Year 4 Mon Repos Environmental Camp

Year 4 Mon Repos Environmental Camp

Did you know that hatchlings have tiny, round belly buttons on their under bellies where they used to be connected to their egg yolks?! Also, did you know that they move towards light and that they clamber over each other to get out of their tight little nest. Well, this is what we discovered last Wednesday evening as we visited the world-famous Mon Repos Turtle Centre on our beautiful coastline close to Bundaberg.

After a 20 minute trip from school, we arrived at the Elouera Guide Campsite.  We unpacked our things quickly. The girls glamped in the bunkhouse while the boys camped in real tents. After settling in, we played handball, had lunch and played some group games with Mr Bakker. Next we broke up into groups for our fun and sandy but environmentally friendly beach activities. Our favourite activities were building turtles in the sand and doing some art. We tried to find micro plastics in the sand, but alas, Mon Repos did not have many. A few sharp eyes spotted one or two little pieces of plastic in the sand.

Scrumpdelijumptious (Caius’ word) Pizzas from Domino’s gave us energy for our long but rewarding walk to the Mon Repos Turtle Centre. On this walk, we spotted Bush Turkeys. We were ecstatic to discover that as soon as we reached the Mon Repos Turtle Centre there were some hatchlings on the beach just waiting to emerge.

This is where we discovered the belly buttons on the little hatchlings. We led these babies to the water with our bright torch lights. Some little hatchlings even walked over our feet as we stood quietly watching them crawl to the water. We also saw Ranger Sahara dig up an old nest to save hatchlings that might have got stuck. This experience was quite smelly as there were a few dead hatchlings in the old nest. At the Turtle Centre we learnt much more about turtles in the activity room and saw three short movies. The movie theatre had real sand and we spotted a huge ghost crab in the centre. This was less scary than the green frogs and toads in our showers back at camp. Before going to bed, which was long past our normal bedtime, we had some milo and lamingtons.

Sleeping was a bit challenging. Most people had quite a bit of sand in their beds and sleeping in the tents was very noisy, there was a flapping of tents and lots of snoring. The bunkhouse was not much better with all the snoring and bright exit light which was on all night.

After a short night of sleep and a huge breakfast we went to the beach for an exciting swim. We jumped over the waves, did some body surfing, piggy-back riding and some of us even got ourselves buried in the sand.

Back at camp, we had a sausage sizzle, we packed up our things and then played some games on the large logs under the shady eucalyptus trees. After some more snacks and packing up, we wearily hopped onto the bus and arrived back at school – we were exhausted. We had some free time when we got back before it was time to go home.

We learned that we need to keep our lights off or dimmed during the turtle season as turtles are very sensitive to lights. Trying to use less plastic will also help our special turtles. We also learned that we are much loved and have adults who enjoy seeing us have fun and learn new things.

Joint Construction Year 4