Week two of the program began with our first camp- we all jumped on the bus on Wednesday morning and headed off to the You Yangs State Park, where the group undertook some great adventure activities. We started off with abseiling on top of Big Rock. Tony from the Western group had everyone in safe hands and all the students had at least one run each, with a beautiful view!
After abseiling we swapped the harnesses for bike helmets and jumped on the mountain bikes to head up some of the great tracks the You Yangs have to offer. Despite a few spills, everyone did really well on this activity- gaining new skills, building confidence and supporting each other the entire time.
Our time at the You Yangs was rounded out by a visit from Uncle Dave, an Indigenous elder from the Wathaurong tribe. We were lucky enough to hear many stories of the local indigenous people, including stories from Dave's childhood and local Creation stories about the landscape we could see around us. We were given a great insight into the Indigenous history of the You Yangs and really appreciate the experience.
Despite a long day, the boys still had enough energy to cook us a delicious spaghetti bolognaise dinner once we got to our accomodation in Geelong- thanks guys! We also had a chance to learn more about different types of leadership styles and discuss the traits we admire in leaders before getting a well deserved rest.
Thursday morning! It's hard to believe we packed so much into one day yesterday, luckily today was a lot more relaxed. After a huge breakfast, and a quick go on the giant jumping pillow, we headed off to Serendip Sanctuary where ranger Matt told us all about the different animal and bird species living at the park, including a number of endangered bird species. This session was really informative and engaging, and the students asked many insightful questions. After spending the morning at Serendip, we had lunch back up on Big Rock at the You Yangs (where we met with and interviewed Dave, one of the rangers) before heading back into the city.
Friday was a later start for most, meeting at Flinders Street Station in the CBD for the Operation Newstart Amazing Race. We had two teams and two hours to complete the challenge using team work, map reading skills and a great amount of communication and problem solving. After a quick lunch at Melbourne Central, we headed over to the State Library to research Serendip Sanctuary and the Indigenous history of the You Yangs area in preparation for presenting about these topics on North West FM's 'Environmentality' radio show on Wednesday.