THEY are 17 and 18 years old, there is 17 of them, they have just finished their last Higher School Certificate exams but there will not be any boozy parties for these young adults.
The cohort of Orange Christian School year 12 students is passing up Gold Coast shenanigans and overseas all-nighters for a Christian retreat in Katoomba.
Student Bronte Glasby said she much preferred the idea to the usual tradition of drinking to excess.
She said she would much rather spend time with her friends and remember it.
“Our group is not with the whole stigma of doing that, you don’t need to be drunk to have fun,” she said.
Student Thom Dwyer said he wanted to go on the four-day trip with his friends because it was a far safer option than roaming the seedy bars and bistros of some esplanade in a third-world country.
“There is a Christian centre there and there is more responsibility and less chance of something going wrong.”
“You often read about people getting hurt at those kinds of places,” he said referring to the typical schoolies destinations.
Amanda Haddin simply can not wait to spend four days with the friends she grew up with in a completely stress-free environment.
The students even fundraised to fly one of their own back from Vietnam so he could be with them for their graduation and their end of year trip. He was two thirds of the way through a three-year stint in that country.
There are no exams, no assessments, no school reports, just good friends having a good, safe time before they leave Orange for jobs and further education, she said.
“We just needed to relax and say good-bye to all our friends and have a sort of celebratory thing,” she said.
“We didn’t want to be pushed into doing anything stereotypical.”
The group will go exploring, bush walking and will stay across the road from Scenic World.