Who would believe we were all up before 5am on Wednesday morning to set off on our big adventure to the snow. Students and staff alike were all a little tired but more than happy to be on our way. For most of the group, this would be their first trip to the snow ever! After a student pick up in Yarra Glen and a quick brekkie stop in Yea, we arrived in Mansfield for the second leg of our journey to Mt Buller. Here we met up with the Western group who would be sharing our adventure and hopped aboard the Mt Buller Bus Lines coach to head up to the mountain.
We arrived at our beautiful lodge with plenty of time to explore and have lunch, before heading off to hire all our equipment. Fitting on our ski and snowboarding boots for the first time was a difficult task, but something we definitely got used to by the end of the trip. Once this was done, we had time to get comfy in our gear, have a snowball fight, and make our way to our first lesson. Both the skiers and snowboarders had great instructors over the three days who really helped us feel at ease on the snow and develop our skills. Skiers learnt how to stop and make turns and used the magic carpet, while snowboarders were lucky enough to have their first ski lift experience and head down the mountain on their boards. All the students really listened well to this instruction and endeavoured to make the most of their experienced teachers during this time. Wednesday evening was spent eating a delicious big communal meal of spaghetti bolognaise and working on our community project.
Thursday morning was off to a great start with an early morning lesson followed by a couple of hours of free ski/snowboard time. We were very lucky with the weather for the entire trip and it made for a beautiful time out on the snow. After a warm and filling lunch at the ABOM café, Thursday afternoon was spent by some honing their new skills on the smaller runs, while others went out and explored higher up via the ABOM express. Unfortunately towards the end of the day Sarah was injured while snowboarding and had to leave Mt Buller to get checked out. Our students showed a great amount of concern and responsibility during this, and we’re all disappointed she wasn't able to finish the trip but very grateful she's okay.
Friday once again started off with a morning lesson, after a big group effort to clean up the lodge and pack all of our belongings. After this, we had free time out on the mountain again. For those who still had the energy to ski/snowboard right to the last minute, there was lots of fun travelling up and down the mountain with people from both our program and the western group. It was a really great way to finish off our time at the snow, before a big group lunch and final pack up. We were also lucky to be able to meet and thank Libby from Mt Buller for helping to give us this amazing opportunity.
Every single student on the program learnt new skills and faced new challenges during this camp, and experienced a great amount of success, no matter their skill level. As well as having a massive amount of fun on ski camp, every one of our students also showed some really fantastic qualities they should be proud of. The amount of determination, courage, self-confidence, responsibility, respect, care and perseverance was great to see. We look forward to celebrating many great leadership qualities like these at Graduation! See you then.