Our Year 7 and Year 8 students had an amazing and fruitful time away on Milson Island, which is situated in the middle of the Hawkesbury River, 60 minutes north of Sydney.

Our students deepened their relationships with each other, which was evident by the many ways they helped and encouraged each other. Students were challenged to step outside their comfort zone as they challenged themselves to participate in activities like kayaking, archery, and the giant swing. Through the encouragement of their peers, students who had no intention of braving the heights by being harnessed into a giant swing, found themselves being lifted up higher than they had ever been before, and pulling the release chord which resulted in them swinging through the air with big smiles on their faces. They discovered that there is something very rewarding about facing your fears and achieving things you never thought you were capable of.
Watching our students hop into a two person kayak and try to make the kayak do what they wanted it to do without working as a team and then learning that in order to be successful they needed clear communication and a willingness to work in sync with each other, was a pleasure to watch. I watched student struggle to make their kayak move as I watched oars fly in all different directions. Then a little while later, these students had discovered on their own that if they synchronise their movements their kayak will glide beautifully through the water and travel exactly where they wanted to go. What a great lesson in what happens when we decide to work together!
Our students spent some valuable time each day learning what it means to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. They were reminded that they are loved by God and that worship is not simply singing, but an attitude of the heart. They learnt that they need to guard their hearts against the words that the enemy can speak into our lives. It is important to replace the negative thoughts that we can sometimes have, replacing these thoughts with the truth that we are each loved by God, special, precious and unique and that we all have much to offer others.
As Mrs Moss was sharing with the students at devotions on the final morning of our stay she started by talking about all the things we can be grateful for, in spite of the fact that we had no electricity for almost the entire camp. She reminded us that we have been able to have hot showers (mostly), the kitchen staff had done an amazing job feeding us, and we had enough torch light to be able to do everything we needed to do at night. As Mrs Moss was sharing this, the fans started! The electricity came back on! Everyone cheered! This was such an amazing lesson about being grateful for what we have!  God reminded us that when we have a heart of gratitude for all that He blesses us with He provides us with so much more! “He gives us abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine.”
Our students were fantastic during the entire trip! There was not a complaint to be heard! Each student demonstrated a positive attitude, and displayed gratitude, thoughtfulness and respect. As a staff, we received so many comments about what an amazing group of students we have. The camp instructors were so impressed with our group of young people.
Mrs Moss, Mrs Milne, Mr Brown and I would like to say thanks to all our parents for entrusting your precious children into our care for the week! It was an absolute pleasure to spend time with them, see them thrive in an environment that is unfamiliar to them and work together to solve problems and encourage each other! Your children are a blessing to each of us and we appreciate the time we have had with them!
Many blessings,
Donna Pepper