Lauren’s Ballarat Camp Report

On Tuesday the 11th of October the grade 5/6 of Boolarra went to Ballarat.  On the bus I sat next to Kayla and we sang songs. We sang the Collingwood and Essendon AFL songs. Then we stopped at Thorpdale to get the Thorpy kids, and then we stopped again to get Narracan kids.

Kayla and I sat at the back with Erin and Alannah.  After we went through Melbourne we stopped at Hannah Watts Park in Melton for lunch. We also got to have a play and go to the toilet.

After lunch we got back on the bus and kept on driving.  Our next stop was in Ballarat at Pax Hill Scout Camp. This was where we were staying for the next 3 nights. That night after tea we played games. One game was where you had to roll a 6 and put on a hat, a scarf and gloves then you had to break up chocolate and eat it with a knife and fork. When the game had finished Kayla, Eden and I went to bed but some kids played another game.

On Wednesday after beaky and we had cleaned our rooms, we went to Sovereign Hill. In Sovereign Hill my group walked around looking at the little huts and answering questions. We also looked at the Chinese Temple, went inside the huts and looked at the different types of shaft.

Half way answering the questions we went on a tour of the Red Hill Mine. It was at 11:30. I thought going through the mine was really cool because there were sound effects, voices and there were lights on.

After the mine and finishing the questions we had free time. We got to walk around and buy things. I bought a lolly pop and a drink of sarsaparilla.

Then we had lunch. At lunch we met the other groups. We talked about what they had being doing and what they had brought.

After lunch we had more free time before the gold smelter. In this free time I did candle dipping. I dipped a fat bumpy candle. It was $4.00. While I was there I also bought a wish candle for 50c. When I dipped the candle they showed me how to do it first. They said that you have to start with yellow or pink because they are the lightest colours. After you put the candle in one colour you have to put it in water. Then you can hold that end and dip the other end. They also tell you that if you put the candle in one colour and then in another colour it will make this colour. The colours were pink, yellow, red, blue and black.

In the gold smelter a man did a demonstration on melting gold. While he did it he was telling us about how hot the gold has to be to melt it and more facts about gold. One of the facts was that gold was one of the heaviest metals in the world.

After the gold smelter I went and dipped another candle. It was another fat candle. This time when I dipped the candle I did it with Bridie and Cody.

Then at 3:00 my group (group1) and group 2 did Gold Fever. We were in groups of 4 and we were from different countries.  I was Irish with Eden, Cody and Mitchell. We had to go down a 1 metre shaft and look for ball bearings (gold). Then you had to get your gold weighed and changed into money. With the money you had to buy a licence. You could also get arrested for running, not having a licence and for being at someone else’s mine shaft. Even though I was the first arrested I thought that it was really fun.

When we had finished Gold Fever we went and did panning. I found 2 pieces of gold but didn’t keep them.

When group 3 and 4 had finished Gold Fever we went to the gold museum. While we were there we watched a tape on gold and then we walked around the museum.

On Wednesday night after tea we went back to Sovereign Hill. We went back for the sound and light show – Blood on the Southern Cross. First we were inside and we watched a film about the Eureka Stockade. Then we went outside to the panning area and saw a little bit of what the show would be like. We then got on shuttle buses. The buses took us to the main viewing area. I really liked the show and I thought the best part was when there was fire and gun shots.

On Thursday we went to the old Ballarat cemetery. We had to answer questions about the graves. The question were about Chinese, Europeans, soldiers and the Eureka Stockade monument.

Then we went to the Ballarat Art Gallery which has part of the Eureka centre display. While we were there we were part of the court case after the Eureka Rebellion. I was Phoebe Emmerson. I was a store keeper on the Eureka diggings, I hid 3 diggers after the attack and I married George Scobie. When we had finished the court case we went on a tour of the Art Gallery.

After lunch we walked through the Botanical Gardens. When we were walking we went past the past Prime Ministers’ heads. There wasn’t one of Julia Gillard. Then we walked back through the gardens to the wall of remembrance.

When we were back at camp we had showers and got ready for the formal dinner. I then helped Mrs Emond by teasing her hair. After the formal dinner we watched a movie. It was called RIO. It was funny.

On Friday after breakfast we packed our bags and cleaned up the cabins. When the bus was loaded we left. We went on the bus to Melbourne. While driving we watched a movie. It was the Borrowers. When we were in Melbourne we saw a model getting filmed.

In Melbourne we went to the Old Treasury building. It was where the gold was kept before it was sent to England. We had a tour of the building and we learnt about a family that lived there as caretakers.

We then had lunch in Treasury Gardens. After lunch we got on the bus and headed home. On the way we dropped of the Narracan and Thorpdale kids.

By Lauren Alexander.