The Debacle that was Our Year 11 Camp

This camp was a disaster. And a shitfight. But I didn’t block it out.

It was a fine summer's day when we headed off in 1990 to our Year 11 camp along the pristine shores of Narrabeen Lakes.

Everything started out well for a few days until a few students confessed to hiding alcohol under the Hogan's Heroes huts.

Things totally hit the fan with this revelation but little did we know it was going to get worse. Far worse.

It all started when two of the boys attempted to enter the girls' hut under the cover of darkness.

They were promptly busted and sent home to Lithgow by themselves, where they were later located in a TAB, by the teacher known as Sarge, having a bet.

Oh the humanity.

As it was the 1990s, the teachers were somewhat more relaxed about our whereabouts and later sent us off to Newtown, by ourselves, for dinner.

They told us to meet them back at the Opera House at 8pm

I suspect the teachers wanted some time out and decided to surrender us to the surrounds of Newtown, which in those days was ungentrified and edgey.

There was a story that two of the boys were chased by punks for their Doc Martens. I miss punks.

I behaved myself and was reluctantly dragged out to dinner with my mortal enemy. Even today, I would rather bang my head on a desk than dine with him.

Others spent their time getting plastered and one of the usual offenders made a show of almost falling in front of a train.

Somehow we arrived at the Opera House, where I instantly feel in love with live theatre. It was Hugo Weaving for god's sake.

But some of the usual offenders chatted during the session and Hugo asked for us to STFU.

The teachers also found out some of us were plastered, which led to another rain down of hell.

We were in disgrace and our year advisor unleashed unmitigated hell upon us when we returned home.

Such was the power of his address that I felt guilty, even though I had done nothing more than maybe swear at my mortal enemy.

Lithgow was also abuzz with the news of our poor behaviour. We were the kids who disgraced the school and the town.

I remained guilty

And that is the story of our year 11 camp.

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