Welcome to the first blog of Term 2 2016! We’re really excited to be back in the Hume area working with some great schools and local services. We’ve had a fantastic start and are looking forward to watching this fantastic group of young people experience challenges and reach their goals, with a lot of fun and positive achievements along the way.
We started our first day by dropping onto Roxburgh Park youth centre for a range of ice-breaker activities, where we got to know each other a little better. While here we also set a group code of conduct. In the afternoon we headed to Maribyrnong to the Youth Boxing Club. We were really put through our paces by our trainer Sal before having a go in the boxing ring. As Sal is also a member of the MFB, he gave us some really useful and important advice on fire safety and mental health.
Thursday was a big day on the program- it was the first day the students had to travel in to Collingwood to meet- which they did fantastically, showing great independence and responsibility. We jumped straight on the bus to head out to the Dandenong Ranges, where we did the Kokoda Trail Memorial Walk (1000 Steps). The group did this short hike at an impressive pace, putting themselves in a good position for the upcoming hike at the You Yangs. After this we headed out to Belgrave to Trees Adventure. A few students were feeling pretty nervous about being high up in the trees, but every single one showed great resolve and courage and pushed themselves to their personal limit, with everyone undertaking at least one course.
Friday saw everyone rather tired from the big start to the program but still keen to find out more about the first camp, and to pack all the necessary equipment. As we sleep in tents, the students are required to carry everything they need for sleeping and cooking in their hiking packs. We also managed to fit in a game of volleyball as well as a visit from Leah and Lan from the Reach Foundation who spoke a bit about our upcoming workshops with them. In the arvo we headed out to Melbourne Polytechnic (Fairfield Campus) to have a go at landscaping. Our teacher Tim showed us how to lay bricks, including the different patterns that are most commonly used for flat surface paving. We were impressed by the patience and care shown by the students to do this task and it was a great way to finish up our first week of the program!