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St Columba’s College

Through The Outdoor Education Group’s annual camp, students new to St Columba’s College share in an unforgettable adventure, allowing them to establish and consolidate friendships and develop positive associations with their school.

  • School:

    St Columba’s College

  • Location:

    Essendon, Victoria

  • Student body:

    Approximately 1,000


St Columba’s College wanted to support their Year 7 students in creating positive relationships and building a sense of belonging in their first year at the secondary school. The teaching staff also hoped to deepen their understanding of their new students and develop their relationship with them.


The Outdoor Education Group offered St Columba’s College an annual school camp, allowing new students and teaching staff time and space away from the classroom to build meaningful relationships. Activities were designed to foster social cohesion and pro-social skills.


With the support of The Outdoor Education Group, each year’s new cohort of students share an unforgettable adventure together, establish friendships and develop positive associations with their school. School camp also allows the College’s teaching team to interact with their students in meaningful and unique ways.

St Columba’s College

Having recently celebrated 125 years, St Columba’s College was founded in 1897 and is a Roman Catholic girls’ secondary school in the Melbourne suburb of Essendon. With the guiding values of truth, compassion, love, faith and justice, the College is dedicated to connecting its students with the world around them and encouraging them to be critical and curious learners.

our partnership


student participants




activity sessions


With students joining the school in Year 7, St Columba’s College recognised the significance of this transitional period and what can be, for some students, a challenging phase. Many students enter their first year of secondary school at St Columba’s College without a strong social network. The focus on building strong, life-giving relationships is essential for all students as they enter a new environment.

The school leadership sought an experience that aligned with their values and allowed their students to connect with their peers and create a sense of belonging. The teaching staff also hoped for a way to deepen their understanding of their students and strengthen their relationship with them.


The Outdoor Education Group recognised St Columba’s College’s needs and was able to provide them with an annual camp experience bringing their new students together and engaging them in activities designed to foster teamwork, communication and a sense of belonging.

Group formations, which are deliberate and managed by the College, ensure students are grouped with peers they will share their learning environment, who they may not have had to opportunity to form strong relationships with yet. Teacher allocation is also strategic, as is the timing of the camp each year.

The Outdoor Education Group’s programs provide a way for new students to get to know each other away from the classroom, promoting one of the College’s leading principles – connecting students with the world around them.

“The Outdoor Education Group takes the pressure off our school from the preliminary stages right through to the delivery of programs. We’ve always felt very well supported by their staff.”

Rebecca Spiteri, Acting Head of Students, St Columba’s College


Since partnering with The Outdoor Education Group in 2014, each year’s new cohort of students build positive and meaningful relationships, share memorable moments with their peers and teachers and develop vital social skills to support them through secondary school.

With 100% facilitated sessions, St Columba’s College’s school camps offer teaching staff an opportunity to step away from the traditional role of instructor and get to know their students in a different way. With various activities, including a single night camp-out in tents, teachers see their students’ social dynamics, strengths and areas for improvement.

The College’s parent body also views the annual camp as a positive experience, noting their children often return home with new friends, a greater sense of confidence and belonging and positive feelings about their school.

“I have opened up to other people and I have made memories I will keep for ever.”

Year 9 student, St Columba’s College


Our centre-based camp programs cater to all personality and learning types by providing a wide variety of outdoor activities and powerful learning experiences, allowing everyone to shine.

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