RAIN­FOR­EST RE­TREAT

Townsville Bulletin - - EDUCATION -

YEAR

6 stu­dents from Her­mit Park State School have trav­elled to Paluma Rain­for­est for a three­day camp to ex­plore the won­ders of the en­vi­ron­ment.

Stu­dents took part in a host of fas­ci­nat­ing ac­tiv­i­ties based on an en­vi­ron­men­tal space that tested and chal­lenged them.

Not only were th­ese chal­lenges fun but they ed­u­cated the stu­dents and taught them many key skills.

Stu­dents ven­tured into the rain­for­est find­ing wildlife and par­tic­i­pat­ing in an ac­tiv­ity called Shin­rinyoku ( Sin- ling- yok). This is a Ja­panese word that means ‘ for­est bathing’.

They were dropped off in­di­vid­u­ally at var­i­ous points in the for­est and ex­pe­ri­enced a calm, re­lax­ing time in pure si­lence, fo­cus­ing on the sounds, smells and sights cre­ated by their sur­round­ings.

Each day stu­dents ex­plored the aquatic won­ders find­ing lots of aquatic macro in­ver­te­brates in lo­cal creeks.

They also built shel­ters, us­ing lim­ited ma­te­ri­als, which tested their build­ing, team­work and im­pro­vis­ing skills. They spot­ted a va­ri­ety of birds such as Lewin’s Honeyeater, Crim­son Rosella, Scrub Tur­keys and more. In their morn­ing stroll with binoc­u­lars they ob­served the mat­ing dance of the Vic­to­ria’s Ri­flebird.

Not only did they par­tic­i­pate in great ac­tiv­i­ties each day, they also took part in ac­tiv­i­ties at night. Stu­dents ex­pe­ri­enced a camp­fire. This seemed to be the most en­joy­able ac­tiv­ity for most stu­dents, lov­ing the warmth that the flick­er­ing fire cre­ated, also so­cial­is­ing with friends, dis­cussing and shar­ing scary sto­ries.

Another ac­tiv­ity was the Bandi­coot Bench. Stu­dents could ob­serve an­i­mals un­der a red light with­out them know­ing. Many stu­dents be­came fas­ci­nated with the white tailed rats they spot­ted. An ad­ven­tur­ous ac­tiv­ity was the night walk.

This took place in the rain­for­est where stu­dents used their torches to find in­ter­est­ing things. They turned their torches off for a pitch black ex­pe­ri­ence and found glow­ing fungi. This was a sat­is­fy­ing new ex­pe­ri­ence. Th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties were a moun­tain of ed­u­ca­tional fun and sat­is­fied all.

“The ex­pe­ri­ence was very cool and fun. My favourite ac­tiv­ity was sit­ting by the camp­fire, telling scary sto­ries with my friends,” said stu­dent Kieran Al­berich. “I liked it be­cause we roasted marsh­mal­lows. Over­all, I found the ex­pe­ri­ence at camp in­cred­i­ble.”

Paluma is a unique ex­pe­ri­ence high­light­ing na­ture’s beauty and the chil­dren found lots of en­vi­ron­men­tal plea­sures. Ev­ery­one would love to go again to learn more about na­ture.

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