School camps are no doubt transformative. Life-long friendships and skills are forged in the hours spent kayaking, rock climbing, performing skits and orienteering. These arduous tasks, days spent away from family and moments of self-realisation help mould our Villanova boys into community-minded and productive men of tomorrow.
The teachers who accompany our boys on school camps challege every single person, even themselves, to aim beyond their perceived limits. This might mean reaching the top of that cliff or capsizing a canoe, but we certainly have fun doing it in a safe and friendly environment.
School camps are a vital part of our students’ school lives and Villanova is proud to provide such a varied and challenging camp program each year.
Year 5 Camp
Apex Campsite, Mudjimba, QLD
The main focus of Year 5 Camp is to develop closer relationships among students and between teachers and students.
Students are immersed in the culture and ethos of Villanova College through the introduction of core values and the learning of war cries and the College anthem. Daily and nightly activities, such as team building and initiative tasks, archery, mountain biking, and canoeing, attempt to harness the overall camp goals.
But for many students, the major challenge of camp is being separated from their families. For some, Year 5 Camp will be their first experience of an overnight stay away from home.
Year 6 Camp
Lake Cootharaba, Noosa River, QLD
Year 6 Camp continues to focus on team building and friendship development. However, it also has a greater emphasis on challenging students’ perceived limitations by including numerous foreign activities such as rock climbing and high ropes.
Depending on weather, the camp is usually outdoors, giving many boys their first-ever full camping experience including setting up and packing down. This brings out a degree of cooperation and tolerance they may not have experienced before, while teaching them useful life skills.
Throughout Year 6 Camp, students are asked to constantly set and review personal goals for each activity, and encourage one another to achieve those objectives.
Year 7 Camp
Sunshine Coast Recreation Centre, Currimundi, QLD
The transition from Junior School to Middle School is full of mixed feelings and inner development. This can often place immense pressure on the boys as they learn new routines and elements to College life.
Participating in Year 7 Camp helps students establish stronger relationships with staff and classmates, making this transition a more smooth and enjoyable experience.
The camp program aims to promote teamwork, positive communication and self-confidence through a range of activities such as high ropes, fishing and surfing or body boarding. The boys are encouraged to challenge themselves while getting to know their classmates and teachers in a different environment.
Year 8 Camp
Dicky Beach, Sunshine Coast, QLD
Year 8 Camp is designed to help students create new friendships within their class and establish a relationship with their new core teacher, while also developing unity and tolerance within the year level.
Held at Dicky Beach, the boys sleep in tents erected through teamwork and patience. Away from their families, beds and home cooking, the boys find new abilities and friendships they might not have thought possible.
During camp, all students have the opportunity to partake in fun and challenging activities including mountain biking, surfing, stand-up paddle boarding and surf awareness.
Year 9 Camp
Emu Gully, Pindari Campus, QLD
As leaders of the Middle School, Year 9 students are tested and encouraged to grow as role models in their community.
The camp at Emu Gully builds upon communication, teamwork and taking initiative through a selection of advanced activities including high ropes, GPS navigation, power boats and twister buggies.
Campsite accommodation teaches the boys about food preparation and cleaning, while bringing the Year 9 cohort together as a closer community.
Year 10 Camp
Kenilworth, Upper Mary Valley, QLD or Tuchekoi Outdoor Centre, Gympie, QLD
Year 10 marks the beginning of Senior School, bringing forth new challenges, pressures and achievements. Under the philosophy that “one size does not fit all”, Villanova provides Year 10 students with four camp programs that appeal to different personalities and abilities.
The four options range in difficulty and include unique activities that combine to form a rite of passage for these fresh-faced seniors.
The essence of Year 10 Camp is to allow our new Senior School students time and opportunity to reshape or build upon their inner and outer selves.
Year 11 Camp
Emu Gully, Helidon Campus, QLD
Year 11 Camp is an essential part of the Year 11 Leadership Program and focuses on character building and preparation for the difficult aspects of Senior School.
One’s character is often formed through overcoming pressure and adversity. At Emu Gully, we aim to bring forth the core character values displayed by the ANZACs in times of tremendous hardship on the world stage.
The values taught, promoted and reflected upon include courage, mateship, perseverance and sacrifice. The students face a number of famous historical situations and must call on these values, along with intuition and teamwork, to succeed.
Watson Park, Dakabin, QLD
Unlike the school camps in the lower year levels, Villanova’s Senior Retreat is more a time of reflection. We aim to draw out the full potential of each student by giving them a chance to breathe and reflect on the relationships, memories and successes they’ve made during their time at Villanova.
There are plenty more moments to be shared during the Senior Retreat, but our main goal is to ensure students walk away with a deeper understanding of their school lives and how they can continue contributing to their communities after graduation.