St Joseph’s owns and operates its own well-appointed outdoor education campus on a 30 hectare site on the beautiful Colo River. It is located in the upper Colo Valley, approximately 45 kilometres north-west of Windsor, on land adjoining the Wollemi National Park.
This campus provides students with inspiring challenges and opportunities that are not available in a traditional classroom setting.
A sequential program operates in Years 7, 8 and 9, with boys attending camps for four or five days and a leadership development camp is held for selected Year 11 students at the beginning of each year. Students are accommodated in cabins in small groups. Each cabin has its own showers, toilets and relaxation area.
The outdoor activities incorporate a sense of adventure and challenge and include orienteering, group problem solving, bushwalking, canoeing, mountain biking, rock climbing, adventure ropes course, bushcraft and expeditions. The activities promote the personal and interpersonal growth of the boys, and foster team building and cooperation skills.
The program of activities for any group attending Colo may be modified at any time in order to mitigate risks associated with prevailing severe weather conditions such as high temperatures, wind or lightning, or natural emergencies such as bushfires or floods.
Outdoor Education is an important part of the holistic educational experience at St Joseph’s and has the potential to be a powerful, positive learning experience. We believe taking part in well-managed outdoor experiences and challenges provides many opportunities for personal growth and learning.
Camps at Colo are not designed to produce good rock climbers or mountain bike riders. Instead, they aim to help boys on their journey towards becoming resilient, competent, caring and confident young men.
The Colo campus is staffed by specialist outdoor education teachers. These teachers are accredited, well trained and highly experienced, and are certified in Wilderness Leaders Advanced First Aid. They undertake regular training and professional development.
Colo has an outstanding safety record.
Since 1987 the Colo program has had more than 73,000 participant days of outdoor activity without serious injury to students. Despite our best efforts, the possibility of an accident always exists as the nature of outdoor activities will always involve an element of risk, inconvenience and uncertainty. The outdoor environment itself is dynamic and unpredictable. There are inherent risks both in the nature of the activities and the environment which cannot be totally eliminated. The College holds the welfare and safety of each student in the highest possible regard. Consequently, significant time and resources are invested in the risk management systems and processes associated with planning and implementing the College’s outdoor education program.
A safety report is compiled by the centre twice each year. Safety reports for the 10 years from 2007 to 2016 record an overall injury rate of 2.76 per 1000 participant days, with an illness rate 2.13 per 1,000 participant days.
The injury incident rate for outdoor education activities at Colo compares favourably with published injury rates for organised sports. Clacy et al (2016) report that in a study of sports and active recreation injury in the Latrobe Valley, cricket had the highest injury rate of 242 injuries per 1000 participants, followed by horse-riding (122 injuries per 1000 participants), soccer (107 injuries per 1000 participants) and netball (51 injuries per 1000 participants.(Source: Clacy, A., van Mulken, M., Goode, N., Salmon, P. (2016). The UPLOADS National Incident Dataset Annual Report: 1st June 2015 to 31st May 2016).
Parents and families can access the most up-to-date Colo documents and forms by logging into the Parent Portal and accessing the forms section here: https://parent.joeys.org