Reflections From Mt Binga Outdoor Education

I step out of my car and take a breath of crisp air, which moments later is filled with the warm greetings of boys who are gardening and cooking burgers for lunch. I smile, content. I am back at Mt. Binga. Soon after, the girls arrive, paradoxically energetic and exhausted from their four-day hike. Stories and laughs are enthusiastically shared as everyone steps into their job of unpacking tents. The rest of the day moves too fast without ever feeling stressful. There are high ropes and catch ups and a thorough lesson on how to do jobs in the dairy (thank you to Zac, my patient but firm teacher). I am invited to enjoy a home cooked meal with the family-like cabin groups who are deftly learning to navigate the ups and downs of living together. Next, it’s mail time: a special hour filled with laughter, an attempted delivery of contraband (lollies), and a few love-filled tears as everyone reads letters from friends and family back home. It’s almost time for bed. I think to myself, spending one night at Mt. Binga is not enough.

Mt. Binga is designed to challenge students to develop their character, their values, their friendships, and their relationship with God. In only one day, I heard stories of perseverance and witnessed independence, responsibility, care, leadership, and a strong sense of community shared between the students of Mt. Binga Group 1.

Luckily, it’s only two weeks before I return to Mt. Binga for Family Day.

- Ms Wright, Mt. Binga Co-ordinator

Student Reflections:

As we said our goodbyes to our families and departed for Mt. Binga, the rush of nerves hit us. Uncertainty welled up and the idea of being away for a month finally set in. A few hours later, we were welcomed by the friendly and kind staff at Mt. Binga. We felt a sense of belonging set in that would only continue to prosper.

With nearly two weeks in, we feel more prepared for the challenging activities at Binga and the obstacles awaiting us in our daily lives. As a community, we’ve grown so much together, whether that is overcoming our differences, appreciating our opportunities, persevering through activities, or supporting others in times of need. After participating in the fun activities and conquering the 55km hike, we’re understanding ourselves better and eagerly wait for what’s to come.

- Marina Chen and Cassia Stokes

After two weeks of Binga, I feel that it is a life changing experience. The bonds that I’m starting to make with others and the memories which I have already created will likely be with me long after Binga is over. So far, the best parts have been the horse riding and the high ropes activities. At first horse riding was an activity I was nervous for; however, after having four amazing lessons with the leaders here at Binga, I can say I’m now quite competent with a horse. Challenging yourself outside your comfort zone is also a big thing at Binga, which was clear at the high ropes’ courses. Conquering the course was not that easy at first, but the feeling after completing it was amazing. Overall, Binga is an experience to look forward to. Although there are many challenges to overcome such as homesickness, conflict in cabins or the fear of heights, in the end it has so far made me learn many things about myself and how to live with others. I will make the most of the last two weeks here as my hike and solo are coming up and I will miss this place after the month is over.

- Marco Chan

My experience at Mt Binga so far has been an experience I will never forget. Only two weeks in and I have made many new friends and have participated in things I have never thought of doing. Mt Binga has taught me new skills through activities such as the four-day hike, which is something I’ll never forget. The memories I have made so far will stick with me for the rest of my life and I hope to create more in the time I have left at Mt. Binga.

- Liadain Weil

Binga is a great experience and a challenging one too. So far, pulling trucks, riding horses, petting fluffy puppies and going on morning runs basically sum up my Binga experience. But, what I can say is Binga is teaching me ways to live that will help me along life’s journey.

My tips for Binga:

1. Be organised

2. Always be a helping hand

3. Be in a cabin with people you know well

4. Do not pack white clothes

5. Bring warm clothes

6. Prepare to get wet

7. Finding your own spot really helps with relaxing your mind

When people say that Binga is a wonderful experience, they really do mean wonderful experience. While the bus drive was boring and the cleaning can be too, once you find a pattern that works well for you, Binga is going to be a wonderful time for you too.

- Jak Killian

So far, my Mt. Binga experience has been much more fun that I thought it would be. I love hanging out with my friends, cooking, doing jobs and horse riding. All of these activities have allowed me to create fun memories with my friends that I have really enjoyed. The food here is really yummy too.

- Emily Wu (P.S. Sewell cabin is the best!)

Being away from home for a month has been interesting and challenging. It is weird missing people and school, but you get used to it. Binga is a fun experience and it’s perfect for making unique memories.

- Amelia Geffert

I’ve been enjoying my experience at Binga, but Buddy the horse left! I really miss him, so I wrote a poem:
He was fast and furious
He made me curious
He really liked hay
It made his day
He was my bae

- Layla Routledge

Binga has been a fun and challenging experience. We have done high ropes and horse riding which has been fun. I hope the next year’s Binga students have as much fun, even though they won’t have Buddy the horse.

- Hugo Sigley