The value of Emu Gully Adventure Education
The results are in… Emu Gully Shapes Great Australians by enhancing relationships.
In today’s education climate there is a relentless pursuit of academic achievement. Unfortunately this is often at the expense of extra-curricular activities such as school camps and more holistic educational activities. Value for money and time are a primary consideration in addition to overall student wellbeing. From a school perspective there are the following two questions:
· Why do school camps?
· Why choose Emu Gully Adventure Education Group?
Through extensive research the Relational Schools Foundation founder Rob Lowe has found that character is expressed through relationships, and that ‘there is a striking correlation between relational health and wellbeing of students’ (relationalschools.org 2019). In addition to decades of anecdotal evidence, Emu Gully recently partnered with the Relational Schools Foundation to measure the impact of the Emu Gully experience on the relationships within a group of year 11 students from Toowoomba Christian College and the results were quite simply outstanding. The study found:
· A positive change in the quality of communication, with students belief that they could talk more openly and honestly with their peers after camp
· That students came back from camp believing they can turn to their counterparts to overcome problems due to a greater sense of loyalty to each other
· That students got to know each other better as they engaged in different contexts and activities
· An increase in respect and value for their counterpart’s contributions and behaviour
· An increase in commitment to common goals, and feeling part of the group
· The relationships before camp were already healthy… after camp they were even better!
So in response to the questions above… Why do school camps? Why choose Emu Gully?... The results speak for themselves…Firstly, as camps, outdoor education and extra-curricular activities have a positive influence on student well-being and therefore academic performance, it would be counterproductive to remove such a powerful opportunity. Secondly, our purpose at Emu Gully is to Shape Great Australians! We believe in people and provide opportunities for them to thrive individually and collectively. As young people participate in the Emu Gully experience their relationships improve, setting them up for long term success. As the report clearly states…
‘Students who have healthy relationships with their peers, are far more likely to be thriving as individuals. They are happier, more hopeful, and more excited for the future’ (relationalschools.org 2019).
I believe that this should be a primary objective of all education.
CEO, Emu Gully