Return of the City Mission

Dimitri N (Year 10), Contributor

The following article contains events that may have been cancelled in the past meaning some students may have missed out on creating exciting memories. Year 12 students are warned to read at their own risk.  

Last week from Monday to Wednesday, year 10 went on the City Mission, a camp-like experience where students were able to explore the city and serve the wider community. As a cohort, year 10 has not had a camp since year 7, so, naturally, the majority of our grade was excited. This article will recount the events of City Mission for the rest of the grades. Hopefully, it will give the younger grades some insight into what’s to come. As for the year 12’s, well, this article might spark a bit of jealousy from some of you – so read at your own risk, year 12.  

City Mission technically started on Sunday when the leaders of each camp group received the itinerary of what would be happening on the following Monday. We found that the boys would be doing a scavenger hunt in the city and that the girls would be going to Manly Beach to do a service activity there. On Monday after the whole grade made their way to Milson’s Point where we were debriefed and sent on our way to begin our first activities.   

The first activity that the boys did was the city-wide scavenger hunt. The girls did this activity on Wednesday. To complete the scavenger hunt we had to find 12 clues scattered around the city. Terrible weather conditions made this hunt quite hard, especially for the boys as it was pouring rain in the morning. The search took us throughout the city looking for clues and doing bonus challenges along the way. We had a small budget for lunch which we had to use wisely to keep the group happy. Overall, the scavenger hunt was a very fun activity (in my opinion) taking us from Milsons Point to the Maritime Museum with some interesting stops along the way.  

On Tuesday the boys did an environmental service activity at Manly which the girls did on Monday. Whilst this might not sound very fun at first, this activity was certainly eventful being split into three interesting activities. The first of these activities was kayaking (paddleboarding for some). During this activity, we kayaked around Manly beach and the surrounding harbour collecting rubbish and plastic pollution as we went. This was a fun activity and a real challenge for those on paddleboards as they struggled to stop themselves from falling over. It was even more of a challenge to not fall over if you had friends kind enough to ram into your kayak or board in an attempt to knock you over.. The second activity at Manly was cleaning up the beach. During this activity, we walked around in small groups picking up plastic waste and washed-up litter from the sand. These two activities culminated with the third, that being plastic recycling. The people who were running the activities, Pittwater Eco Adventures showed us their brilliant, if somewhat expensive (apparently costing around $10 000), plastic recycling machine. Using this machine, we took bits of grounded-up plastic and melted them down. The machine then poured that melted plastic into a mould and we were able to create carabiners from that mould. Altogether, the activities at Manly were fun, but they also had a serious message about pollution. At both the beginning and end of the activities at Manly, we learnt much about plastic recycling and the effects of plastic in the ocean. I know it seems like this stuff is common knowledge, but the information gained from this talk was mostly new and far more in-depth than what I had known before. 

The final activity the boys did was done on the third day for the boys and on Tuesday for the girls. This activity was community service, in specific serving the homeless. For this activity, we went to two places, one of which was the ‘Kids Giving Back’ headquarters, where we prepared meals for the homeless. In this activity, we learnt about the living conditions of those without a home and how homelessness is impacting many more people due to COVID-19 and other current economic issues. We also made many dishes for the homeless such as ‘Mexican pasta’ and ‘rice paper rolls.’ Unfortunately, Greek yoghurt was not one of the ingredients (See my other fantastic WE ARE article for more info) despite the obvious benefits it would bring however we still made over 500 meals for the homeless as a grade which is a big contribution for the small amount of time we spent there. The second activity as a part of serving the homeless was working with a group ‘THREAD together’ that provides clothing for the homeless that brands overproduced or did not sell. When helping this group we were asked to do various tasks where we sorted the clothes and placed them in the necessary areas so that they could be distributed to those without a home. This was overall a very informative and eye-opening experience for the grade as they were able to help those in need. 

Some other things that happened during camp that were of interest included the living conditions and an activity led by the year leaders on Tuesday night. The boy’s hostel was relatively comfortable with 4-6 people per room with bunk beds and lockers for us. The girls had a much more mixed experience with some groups enjoying comfortable camps while others had a less comfortable experience, sporting no pillows and reportedly having to sleep through rain and seagulls being loud. And for the activity run on Tuesday night, delays and time constraints led the legendary year leaders to… uh… play dodgeball. This amazing game of dodgeball ended with a one-on-one battle against the two birthday boys, Mr Tom Byrne and Benjamin R. This battle ended with a massive upset when Ben Robinson got a quick and easy hit on his opponent.  

We finished off camp with a debrief where we were told that the winner of an ongoing camp competition would be announced in the coming weeks. This competition was made so that when camp groups did bonus activities or challenges during camp, they would get points. The team with the most collective points at the end of camp will get an unknown prize. As of writing this article, we have no idea who has won this competition but that should be disclosed soon. Overall, the camp was a really fun experience where we got many opportunities to do some amazing things and actually help people. 

I believe most of year 10 will agree with me when I say that year 10 City Mission was a lot of fun and a very beneficial experience. 

P.S special warning to anyone who may get Mr Noble as their group teacher for camp in the future, prepare for ambush…