From Friday the 28th of July to Monday the 31st of July, a selection of cadet personnel embarked on an extraordinary journey into the wilderness of Tallarook State Forest to immerse themselves in the most formidable yet rewarding camping experience that the Melbourne High School Army Cadet Unit has to offer. The MHSACU Survival Camp is a coveted event run annually amidst the Winter chill, where candidates from Years 10-11 are selected to attend based on their demonstrated aptitude for this challenging field activity. This year a grand total of 31 dedicated cadets embraced the hardships of the camp, of which all survived…
For those who are unacquainted with what Army Cadets is or the significance of this camp, the MHSACU Survival Camp serves as the ultimate test, evaluating the culmination of skills, willpower and camaraderie amongst the year 10-11 candidates. This distinctive experience fosters self-improvement and self-discovery, revealing a candidate’s inner strength as they confront newly set limits and reveal their true colours when faced with adversity. Through cold, rainy and sleepless nights, candidates learn to rely on sheer will and companionship to transcend the discomfort of the hard earthy ground, or the taste of emptiness in their stomachs. Each and every participant, regardless of who they were, united in the face of challenges, going hand in hand to help one another across fallen trees or 40° inclines. These are some of the most profound aspects of the camp that I find the most rewarding. The dire circumstances dissolve any previous social barriers and compel you to support each other as equals or even similar to how you’d support your closest friends. They let you understand your mental and physical limits and your potential not by choice, but by absolute necessity. Above all, the camp humbles you, having privileges that you’d normally take for granted like a warm shelter, food, proper facilities, all stripped away. Needless to say, we are fortunate to be able to run the MHSACU Survival Camp and it truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity that everyone should come to understand.
I would like to thank all the candidates for embracing the challenges on camp, the Year 11-12 students who lent their support in the running of the camp and of course, all the adult staff and old boys who helped make it possible.
A special congratulations to David Wang from 10D who was selected as the DUX of the 2023 MHSACU Survival Camp. David’s unwavering spirit and commitment to camaraderie demonstrated through both easy and hard times, exemplified the core values of what the MHSACU Survival Camp stands for.
Cadet Under Officer
Survival Camp Commander
Cadet Warrant Officer Class One
Survival Camp Sergeant Major