It was a big week for the Point Pearce R-2 students with their first ever overnight camp to Monarto Safari Park on August 24 & 25.
The students were all very excited as we headed out from Point Pearce. There were some nerves about being away from home but they soon dissipated as we hit the road. First stop was Dublin for recess and a quick play, then onto the Safari Park.
On our arrival we had lunch and then hopped on the Monarto Bus for a tour of the park. Many squeals of delight as the students saw cheetahs, lions, bison, hyenas, rhinos, ostriches and more. It was fantastic to witness their awe and excitement at this new experience. We hopped off the bus for the giraffe talk and then it was time to meet our Educator John who took us to get up close and personal with the rhinos.
The baby rhino was particularly cute. We then got to explore a treasure trove of animal bones which was super fun as the kids got to hold them and examine them. We then headed to the bush camp.
The facilities were fantastic and the students got to spend some time playing in the grounds before a nature scavenger hunt and BBQ dinner. After dinner we were taken on a Night Walk through the bush and finished the evening with hot chocolates and marshmallows around the campfire.
After such a big day everyone was happy to climb into bed and all was quiet by 9.30pm much to the relief of all the teachers!
Up at 6.00 am the students had breakfast and a play and then participated in some outdoor activities run by our overnight educator, which involved working together as a team to solve some tricky engineering problems.
We were collected at 9.00 am by John and were very lucky to be allowed into parts of the park in our van not generally open to the public. We travelled to the Bison Enclosure and were made honorary Zookeepers by John. Zookeepers need to look after the animals and their environment so the kids were put to work with shovels and rakes and scooped the Bison Poop into buckets to be used elsewhere in the park. Who know scooping poop could be so much fun!
Then it was off to see the chimpanzees which was a real treat, watching the babies climb and play. We then said goodbye to John and headed over to the Meerkats, had a quick recess and play before heading home.
A lunch stop at Dublin for hot chips and gravy finished off our camp and it was some very tired students who arrived back at Point Pearce. Seeing their parents and Nanas soon woke them up as they excitedly shared their experience with them.
I was so proud of all our students who displayed our school value of Respect to staff at the park and members of the public. I would like to say a heartfelt thankyou to Ms. Maddy, Ms. Linda, Ms. Jacki, Ms. Narelle and Aunty Sonya who worked tirelessly to make the experience as magical for our students as they possibly could. Their efforts and enthusiasm never wavered and they were instrumental in making the camp the huge success that it was.