On Saturday 17 June, Year 9 boys from The Scots College, Glengarry campus, will be riding their bikes through the township of Kangaroo Valley on The Long Journey Home, their six-day symbolic journey, back to Bellevue Hill.
The Long Journey Home is the culmination of the two-term, boys-to-men, Glengarry Outdoor Education Program. They have conquered caving, canoeing, climbing, academics, and developed even stronger camaraderie – without the shield of technology. At Glengarry, Scots boys discover personal strengths through experiential learning opportunities spanning all academic curriculum areas. They face their fears and enter ‘the challenge zone’, extending themselves into new territories. These new skills improve a boy’s ability to focus, which strengthens his academic learning outcomes and develops his character towards becoming a fine young man. The program has enjoyed a full return, after the challenges of bushfires, the COVID-19 pandemic and floods in recent years. Students have made the most of their time but are ready to begin their journey home.
The first day of The Long Journey Home is very significant. The boys head through Kangaroo Valley in their fluoro vests and accompanying, ever-vigilant staff. They hope for a clap and a cheer from the locals, encouraging them as they head towards Wattamolla Road and what is known as ‘Mars Bar Hill’, before continuing down through Berry and across to Gerroa.
On the second day, the boys and staff take a 30 kilometre hike along the scenic coastal path to Kiama, crossing the Minnamurra River in big canoes before a well-deserved rest at Killalea. Early in the morning on the third day, the boys continue to ride north along the coastline, past the Steelworks, skirting the beachside suburbs of Corrimal, Bulli and Thirroul to Coledale.
On the fourth day, the boys will hike across the photogenic Sea Cliff Bridge at Stanwell Park. They spend the last couple of days hiking the sandy coastal tracks of the Royal National Park, culminating in a final night camping at Bundeena.
On the final morning, the boys will board a ferry from Bundeena, making their way through the Sydney Heads to, finally, disembark at Rose Bay. Then, after a brief walk up the hill to The Scots College Main Oval, they receive a ‘hero’s welcome’ – with much jubilation and fanfare from joyous parents, carers and the College community. Piped back into the school by the College’s own student Pipes and Drum band. The boys that left the school and the comforts of home life – only six months before – now return as young men.