The Year 8 Fantasy Adventure Writing Camp was originally a joint initiative of Malanda SHS and Tinaroo Environmental Education Centre. Our aim was to create a fantasy setting on the banks of the Lake of Mirrors and to stage a quest designed to inspire young creative writers.
The antagonist for the writing camp experience is an evil villain, Victor Voltarus, whose ruthless ambitions provide the fictitious scenario of an ambitious wizard aiming to gain ultimate power over the tribes of Celarus. Students are enlightened about the dire situation via video link with the magnanimous wizard, Zebediah Zolthouse, who explains that Victor had stolen 4 of 5 sacred magical totems which will enable him to rule the region. Zebediah requests that the representatives of the 3 tribes of Celarus accept their mission to retrieve the totems and restore peace. The goals of the quest become the basis of a range of physical and teamwork challenges that provided stimulus for the narrative writing process.
Integration of outdoor experiences and physical challenges (canoeing, hiking, raft building, high ropes) with iPad technology and explicit teaching of writing techniques result in an enriched learning experience to extend students with a passion for writing.
The writing process is further enhanced by a creative writing workshop hosted by a guest fantasy author, (Karen Healey 2011 and Michael Pryor 2012 - 2018).
The culmination of the program is the student presentation of a piece of writing inspired by their experience.
Since 2012 the camp has included students from Cairns SHS, Mareeba SHS, Atherton SHS and Malanda SHS supported by the expertise of the staff at Tinaroo EEC.
This program won a regional showcase award for innovation in 2012 and 2014.
It was decided in early 2019 to cease this fantastic program. The huge effort that was required to put this amazing program in place each year, was taking a toll.