It started off as a pleasant day dipping our paddles into the calm waters of the Curdies River at Curdievale. Six students; Kurt, Jasper, Cameron, Bailey, Jake and Sam and two teachers; Mr. Baxter and Mrs Rantall were all in a happy frame of mind. Though Bailey was a little annoyed as it was too cold to start the day with a backflip off the diving board. ‘Hats on and here is the sunscreen’, one student in particular regretted not heeding that advice.
This was our Hands on Learning end of year celebratory activity. The students (and teachers) have worked hard throughout the year and a mixture of projects, some for themselves, some for the community and some to raise money for the program. The plan was to paddle to Peterborough and enjoy a good meal together when we get there.
It soon became apparent who had a better grasp of handling a canoe as one boat cruised ahead while another spontaneously filled with water. An hour and a half later, with some beginning to tire, spirits were lifted with the sight of the lake. Those spirits were quickly dampened on feeling the effect of a block head wind and the two foot chop it was whipping up.
Captain Sam Anson and his co-pilot Jake kept on track and made the journey across the lake. Jasper, the fisherman, was well guided by his world class surf boat rowing partner and also crossed the lake. Meanwhile Cameron and Bailey’s identical boat just wouldn’t keep moving through the water and tended to go backwards every time the paddles paused. Underdressed and wet, the boys were running on empty. After trying walking and pulling the boat they looked ready to curl up and have a sleep in the putrid mud flats and needed to be rescued.
A thoroughly exhausted troop returned to school, scraping in on time to a waving finger of the bus co-ordinator.
The students reflected with the following learnings: ‘I should use sun screen and wear a hat.’ ‘I should have brought more food and eaten more before I left.’ ‘I should have brought better clothes.’ ‘I should have brought my own water’.
Despite being challenged in a way some may not have before, all the students maintained a great attitude and, after the fact, declared they still had a great day.
By teacher Todd Baxter