For the 2012 third term camp we had glorious weather for our 3 night camp, one of the Cottage School’s favourite spots. Mayfield on the East Coast was the scene of much emotional, physical and social growth and this camp was undertaken wholeheartedly by all.
The Middlies (Grades 2,3 and 4) together enjoyed swimming with current at the Estuary, exploring and damming Buxton creek, shell collecting on Christmas Island,bird watching at the Eagle’s eyrie and walking and exploring the property. This setting provided the children with the opportunity and time to build enduring relationships in an authentic environment.
From a teacher’s point of view, our camps are an immensely important part of our curriculum. We are able to understand the students on a completely different level. We witnessed them challenging themselves physically and emotionally while fostering their independence in situations that require them to collaborate, reach a consensus of opinion, compromise, negotiate and apply all the skills required to work as a part of an effective group.
Part of our school tradition is to acknowledge each camper’s contribution with an award, this provides the opportunity for the children to celebrate each other’s successes and reflect on their own achievements.
For years, Cottage School children have been researching, recording and passing on the history of the Buxton’s, the first owners of Mayfield. Their emigration from England, arrival in Tasmania and the trials and tribulations of establishing a farm on the East Coast, are all significant events synonymous with Tasmania’s early history. This year Bruce helped to solve the mystery of where Thomas Buxton was buried after the death of his wife in 1864.
Each November the children look forward to introducing a new group of Middlies to the Mill, the activities and the places that make Mayfield significant to another generation of Tasmanians.