Time for the week two Newstart update! What a busy week it was. Sometimes it amazes me how much exercise and activities we're able to fit into just a few days.
The group's efforts on the mountain bikes on Wednesday morning was fantastic- despite consistent rain there were no complaints and everyone really enjoyed exploring the bike tracks around Eltham. It was a great warm up for our longer ride at the You Yangs. Big thanks to Luke Mitchell (Reconnect) and Tom (Banyule Councilor) for joining us and sharing their motivation and expertise. I think I can speak for everyone when I say we were pretty glad to be able to spend the afternoon indoors and warm for the 'Flipping the Lid' session with Roz & Luke from Reconnect/Nillumbik Health. This session was an interesting and hands-on way of learning about the brain and emotions and we're looking forward to having another info session with these guys next week.
The rest of the week was spent at the You Yangs Regional Park for the first of three camps. Students and staff alike filled their hiking packs with camping equipment and food, and headed off on an 8km hike around Flinders Peak. While the packs were heavy the students had a great attitude and worked together to get through it. We saw some great leadership skills and made it safely to our destination well before dark. Learning to set up tents and cook their dinner on trangias was a new and very testing experience for some, although eventually everyone was fed and had a tent to return to that night. We finished off the day with marshmallows around the fire and an insightful and reflective debrief, where everyone had an opportunity to learn a little more about each other.
After a speedy pack up on Friday morning, we jumped on the mountain bikes and headed off for a whole morning riding some of the great tracks around the park. Once again we had some great leaders who pointed us in the right direction and made sure everyone stayed together. For those who love bike riding, the challenge was restraining some of the tricks and speed they'd usually try, for others it was manoevuring around a new type of terrain they'd never ridden before. Everyone did really well and the students moved quickly as a group. Big thanks to everyone for putting in the last final effort when we got back to Collingwood Alternative School to put away all the equipment. We were lucky enough to have Sarah join us for this camp and she'll be back again for a few more outdoor activity days.