Feedback on the Lightfoot experience

There is no greater reward for us than the joy and understanding expressed by the students and teachers that we have had the pleasure to host at Wangat Lodge.


TEACHER FEEDBACK

"I was extremely impressed by the program you offered us. Your... expertise and enthusiasm and your use and involvement of the children in the program made it a real experience."

"The varied program...provided many opportunities which could be extended into further units of work right across the school curriculum."

"Fantastic!!! Would highly recommend it for all School Camps. Program excellent."

"Thanks so much for everything you gave to us all over the four days. You planted so many seeds for them and you did it with such joy, enthusiasm and conviction - I feel certain that they gained far more than they are willing to speak about just yet, but over time all will be revealed."

"What a great four days we had at Wangat! The children still haven't come down to earth.... For some of them it's been the most exciting experience of their lives.... "

"Absolutely wonderful learning and living experience."

"The children learnt more in those three days than they would have in a month in the classroom."

"We really appreciate the amount of time and effort you put into our children. Your enthusiasm for the environment has really rubbed off on them...."

"The Lodge, its setting and facilities are magnificent and we look forward to enjoying them again next year."

"The great range of environments in close proximity to the Lodge is a wonderful asset - rainforests, waterfalls, farmland, eucalypt forests, river, cliffs, logged areas, the Dam, the catchment area."

"Our four day/three night excursion to Wangat Lodge to enable pupils to appreciate the natural environment and the need for conservation rates as one of the very best I've been involved in..."

"I have been 3 times before and each group I have accompanied has had a fabulous time. The activities are well planned and suitable."

"A very fulfilling experience. I would gladly attend again."

"Being here has made me feel a peace that I need, that I don't get in my daily work and routines.
I have watched the children's faces light up with wonder and enjoyment as they discover new aspects about nature or identify animals or plants that they know something about.
I have enjoyed the company and help from the parents who gave of themself to be there for the children. They are fun and loving people who I will miss very much as I move away from this school after Christmas. I hope I can keep in touch as friends.
Thank you Ken and Robert for teaching us to appreciate and love nature. You must have peace and contentment in you because you live here. How lucky you are to be away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Being here makes me realise what a lucky person I am, how fortunate I am being with children - it is up to us to teach them to be at peace with each other and with nature."

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STUDENT FEEDBACK

"It was wonderful coming to Wangat Lodge. It was funny and it was so good that I can’t even remember everything."

"I really enjoyed looking up the hollow fig tree!  It was so so so awesome!"

"Being in the wild makes me realise... I shouldn’t let the small things in life get the better of me."

"Thank you for the best nature experience. My favourite things were eating the bush raspberries and the other bush tucker. The camp inspired me to make myself a better person on earth."

"I love that beautiful kingfisher. It really makes my eyes go wide to see the sight of this rare kingfisher. My mum and I think it is a really good thing. Thanks Ken."

"I loved seeing the wallaby with the joey because I have never seen a wallaby before. Just to see that little joey's head popping out from the pouch was so cute."

"I liked the look-outs but most of all I liked the bush walks. My favourite look-out was Shaky Knees Look-out. I liked the adventurous way to The Island."

"Miming was one of my favourite. It was really nice to sit there and wonder what the others were miming and to wait and wonder when it was my turn."

"We had fabulous food - lunch, dinner, breakfast. I liked the dessert, it was delicious. When each room had to dry the dishes it was fun. I liked the hamburgers, they were really tasty."

"My absolute favourite thing was having 20 minutes of silence by the river."

The final activity of a multi-day stay for primary school children is a Solitude Session along a pristine section of the Chichester River, where the children can sit quietly in their own place in the wilderness with pencil and paper in hand they have time to reflect and express their feelings...

So lush and green is Wangat,
Such a distant place, so undisturbed,
With a faint trickle of water
And the gentle breeze that 
Sways the mighty gums;
There is barely a trace of human work.
And when the outside world is slowly dying 
Wangat will form a world of its own,
And anyone who comes to this beautiful place 
Will be engulfed in its pleasures
And simple joys
That the rest of the world once had too,
Before it was destroyed
By the cruel ways of modern man.
Only then will we realise what we have done 
To the best planet in the galaxy,
And only then will we wonder 
How we could patch up 
Our deadly mistakes.

(c) 1998 Marni Pilgrim
Year 5, Caves Beach Public School
Printed with permission

"At this camp I have felt feelings that I have never felt before. It's hard to find solid words...to tell you what I'm feeling. Back at my home in Newcastle I feel hurried, rushed, pushed away.... But here at Wangat I feel isolated and emotional. I feel as if I was asleep all my life and that I have just been awoken to the soft gentle noise of nature. Every walk that I have been on has brought me to the depth of the wilderness. And now as I nearly depart from this place of beauty and isolation...I think that the hearts of many children will change here. And this place will be in my heart forever."

Year 5 student, Marks Point Public School