Springvale Park SDS is a member school of two government outdoor education camps catering exclusively for students from Victorian special schools.
BLACKWOOD OUTDOOOR SPECIALIST SCHOOL
Blackwood provides every student the opportunity to laugh, live, learn and have fun through outdoor adventure-based programs. Examples of activities students thoroughly enjoy participating in are archery, high ropes, low ropes, abseiling, canoeing, bushwalking, camp cooking to name a few.
Blackwood is 120 kilometres north-west from our school, surrounded by the stunning Wombat State Forest. The Centre was established in 1970 and provides the ideal setting for adventure, environmental, creative and developmental programs aimed at extending the abilities of students with special needs. The layout of the Centre complements and utilises the natural beauty of the property to provide a variety of activity sites designed to challenge students both individually, and within a team environment, to further their personal, emotional, social and physical development.
GARFIELD NORTH OUTDOOR EDUCATION CENTRE
Garfield North OEC is located in a rural setting in Gippsland, 60 kilometres from our school, close to the Bunyip State Park.
The centre provides a base where staff and students can access and experience the many beautiful settings that are close-by or a little further afield. Students enjoy participating in nature, craft, cooking and physical activities on-site, with visits to Phillip Island, Trestle Bridge, Toorongo Falls and climbing Mt Cannibal being memorable highlights. A relaxing time is also enjoyed in the camp playground and cooking marshmallows over the campfire.
Staff design programs to challenge students both individually, and within a team environment, to further their personal, emotional, social and physical development.
Some students are given the opportunity to participate in three bike camps over the year, organized by Blackwood Outdoor Specialist School staff and assisted by many volunteers.
Our students are challenged to ride beyond their comfort zone when they participate in these unique annual bike riding events. These events create cohesive camping & cycling communities by hosting a variety of Special Schools from across Victoria, and involving all students and staff in dynamic, inclusive, challenging and adventurous programs.
Our students practise six weeks prior to each ride. Our focus is developing, furthering and maintaining skills, safety, fitness and team work, along with having fun with staff and their peers. We use local bike tracks – Jells Park and Braeside Park to use gears correctly, follow instructions and demonstrate persistence when riding uphill for some 1.5 kilometres. Staff who accompany the students have Bike Ed qualifications.
Term 1 - The Alpine 100 – Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail
A beautiful ride from Beechworth to Myrtleford one day – 43 kilometres, another day, Myrtleford to Bright and return – 60 kilometres.
A wonderful, rewarding week away, riding, visiting places of interest and playing cricket or footy with new friends form other special schools.
Term 4 – The Super Ride
A ride of some 43 kilometres around Blackwood and neighbouring towns. The roads are mostly unmade and there are lots of hills to test one’s endurance. Our students perform extremely well with this ride, and are always smiling. We are very proud of their efforts.
Term 4 – Cheviot Ride – Great Victoria Rail Trail – 70 kilometres.
Located around the Yea, Mansfield, Bonnie Doon, Eildon area, we ride over the Eildon Weir bridge and through the 201 metre, unlit, Cheviot Tunnel for fun and games.
Like the other rides, students are given the opportunity to use their bike skills, interact with students and staff from other special schools, volunteers and the local community. Fun activities are also organized when we are not riding as well as relaxing after a long ride.
Camps are always a great way to further enhance independent living skills, following instructions and working as a team member to achieve favourable outcomes for all.