In week 3 the challenge of 110km and 764m of vertical climb was tackled by 85 keen cyclists, 4 seniors, 13 parents and 7 staff for the Year 9 Cycle Camp.
A rejigged version of the 'Rail Trail' camp was undertaken this year which saw the route change from Clyde-Middlemarch to Clyde-Lawerence. Following the Roxburgh Gorge and Clutha Gold Trails over three days the year 9s students took on this challenge of endurance, mindset, team work and leadership.
The four classes were split into two groups. One camp away for Monday to Wednesday (9CBD and 9DOS) and the second from Wednesday to Friday (9DSM and 9DOS). Along with the physical challenge this experience gives students the opportunity to mix with their new classmates and get to know their teachers better as well.
The first day (for both camps) took the cyclists over the 12km Clyde River Track which served as the perfect warm up for the challenges to come. A quick lunch break and it was on to the big challenge of the day. The Roxburgh Gorge.
The students negotiated twists and turns, rises and falls and they edged towards Doctors Point where the relief of a 15 minute jet boat ride awaited them. This was a real highlight and provided some relief from the heat of the day.
After a bit of a rest on the boat the next challenge was the climb up towards the dam, with another 12km of riding and several metres of uphill switchbacks. This was a huge challenge for the students who showed a high level of perseverance and grit to make it to the top. The feeling of elation (and equal parts exhaustion) was a worthwhile reward for their efforts.
The last part of day provided a wind whistling down hill blast towards camp. While you would have thought the students would be out of energy by this point, this was not to be and the evening was filled by several 'friendly' games of cricket. It was great to have students, staff, parents and senior leaders getting in on the action and the boys are to be congratulated for the very inclusive way in which this was played.
Day two was a gradual downhill ride from Roxburgh, through Millers Flat and on to Beaumont. Along the way the students were able to visit The Lonely Graves and Horseshoe Ben Swing Bridge.
Although this day had less climb to contend with, the heat definitely made its presence felt. For the boys effort, they were rewarded with a swim at the end of the long 42km of ride. We found a great spot not far from our Beaumont camping site and enjoyed a refreshing dip in the mighty Clutha River.
We were very lucky to have a fabulous group of parents along on both camps. We could not undertake these experiences without their assistance and support so we are all very grateful for their contribution.
Each camp also had the support of two senior students (Sam Porter. Matheson Colquhoun, Thomas Meder and Mitchell Lobb) who served as leaders, mentors and role models to the boys of 'how we do things' at McGlashan. The contribution these young men made was substantial and we are very grateful for the time and energy they gave to the camp.
All in all it was a terrific few days. The students took this opportunity and all the challenges it presented in their stride. We hope they can take some of the skills and attributes they have shown on camp (determination, perseverance, grit, support of others, leadership) and apply these in other areas of their lives too.
A massive thank you to all the staff that attended, particularly Mr Casey who invested a great deal of time behind the scenes to ensure the boys had a fantastic trip.
When asked what advice they would give the 2023 students, the boys provided the following advice:
Practice before the camp and wear bike pants and a gel seat!
Ride the whole thing even if it is really hard and tough.
It’s all in your head. If you don’t think you can. you do it you won’t. If you think you can you will.