Week 1 – The major focus of the first week is to begin building ‘the Googa’ community. Students are involved in a variety of group initiatives, projects and other activities to assist with the process of establishing a cohesive working community. Students settle into the responsibility of managing their working and living conditions and are involved in many decision making processes. Towards the end of the first week students start preparing their navigation skills and participate in an orienteering activity.
During this week, night activities continue to foster team responsibility and also focus on emergency procedures and strategies to be used throughout the Googa experience. Staff are assessing the group for their ability to be indirectly supervised (unaccompanied ) during hikes, pioneering and solo. This is a privilege which can enhance learning outcomes and is given to students who are trustworthy and responsible.
Week 2 & 3 - Over the course of the next two weeks students will be involved in pioneering, hiking and high adventure activities. The Pioneering experience is designed to give the students an appreciation of the very basic, simple living style of the early settlers to this area. Emphasis is on group cooperation and personal responsibility in a bush setting. Through the hiking programme students learn many new skills such as menu planning for bush cooking, navigation, managing first aid requirements, sustainable environmental practices to respect the use of private land and an appreciation of simple luxuries like comfortable warm beds! Visitors’ day is generally held at the end of week 3 and students look forward to sharing their experiences and achievements with their parents.
Week 4 – During the last week of Googa, students are given the opportunity to reflect on their experiences through an overnight solo activity. During this week they also participate in final high adventure activities such as the high ropes or tree climb. Special evening events this week include a large bonfire, a hungi meal prepared by staff and the viewing of the class video as a final overview of their Googa experience.
On a daily basis students are responsible for the maintenance of the camp and participate in a variety of jobs to ensure the smooth running of each day. Some of these activities include feeding animals and preparing food for students, preparing devotions, cleaning living areas, chopping wood, washing clothes, journal and letter writing and some free time.
At all times the emphasis is on community living, students making their own entertainment, doing as much as possible for themselves and being responsible for their own actions.