Each year, students in Year 11 at Armidale High are given the opportunity to adventure into the wild and white world that is the ski season in Jindabyne. Each year, the adventure is filled with fun and excitement (and bruises!).
Each year , we ride the agonising and entertaining 11 hour bus trip.
Each year, we are amazed by the fields and fields of snow that stretch as far as the eye can see. Each year, we encounter many bumps and bruises from our falls and fails. Each year, we soldier on. Each year we play, dance, dress up, learn, challenge and grow.
Each year, we students are full of surprises.
It was on the 31st of July, a night of low temperatures but high spirits that 50 shivering students set off with their heads held high and imaginations running wild with the prospect of gliding gracefully on soft powder. Eleven hours later, though slightly puffy-eyed and delusional from a close to sleepless night, we arrived at the charming town of Jindabyne and were greeted by a light shower of snow; releasing the excitement once more and introducing the first of many snow fights.
With a twinkle in our eyes and a spring in our step, we were not deterred even at the news of a 5.30 am wake up, and enjoyed the first of what was to be a variety of delicious meals provided by our accommodation (Jindabyne Sport and Recreation Centre). And so began our first night on the slopes of Jindabyne, beginning what was to be a spectacular excursion.
The next morning, which most of us registered as actually being extremely late at night, was full of the moans and groans, of insomniacs. Severely sleep deprived and already considering turning our backs on our snowboards, skis and, in particular, our weighted boots which demand a penguin waddle, we piled onto the bus and let anticipation grow.
The gear and genuine thrill of the sparkling white landscape whisked away the cold. We buzzed with excitement as the men in blue, our instructors, came down from the heavens to bestow upon us their many talents. As we watched them slide gracefully across the snow, in complete control, we smiled at the thought doing the same. Moments later, we were sadly disappointed and in pain as we lay laughing in a heap in the snow. Beauty was out of the equation, everyone exhibited bright red noses and concealed wind swept faces with goggles and beanies.
Several stacks later, a slightly disheartened group of waddling children collapsed into the snow. This was to be the outcome of most days, for most people. Despite this, everyday we rose again and gave it all once more, in hope to one day magically being like Toby. This happened for no-one, but people did begin to pick it up and face more demanding slopes, usually ending in more devastating stacks.
The night activities saw whatever energy remained quickly drained. The disco ensured that everyone was moshing their hearts out (in a strictly no moshing environment) and also finalising the special bonds of Singidale. The sweatbox was a huge success…The arm wrestles brought in the Jindy bucks and provided opportunity for the students to show their support of Mrs Garvey and, courtesy of the philosophical lectures, mental stamina was drained.
Despite being completely exhausted, we got up each day and embraced the snow again with a severe waddle from the copious bruises we had accumulated; we allowed ourselves to be tricked into thinking that 5.40a.m. was a sleep in. We managed to keep the spirit alive, decorating the landscape with snowmen- some more imaginative than others- and walked away from the last day smiling.
And so, after a satisfying and exhausting excursion, we piled onto the bus once more prepared for the painless 11 hour sleep we had ahead of us…And so, at two o'clock in the morning, the now delusional group of students found themselves broken down at a McDonalds in the middle of nowhere, where we were forced to amuse ourselves with photography, jelly and a whole lot of hysterical laughter.
Finally, the radio was turned down and thus we set up camp for the night. Two hours later, our rescue bus arrived and soon everyone was too deeply unconscious to take in anything else.
This year, students in grade 11 of Armidale high were given the opportunity to adventure into the wild and white world that was the start of the best snow fall all year in Jindabyne. This year, the adventure was filled with fun and excitement (and bruises!).
This year, we rode 11 and 13 hour bus trips.
This year, Byron set off the fire alarms with his deodorant.
This year, Calla surprised everyone…particularly the Singleton boys.
This year, Jarrod provided entertainment for 20 stranded students at two o'clock in the morning.
This year, Year 11 grew together.
And this year, we students were full of surprises.
Goodbye Jindabyne, we'll be back soon, and next time we'll be ready.
Sophie Florance and Sascha Harrop
This year, students start preparing for the Higher School Certificate, so it's important your child settles into a good routine that balances study commitments and life outside of school.
Preparing for the HSC
The subjects studied in Year 11 are preliminary subjects for HSC study and exams in Year 12.
Year 11 can be a challenging time for students. Your child's year adviser and other staff are available to give support or students can make an appointment to see the school counsellor.
Our school careers adviser can help students make educational choices, define a career direction and prepare for future study and training.
The careers advisory services website also offers help in clarifying course choices, employment opportunities, career pathways or training options. See career development for students (also in community languages).