It all started about five or six weeks ago. A very excited Elizabeth came home from school to announce…
“Daddy, the school are having an outing to Tallebudgera for four days, can I go? Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please……..”
Four days away from home without her mum and dad? Crikey, she’s only 10 years old! Whilst I was thinking of ways to interrupt Elizabeth’s repetition of the word ‘please’ to break it to her that she couldn’t go, Mrs Bob looked at me and said…
“Well tell her yes then!” And with that, somehow or other, the word ‘yes’ fell from my mouth and $265 later it came to this…
Yes, at around 7:30 AM this morning Elizabeth along with lots of other children from her school year boarded a bus to head 112 kilometres south into the Gold Coast, past Mermaid Beach, Surfers Paradise and Palm Beach to arrive at Tallebudgera Beach Outdoor Education School.
Tallebudgera Beach Outdoor Education School
According to their website over 8000 students from all over Queensland attend this beach school each year. Throughout the week students participate in a variety of water based activities like body boarding and surf awareness as well as some land based activities which involve teamwork and adventure based challenges.
Sounds like a bunch of fun for the kids, but what about the parents?
‘Camp provides a unique opportunity for the personal growth of students on camp. The camp experience encourages students to grow toward increased independence and self confidence. Home sickness is handled in a sensitive and supportive manner by camp and visiting staff with a focus on the enjoyable aspects and growth goals of the camp experience.‘
In other words, no contact!
But what if it’s your child’s birthday during the four days?
‘Birthday messages by fax or email will be passed on to students as soon as possible once received.‘
Well, it’s not Elizabeth’s birthday during the four days, but it’s still tough having no contact for four whole days and nights. Mrs Bob has never been away from Elizabeth for such a long period of time, me just once when my wife and daughter went back to England for a holiday. But at least we spoke on the telephone each of those days.
Elizabeth will be ‘doing it tough’ a bit, the rules for her are “No food, lollies, watches, torches, jewellery, music devices, computer games or mobile phones are permitted.”
Just to be clear, Elizabeth will be fed, she is just not allowed to take any additional food in any of her bags.
The biggest shock for Elizabeth came when she found out that she needs to be up and out of bed, ready to roll by 6:30 AM latest!
Here’s the itinerary:
As Elizabeth is not allowed to take a camera, she won’t be coming back with any photographs. So the only glimpses I’ll be getting of Tallebudgera Beach Outdoor Education School are from the photographs posted on their own website.
They have 10 pictures on their home page, given the circumstances I hope they don’t mind that I’ve borrowed four to show you here; you can see the others by visiting their website direct at thebeachschool.eq.edu.au/
It looks exciting, doesn’t it? I truly hope Elizabeth and all of the year five students have a fantastic time. You would not believe how excited Elizabeth was to be getting on that bus this morning. Mrs Bob spoke to Elizabeth’s teacher last week about the trip, the school goes every year and apparently the facilities are excellent and the staff are caring and extremely well-trained.
It has all the makings of a wonderful experience for the children.
From a parent’s point of view though, it’s going to be a long and slow four days.
Does your child’s school have an annual outing? And how old were your children when they first went away on a school trip? Let me know in the comments below.