The Bark March 2019 - Issue 21

Welcome to a new year of The Bark! I would really like to include as many interesting, engaging articles, photos and videos as possible this year. The staff at Candlebark provide most of the content for this newsletter and it is very much appreciated. It would be great to hear any ideas that you the parents and students, and readers of The Bark, have, that will help enhance this beautiful communication.

Keep your eyes peeled in this Issue for some very special new Reporters.

Please feel free to contact me via email on janeduggan26@yahoo.com.au

Jane Cahill - Editor In Chief


  • Term Dates 2019
  • Bright Camp - 26 February - 1 March
  • Camp Collages
  • Grade 5/6 Bright Camp Reporting
  • Whole School Reading session
  • Murray River by Canoe
  • CDSSA Cricket Competition
  • Mount Buffalo Hike
  • Community Notices

Term Dates 2019

  • Term 1 - January 30 to April 11
  • Term 2 - April 29 to June 28
  • Term 3 - July 23 to September 19.
  • Term 4 - October 8 to December 18

Bright Camp

26 Feb - 1 March

The sun shines bright in an azure sky. Children mill around with shining faces, some beam with the joy that can only come from knowing that a lolly binge is but three short days away, others, shiny for other reasons, hang back, looking a tad nervous, and perhaps shedding a small tear or two.

But come boarding time, all find themselves a seat, buckles are click clacked and the engine roars to life and 1, 2, 3… we’re off! Tears dry up within mere minutes, as we all expected they would, and excitement is palpable among the 73 students and 9 teachers! We are ready for our Summer holiday and what a jolly Summer holiday it’s looking to be with a forecast of 34 degrees every day, not a spot of rain and at least 365 dollars to blow on the Lolly Shop and Op Shop collectively.

A few hours in and the “How long till we get there?” questions begin inching their way down the aisle towards us. Suggesting that we are not even half way does not seem like a good approach to take so instead we suggest it’s almost lunch time, and that does the trick. We get to the Rocket park and the thrill of being vertical instantly elevates the mood to ecstatic once again. Rolls are munched, cakes are devoured and everyone plays happily under the beating sun.

After a big play we return to our buses, ready for the next leg. Bright seems imminently closer and soon enough we find our bus driver Gordon expertly turning the ridiculously long coach around a tiny, Toyota corolla sized corner. We exit the bus to find Sarah, Steve and a small team of heroic year fives and sixes speedily popping up tents and tarps as if they were born to do it! 4 or 5 Bright camps down, most of them are moving around the space as if it’s a second skin.

We join in the tent madness and within an hour or two, tents are all set up in little clusters, making our designated area feel like an old world village minus the thatched roofs. Sleeping bags are spread out, and even the teddy bears nestling into our pillows seem to be smiling more brightly than usual!

With the heavy lifting done, it’s time to dedicate ourselves to other worthy pursuits; Creek dwelling, rock skimming, chess playing, cloud gazing, bicycle racing, cartwheeling, orange munching. All activities are taken on with particular gusto and when the ‘Cooee’ sounds out, a happy bunch of faces we are. Steve has prepared a tasty morsel: souvlakis with freshly made tatziki and we all ravenously eat. There is the occasional look of distaste from someone who may not be an adventurous eater, but for the most part, everyone eats, chats, giggles and settles in to the camp zone.

Suddenly it’s bedtime and the year one and twos head off to get organised. Teeth are brushed, (possibly less thoroughly than at home but who’s judging, it’s camp!) and ever so adorable onesies are put on. Sleepy faces are all around us, and despite lots of initial resistance to bedtime, within a few hours there is not a peep to be heard. No tears, no snores, no giggles, nothing. All around is a feeling of contentedness and fresh warm air, with a few mozzies thrown in for good measure.

Not long after, the older kids head to bed too, many under a tarp, with the stars like silver speckles on a black fur coat. The night slips away and before we know it, the kookaburra laughter is cutting slices into our quiet dreams and the loud, very loud, very very loud chatter of 6 year olds in the morning can be heard. Day 2 has well and truly begun and it’s barely past 6.30am! Teachers stumble blindly out of tents to find coffee already on the go, because god bless Donna and her magical foresight, she has set up the percolator before bed and it’s ready for the taking. Keep cups are filled to the brim, eggs and bacon are on the grill, toast is being buttered and handed out in a great assembly line and one can’t help but feel like we are a giant family.

After brekky, the minutes bleed into hours as we do nothing but play, eat, clean, play, eat, clean - repeat. A small boy staying with his parents in a nearby caravan senses our loving vibe and immediately wants in. From this point on, he is almost always somewhere among the group, holding hands with one of the big kids, or sitting down happily during circle time. We all feel chuffed by his presence, as it now really does feel like a big family with a little one to look after.

Day 2 ends the way it began, with the exception of our clothes which can only be described as grubby beyond imagining, but as Kate so insightfully suggests, each of these grubby marks tells a story, jogs a memory, is a testament to all the adventures we’ve undertaken thus far, and in that sense, the grubbier we are, the better!!! We share wisdom in circle time, as well as a few fantastic jokes (“What do you do when you see a space man? Park in it man). We head to bed tired and dusty, and by the time the light has blackened all are asleep.

The light, and by light I mean coffee, beckons us awake and there is a feeling of joy among the kids. Is it just our amazing energy, the teachers muse, boy are we something, we suggest to each other, before realising it’s Thursday otherwise known as LOLLY DAY WE HAVE BEEN WAITING A YEAR TO COME BACK TO BRIGHT CAMP FOR LOLLY DAY, day. We break into groups and head off to the Op shop. The kids are unbelievably patient, polite and charming, so much so that the lovely ladies in the shop give us a 50% discount on every single thing we buy. You want that plastic pink bracelet with giant fake flowers on it, one dollar. That chocolate fountain that was ever so popular in the 80s? Four dollars. Bargains are leaping out at us left right and center and we are relishing every second of it. Steve struts out of the store with a pair of Hard Yakka tradie overalls and and we can all see something on his French bucket list has been ticked off.

The kids carry their purchases like gleaming treasures, their little eyes bright with pleasure. The amount of kids who buy gifts for sisters and mothers is nothing short of delightful, and our hearts are warmed. Briefly. Because we know it is now lolly time and energy levels are about to soar to a terrifying height. Each group enters the store, leaving the next group peering in the window like little puppies at a butcher. The minutes seem to drag on as each person is forced to make impossible decisions. Lollypops or chocolate? One ice-cream or 24 tiny chews? After what seems an eternity we are all laden with lollies, and heading back to camp to let the lolly wave take us where it will. The weather leads us back to the water park where we run wild with both lolly and holiday fever. We spend hours frolicking under sprinklers, racing down water slides and making ochre out of the rocks in the river. We feast on watermelon and oranges and eventually head back to camp. It’s the last night so we have a great big circle and embrace our last night together. We especially cheer those who were a bit homesick, and soldiered on brilliantly. We share our favourite moments from camp and then head to bed.

Tremendous things are in store for you! Wonderful things await you.

- Roald Dahl

The fact that it’s the last night, or is it all that sugar, makes the wind down slightly trickier than usual but we still manage to have a bunch of sleepy heads within a few hours. 5 or 6 brave year ones and twos have even decided to sleep under the stars. One student sees his first ever shooting star and it’s so special that he is beside himself with the pure majesty of such a thing. These first-time-moments are precious.

The older students organise their own game of mafia and play till it’s far too late but with some mild intervention, they too head to bed. Following them are the teachers who are yawning themselves silly.

Finally, the now familiar sound of the kookaburras wakes us up and we go immediately into action stations. One teacher suggests it is an impossible task to pack up by 9 AM and yet 9 AM arrives and the site is packed, cleaned and celebrated. We have our very last circle. Our little one-and-a-half-year-old doesn’t miss an opportunity to join us, and we all hug him goodbye.

The general consensus is ‘best camp ever’. We board the bus, greet Gordon and prepare ourselves for home. The level of resilience, generosity, capability and imagination that we witness on camp is testament to why we go on camp in the first place.

Giving our kids the space to explore, to meander, to imagine. To feel alive in their own skin, freely directing their own adventure, stitching together their own vibrant patchwork memories of childhood.

“When I in pathless woods, did idly roam”.

Thank you Bright Camp!

- Written by Nat Haimon

Camp Collages

Grade 5/6 Bright Camp Reporting

It is a great pleasure to have some on the spot reporters join this issue of The Bark. The Grade 5/6s created some fabulous reporting segments to share some interesting insights into the goings on at Bright Camp.

Alice, Clem and Ellie - Do's and Don'ts on Camp

Henry, Alex, Quinn, Max, Dylan and Walter - Camp Highlights

Lily, Olivia and Eva - The Sports Report

Cosi, Mace, Red and Sasha - Camp Fatalies

Maisy, Ebony, Eliza, Charlize and Om - The Disney Bark

Whole School Reading Session

Some gorgeous moments captured of the older kids reading to the younger kids in the whole school reading sessions.

Murray River by Canoe

With our intrepid Candlebark and Alice Miller Year 7’s

Our Year 7’s have all recently had four glorious days together exploring Australia’s largest river. We threw their names up in the air from Candlebark and Alice Miller and when they landed they made three adventurous groups. Each group came home with many stories. These are our collective ones:

It is a challenging process paddling a boat but first you have to learn to pack it. We waterproofed and packed our gear in our backpacks and in barrels and in eskies. We then squished, shoved, cajoled and finally fitted it all into seven canoes, including Doug the shovel.

Then you’ve got to learn to paddle it. There is one boat and two brains. Clear communication is the key. Once that is mastered, which it was most of the time, then canoeing is a mixture of sublime floating with the current whilst putting the odd steering stroke in to make the boat go where you need it to. To the often frenzied power house of frantic paddling to fend off an incoming pirate attack! Sometimes we paddled as one big canoe raft, where we all hold on to each other’s boat and the outside paddlers steer and paddle for all of us. This meant we could chat and rest together, share scroggin, tell river stories and sometimes just be silent so we could listen to the river.

We shared the river with Azure kingfishers, huge flocks of sulphur crested cockatoos, white faced herons, egrets, eagles, and many fellow human beings who we met camping on the banks.

Each group saw shooting stars, extraordinary sunrises and sunsets and responded enthusiastically to whatever the day held; high winds, hot afternoons and tranquil, cool mornings filled with bird song.

We lay in the sand, buried ourselves in the sand, ate sand accidently, wrestled in the sand, made sand sculptures, camped in the sand and swam until we were wrinkly. We pondered the history of the Ngarrindjeri clan. We learnt that in the dreamtime the Murray river was just a narrow creek. The ancestor hero Ngurunderi, paddled his canoe down the creek, chasing the giant Murray cod. The tail of the big fish made great waves that spread the river wider. The river was then as wide and deep as it is today. The cod swam into the lake at the river’s mouth and Ngurunderi gave up trying to catch it…

Our bodies slowly turned in to the river as we swam, drank and cooked with the Murray water. Some of us wanted to keep paddling all the way to the Murray mouth in South Australia. This is what our Outdoor Education journeys are about. Giving kids the skills, sharing our love and custodianship of the natural world and then them developing the confidence to plan adventures of their own.

Thank you to all of you for being such great paddling companions. You were intrepid, curious, caring, friendly and lots of fun! Sarah, Stewart, Amy, Steve, Adrian and Kate would paddle with you all again, on any river, anytime!
Written by Kate Tucker

CDSSA Cricket Competition

Congratulations to all the 5/6 kids who participated in this year’s CDSSA cricket competition. 28 kids braved the sudden cold, wet and windy Romsey weather to come and play against the other local primary schools. Both teams played very well with our girls team coming away tournament champions!! Well done Girls!

Here are a few words on how it all unfolded……

Girls’ Training

They say practice makes perfect. The girls 5/6 cricket team may not have been perfect but they certainly practised more than we normally would for a sports tournament. The majority of their practice was voluntary and done in their own time, mostly recess and lunch. Many of the girls didn’t have a lot of experience with cricket, especially the dreaded unnatural bowling action. So it was very encouraging watching them develop plausible techniques of their own that sent the ball travelling in a relatively straight direction towards the stumps. The persistence and dedication were terrific to witness.

All the girls had pretty good throwing arms but knowing where to throw it and when, needed practice. Overthrows are sometimes a high scorer at these tournaments so we worked on backing up and knowing when not to throw. Catching practice was a popular activity and often resembled a footie match rather than cricket, complete with speccies. Batting was more instinctual and we didn’t have too many worries here, although running between the wickets, and knowing when to run and when not to run were more mysterious and needed work.

Camaraderie and positive support were never lacking with this group and it was a pleasure training with them, not to mention the fun that was had. Winning the title of cricket champions is a first for Candlebark, and a real testament to their efforts. Very proud.

- Written by Shaun

The Boys Competition

We were the first school to arrive at the Romsey oval and everyone was excited and keen to play. The girls took themselves off to run laps and then hit catches to each other. The boys all spread out for some epic long distance catching warm ups. It wasn’t long before it was clear that the catching skills of the team were impressive! That training had paid off. There were “classic catches” happening everywhere!

Before long the oval was swarming with kids ready to play cricket. The boys’ first match was against St Ambrose. The team was chosen for the first round and a bat flipped to decide who would field and who would bat. “Your call… roofs or flats". We won and decided to bat first. It took a while to get used to what were tough conditions. The gusty wind caused the tennis ball to shift violently through the air before hitting the slightly damp ground and refusing to bounce. Strong bowling and fielding from the opposition, as well as our batsmen trying to get used to the fact that it wasn’t tip and run like they play at school, saw the boys lose eleven wickets. The game played was a variation of the T20 blast school rules where a batting pair faces two overs regardless of wickets lost. Every player bats, bowls and keeps wicket. At the end of the game you receive an extra five runs for every wicket you took as a team. This proved to be the difference for the game. Although the boys fielded well, with constant encouragement and great team spirit, they didn’t take as many wickets as St Ambrose, despite both teams scoring a very similar amount of runs. St Ambrose went on to become overall winners in the boys’ tournament.

The next two games, against Kyneton and Woodend Primary, saw much improvement in the team’s batting. Not as many wickets were lost and there was no more `running after hitting it straight to the fielder’. We were looking good! The boys also continued to field well, with an absolute ripper one handed catch taken by Sebastian in the deep. Everyone bowled well with minimal wides and some great wickets. The boys constantly yelled words of encouragement and helped each other out when needed. It was a pleasure to watch. However, despite being close, when the wickets and runs were tallied up the boys came second in both the games. It is probably worth noting that these three teams finished 1,2, 3 in the tournament.

Final game was against Romsey Primary. The boys pulled out all they had, taking 10 wickets. Romsey were great sportsmen and would often say “great catch” or “nice bowling, well done” after they went out. It was a nice way to finish a very enjoyable day, played in terrific spirit. Thank you and well done, boys!

- Written by Sam

The Girls Competition

What a wonderful day to share with the 5/6 girls’ cricket team of Candlebark. The division had 3 teams: Kyneton Primary School, Our Lady of the Rosary Primary School and Candlebark. It was a very chilly day in Romsey but this did not bother the girls with their first match-up against OLR.

The girls started off bowling, giving away a few runs with the no ball/wide rule. The fielding was excellent. The majority of OLR were right-handed, and our girls quickly picked up on this and altered their fielding. Coaching each other to the hot zones, girls like Maisy, Lily and Ebony pulled off some skilful catches. Charlize bowled a near perfect over, along with Eva’s picture-perfect technique preventing the other team from scoring much needed runs. When it was our turn to bat, the girls took full advantage of the lessons and lunchtime cricket sessions. Om, Olivia and Alice were all great at the crease, scoring, and preventing the other team from taking wickets. Ebony and Charlize were able to score nearly 30 runs from two overs in their partnership, which was amazing! Candlebark girls took out their first win in cricket with a fantastic team effort.

The second match proved really tough against the coloured zinc-faced Kyneton girls, and we fell short by eleven runs. However, the teamwork again was amazing, and the girls were not intimidated by their very talented opponents. Candlebark opted to bowl first and much like their first game, started slowly with some no balls. Kyneton were off to a quick start. To their credit, Candlebark remained poised and worked together to collect some wickets, adding to their run tally. A bit of rain came along, stopping play for a few minutes, but in true Candlebark fashion, our girls stayed out in the weather wondering where the other team was going. When it was our turn to bat, it was evident the opponents had been watching Ebony and Charlize in the previous game as they were quick to set their fielding positions 20-30 meters from the crease. The girls again batted very well; however it was not enough to beat Kyneton. But even with a loss, the girls would have a second chance in the Grand Final.

After a chat as a group, the girls really improved their bowling and reduced the number of runs they allowed Kyneton to score. Some more fantastic catches and beautiful teamwork allowed Candlebark to take six wickets, which gave them thirty runs to start their batting. Candlebark took full advantage of the no-ball rule this time, not attempting any shots when the ball bounced more than twice or was too far outside the pitch. This allowed our team to gain much needed runs. With plenty of talk from the sideline, the girls were stealing runs when Kyneton made mistakes. This shows how quickly the girls adapted to the game and used it to their advantage. The last two overs required Kyneton to take six wickets in order for them to win. They put on their best two bowlers, but Candlebark again remained calm and put their best foot forward, to lose only three wickets. With great excitement, we saw Candlebark win by fifteen runs. Not only did this top off an amazing day, but it also meant that the girls could add to the school trophy cabinet a winning flag that wasn’t from chess.

The girls should be really proud of their effort and their teamwork leading up to and on the day. It was really quite special to witness and to be a part of this spectacular day. A big thank you to Shaun, Sam, and the parents involved in the cricket contest.

- Written by Luke

Mount Buffalo Hike

Highlights from the Year 7s

Day 1. Rollasons Falls

We drove up a winding road to a beautiful waterfall called Rollasons Falls. We walked down the hill for 1.9kms, forgetting that we had to walk all the way back up later on. When we got there, we were greeted by the picturesque cascades. As soon as we got there people started getting ready to jump in. Everyone said it was freezing except for one person, Jack. Soon enough we figured out that we could jump into the water from a cliff on the opposite side of the falls. Oscar and Jack jumped first, then many people had a go at jumping from the big ledge into the clear deep water below. We could have stayed there for hours, but everyone was freezing, and camp called, so up we went.

- Written by Jack

The funniest bit of camp for me, was when everybody jumped out of the creek and the clouds came over. Everybody was shivering, wet, freezing, and huddled together. I was completely dry and warm. Poor them, bring a towel next time!

-Written by Zu

Night 1. Lake Catani

We arrived at the camp shaking and shivering from the freezing waterfall we swam in. Thank god the bathrooms had hot running water. After we all got dry and into our warmest clothes we set up tents… on GRAVEL may I add. While that happened the teachers made a really good pasta, we all crowded around the table to eat. After eating, the pasta pot needed to be cleaned, so Anouk volunteered, then Lucas, Ava, and Lena decided to come along. Sarah promised us an extra cookie, but we are still waiting… After that catastrophe we all headed down to Lake Catani. It was really beautiful, but cold. We all skipped rocks and took silly photos. We walked back to the camp, grabbed some chocolate then ran to our tents and cuddled up into our sleeping bags... it was beyond freezing! We talked for a while and soon drifted off to sleep.

-Written by Anouk and Ava

Day 2. Mt Dunn circuit hike

As we started walking, Eric and Anouk took the lead. We walked up and up for what felt like ages. Finally we came to the reservoir, and lunch! We were allowed to go for a swim, but Oscar and Reuben were the only ones who jumped in. Reuben was the bravest, he went first, and then Oscar had a go too. On the next bit of the hike we started singing Pepper Pig, we sang it all the way home. We are still singing it now.

-Written by Penny, Reuben, and Eric

Liam’s Stories

Liam is a former Candlebark student, who is now training to be a teacher. He will be teaching us humanities next year. He had lots of great stories about his time at Candlebark. When we had a lunch break we did some whittling, then the stories began. The Alice Miller group was at Buffalo too, we ended up bumping into them in the middle of the bush and sharing the same lunch spot. They joined in with the story telling. Soon, we were all sharing stories and laughing together. The stories included ‘A Mishap on a Mountain’, ‘Airport Security’, ‘A 12 Bull Story’, and our favourite, ‘Jesus at the Top of the Mountain’.

- Written by Lena and Jake

Community Notices

Seeking young people aged 9-25 to speak up and share their thoughts on issues which matter with community and government leaders who can take action! Two minute talks on something you care about - anything at all!! Have a think about it and REGISTER YOUR SPOT NOW! Free for Candlebark and Alice Miller students. MP Mary-Anne Thomas, MO Josh Bull, Mayor of Hume Shire Carly Moore and Deputy Mayor of the Macedon Ranges Shire Council will all be in attendance at the KIDx event March 22-23 at Sunbury Community Health to hear young people speak from Hume, Macedon, Mitchell and Hepburn shires.

Register now at https://www.thefieldtrip.co/kidx2019

For more information visit mrsc.vic.gov.au/Community-Funding-Scheme

Created By
Jane Cahill

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