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What a wonderful time we had on Urban Camp in Week 1. We visited many places and received some very positive feedback about the behaviour and manners of the Grade 5/6 students (we will just forget about the lack of sleep some Lorne teachers had on the first night due to some night owls!!)

It was a fantastic experience catching public transport around the city; we learnt to read tram and train timetables, mapped our best route and planned our arrival and depar-ture times. Travelling on trains and trams during peak hour and making our way through a very crowded Central Station was exciting and perhaps just a little stressful for the adults, however, the students were very cooperative and respectful of others. We learnt to stand with our feet apart to balance our weight and made sure we had our hand on a seat or rail as we stood on some very crowded trains and trams.

Recounts:

Ice house 

When I stepped onto the rink, I wasn’t sure if I was shaking because I was cold or because I was scared. What if I fell and my fingers got ran over? What if I slipped and cracked my head? I felt the ground get very slippery and wet. They told us that the ice isn’t real so we shouldn’t eat it- I wouldn’t eat it if it was real either. Our instructor/teacher made us fall on pur-pose, why? I don’t know. The ice melted under me and soaked through my clothes. He said it wouldn’t hurt, but he lied. I looked around the rink and saw Ishy, Mia and Amelie gliding around the rink perfectly. I tried to skate a bit faster but came crashing down straight away. After about an hour of skating and falling, I stepped onto the hard non-slippery ground and took my helmet and skates off, my feet froze the instant I took off my skates.

By Kira Stanley

OLD MELBOURNE GAOL 

Overall, this was one of my favourite things to do.

“ and here ….. is where Ned Kelly got hanged!” our tour guide said. I suddenly got chills. Then our tour guide told us about the lady who escaped when someone’s trial was on.

Story – there was a lady called Ann ( I think ) and she was a well-behaved prisoner so she was allowed to do housekeeping instead of doing laundry like all of the other women. Someone’s trial was on, and the public wanted to know about it so they gathered to hear about it. She decided to put on the guard’s wife’s dress and managed to just walk out with all the other women. Soon enough a guard was shopping and saw her, and then she was returned to gaol. After we got to see the death masks, the cells, and the place where Ned Kelly got hanged. When we walked around to the cells I went with Savannah. The cells were so tiny, so if you were claustrophobic it wasn’t the best. It was creepy because you knew other people used to be locked up in there for 23 hours a day. The last hour was yard time. In the Gaol, they put wax figures in the cells to scare you, which I did get very scared. Our tour guide was really nice. The death masks are masks of the people that have been killed. With the girls’ death masks, it was impolite to shave their hair off, so they left the girls hair on which you could see if you looked closely. When we were at the entrance, the two big doors had spikes on them ( they weren’t sharp though. When we were walking around the University part, there was this tree that had roots that had grown on a wall. It was really cool! After, we got to the gift shop, I bought a key, and a bracelet.

By Shyra Gentle

Big Issue 

Leading up to the Big Issue I thought it was going to be boring. As we walked through the doors to the classroom, to take a seat, my head was stirring with thoughts. My favourite part was when Shane, our guest speaker, told us his story. He told us about how he became homeless because his dad was sick, his mum and brother had passed away and he had to be his dad’s carer. Sadly, his dad passed away and Shane thought it would be easier to live in the country and all his problems would be gone. It was the exact opposite. Shane started to feel homesick so he moved back to the city. The only thing was because he was homeless, he had to live on a friend’s couch for a while then he moved to a sheltered house. The first four houses were unsafe and turned out to be bad life experiences for him. It really touched me how someone like Shane became homeless but was then able to rebuild his confidence and his life. It almost brought a tear to my eye. After we were finished, we walked out onto the street and a lady was selling a copy of the Big Issue and lots of people made a donation or bought a copy of the magazine. Shane had also told us that even if the sellers have had their worst day someone that comes past that donates a small amount of money or says “Hello” can make their day. I was wrong. It was a great learning experience.

By Rio Calder