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Great post Katie! I'm glad to hear that you had a wonderful time. Australia is so beautiful!

whit's end mom

WHAT FUN!!!!! I wish Camp was a part of the American school experience!

Jo-Anne Wells

Katie, you remind me of my children's year 9 experience in the mountains at Timbertop. A way away from Lake Eildon but nevertheless similar stories. They board for the whole year at the campus near Mansfield, no school uniforms, cut their own wood for hot water etc. Their 'weekend' was Thursday and Friday. On those days in term 1 they hiked every week learning about 'bush' survival, what to do in a bushfire etc. Term 2 was community assistance so they were billeted with townspeople and had to help out in schools, businesses and homes. Term 3 was snow skiing which was not only downhill at Mt Buller every week but a cross country skiing/camping experience. Term 4 was a return to hiking culminating in a 6 day hike they had to plan in themselves in their hike group - as easy or difficult as they wanted. Term 4 also included a walk/canoe/run which a few days of fun and exercise. Running was a very important part of the Timbertop experience culminating at the end of the year in the Timbertop 'marathon'. Not your standard distance but still tough as it was uphill and downhill over 26km. Timbertop celebrates 60years in 2013 and is I believe a model that many other schools have adapted into shorter programs. I must admit my eldest hated his entire year there but my boy/girl twins enjoyed every minute! Well done Katie for making the most of a wonderful experience.

Jo-Anne Wells

Forgot to mention the 'worst' part for them - no phones, no computers except for school use (all their laptops are re-imaged at the beginning of the year), no electronic devices of any kind. Contact with home is by letter only! As a parent this was hard but it was only 5 weeks maximum as they had an exeat weekend (long weekend) in the middle of every term. for my eldest, the hardest part was always returning after being home.


Thanks Jo-Anne for telling us about the Timbertop year 9 experience. I have heard about it. It sounds similar to Howqua. I'm glad two of your children enjoyed it and that the eldest survived it! Outdoor education is something that few American school children experience.

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