fact that bits of debris like tyres or logs were up really high in trees, this was because of floods, some recent and some years ago. The floods must’ve covered so much land and made so many things damp for a long period of time. It was a bit mind-boggling really, I think I can speak for all students saying that throughout the day trip we barely lacked interest since there was always something to look at.   Genevieve Pop 10.B6


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