Padua College Outdoor Education

Outdoor Education Programs

Research has demonstrated that a wide variety of beneficial outcomes can be gained from participating in adventure programs.

IMG 6789At Padua, we recognise that an adventure experience can affect individuals differently. It is the aim of the College to ensure that every individual who attends a camp at Padua learns to embrace their personal experience and enhance their relationship with the environment and those around them.

During each program, students are exposed to a huge range of adventure challenges. These challenges can be both physically and mentally demanding and provide a medium for learning by the students. Students also participate in reflection and personal development activities.

All of the camps at Padua operate in a sequential and thematic order, focussing on identified pastoral, spiritual and developmental themes. Some of the core values represented in each of these camps include: building resilience, creating community, experiential learning, 'challenge yourself', teamwork, active involvement environmental awareness and reflective practises.

Program specifics

Year 5: ‘Making Mates’

This two day program, where students attend in class groups, is all about making connections with mates, creating a fun, sharing environment and settling into college life with their class teacher.

Fun and spontaneous games are played, a low ropes course and challenge wall completed, along with each student screen printing on their own shirt. We also go to Main Beach,Noosa meet the lifeguard and play some fun games down there.

For some boys, this is their first time away from home, so there is a very high pastoral element to the camp. Most love the catered food and all the boys enjoy getting to know their class mates.

Year 6: ‘Elements’

The Year 6 ‘Elements’ program brings together all of earth's elements into a program that teaches about life, giving balance, perspective, and learning about our land and its people.

During the camp, boys make their own kites and fly them, they try building shelters and experience a zip line water crossing. Discussing sustainability and how we impact the land is also a theme, as we walk through the rainforest trails on the Amaroo property.

The camp is a three day and two night adventure, with engaging outside games and activities a real highlight at night.  

Year 7 and 8: ‘Formation’

Facilitated by House Guardians and Year 12 leaders, this program introduces the students to the College House structure and creates a space for the building of relationships.

We actively play 'get to know you' games and create a fun place where people can learn about their house, its founder and the hallmarks and character traits of a Paduan.

We learn to surf, play beach sports and Fr John welcomes us with a mass. The camp is a two day / one night induction camp and is an integral part of the Year 7 and 8 transition process at Padua. The ‘Formation camp’ is held very early in Term 1 of the school year.

Year 7: ‘Transition’

The Year 7 camp is all about considering the transition of entering into high school life and the new skills, friendships and experiences that have occurred throughout the year.

This camp also aims to develop maturity and self-confidence by developing critical thinking skills as boys actively engage in more adventurous activities.

The students try their hands at sailing with Noosa Yacht Club on the Noosa River working in small teams to crew a boat. Some challenging activities on the high ropes course present opportunities for peer support along with the technical skills of belaying and learning about equipment use.

A traditional perspective of transition into manhood is given by a local Gubbi Gubbi man, whilst the boys learn about the region and its significance. We also visit the Noosa Surf Life Saving Club to participate in a surf awareness program developed to help students be aware of rips and other dangerous surf conditions.

Year 8: ‘Outdoor Education Fundamentals’

This program aims to equip students with the all the basics of expedition and camping so that students can be self-sufficient and survive for a night camping on the property.

Teaching independence by spending time learning packing skills (understanding group camping gear, what food and nutrition requirements are needed, personal gear and sharing the load between backpacks) is an important part of this camp. During their stay, each boy also learns basic food hygiene skills required for camping and is asked to prepare their own meals.

Students rock climb on our artificial climbing wall, develop movement skills and build trust whilst they belay each other. Using college mountain bikes, boys learn the skills of riding, including; gear changes and braking, etiquette and speed on our slalom track. We work on a slack line, try archery and reflect on our journey.

Year 9: ‘Young men making choices’

This program focuses on students making good choices and decisions, being mindful of their actions, assertiveness in their communication and gives them risk assessment skills.

Elements of the ‘rock and water program’ are used, along with unique adventures activities.

One of the highlights of this program is a full day of water-based activities down at Main Beach, Noosa. Canoeing in the canals, our unique ‘surf rafting’ and further development of surfing skills make for many memorable experiences.

Personal ownership of actions, responding to challenges and choosing a positive mood are all part of this program.

Year 10: ‘Wilderness Journey’

The longest, toughest and most engaging of all our programs, students do a lot of planning and preparation for this journey of four day and three nights in the wilderness.

Each day, students travel via a different mode of transport. They utilise skills taught in previous programs to be self-sufficient whilst camping. Students stay in a different location each night and become very committed to their adventure! Highlights include a full day Canoeing on Lake Cootharaba, mountain biking in around Ringtail State Forest, rock climbing and abseiling on Mt Timbeerwah and a hike along the Noosa trail network.

Year 11: ‘Leadership development’

The Year 11 Leadership camp is the culmination of an extensive leadership development program facilitated at Padua for all Year 11s.

During the camp, students participate in a range of activities that include, understanding the characteristics of a leader, what’s required of a leader at Padua College and how to best identify leadership characteristics in an individual. The camp also aims to foster group harmony and peer support ahead of the very challenging Year 12.

Students complete an 'Amazing' race, build character masks and participate in daily workshops on leadership. Physically, the boys venture up Mt Cooroora for a mountain-climbing challenge, complete the sequential high ropes course and revisit the climbing wall as some of their challenges.

At the conclusion of the camp, students begin the nomination process for badged student leaders for the following year.

Year 12: ‘Transforming boys to men’

This program explores three concepts;

The Past: where students came from;

The Present: Who they are today; and

The Future: Who they want to become.  

Some unique activities present a platform to explore the potential of the students, with the Men Alive group co-facilitating. 

The challenges include a paint ball, high ropes challenges including ‘Jones' locker’ ‘sumo ball’ and a 200 metre zip line.