Operation Flinders trip a positive experience for Ceduna students

Participants of an Operations Flinders expedition have been presented certificates after completing the program.

A group of nine teenage girls from Ceduna Area School made the trip to the Flinders Ranges in July for an eight-day adventure.

They were presented their certificates in a ceremony at the Ceduna District Council chambers this month.

Operations Flinders team leader Leigh Aitken said during the trip the group undertook activities including hiking 105 kilometres across the eight days, cooking over a fire, sleeping rough, learning bushcraft and navigation, and abseiling.

He said it was the organisation's first trip for the year after being delayed by COVID-19.

"We describe it as an outback intervention program," he said.

"The main focus of our program is to build personal qualities such as self confidence, self esteem, resilience, and also teamwork.

"They learnt that when you work as a team you can accomplish a lot, whereas as an individual it is a lot harder."

Mr Aitken said the girls experienced personal growth during their week in the Flinders Ranges.

"The feedback was very positive," he said.

"The debriefs on the last day indicated they experienced some form of personal growth during their time away.

"A few of the girls understood they had strong leadership skills, another participant is engaging at school more regularly, and another of the girls - by her admission - would give up if things were too difficult, but she spoke to me in the course of the trip and said she needed to try harder when things are tough."

Mr Aitken's Ceduna trip also involved a follow-up activity with the group in which they visited Smoky Bay for an oyster tour and lunch.