On Saturday 19 August, 35 excited Year 9 students from Merredin College flew to Canberra via Sydney on the ‘midnight horror’. They were accompanied by their intrepid supervising teachers, Cathy Flynn, Gerard Rennie, Tom James and support supervisor Susan Rennie. This was a much anticipated camp, which took twelve months to plan. After a quick tour of some Canof sights of Sydney, including the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, students transferred to Canberra by bus. The bus trip was pretty quiet, except for the sound of snoring students and teachers. Luckily our bus driver Robbie was wide awake!
The remaining week was spent exploring our national capital. Students were kept busy as each day was jam-packed with events. Some of the activities included visits to Parliament House, the Australian National Museum, the Australian Electoral Commission, the Museum of Australian Democracy, Deep Space Communication Centre, Questacon and the Australian Institute of Sport. A highlight for all students was a visit to the War Memorial.
The second last day was spent snow skiing at Smiggins in the Snowy Mountains (Kosciusko National Park) and was definitely a favourite activity for many. There were quite a few students who mastered skiing very quickly and were soon confidently using the intermediate ski runs. For those students who found skiing more of a challenge, the afternoon was spent playing and building snow men. Thankfully the weather was kind to us for the entire trip, although most days began at 0 degrees or less but by lunchtime it was warm and sunny. On Thursday morning we actually had light snowfall while we were travelling to the ski fields, which was quite magical.
To assist families in meeting the cost of the excursion the Australian Government contributed funding of $240 per student under the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate program. The students of the Merredin College Canberra Tour 2017 would like to express their appreciation for this rebate.
Plans for the 2018 camp are already underway and our current Year 8 students are very excited and hoping to gain a place on the tour.