We were well and truly lucky when it came to the weather on the second week of the Hume Newstart program, as we spent most of the time outdoors! It was clear skies for all our activities, which we were very grateful for.
We started the week off with a visit to the Kangan Institute in Broadmeadows. Here we were given a tour of the campus from the ladies from Next Step, who work at the TAFE to support young people work out their options in education. They were also able to answer any questions the students had. We’ll meet up with these guys again in a couple of weeks for some more one-on-one careers counselling. Wednesday afternoon we headed out to a park to brush up on our bike skills and learn some bike maintenance skills. All the students are now fully capable of changing a bike tube and know the important aspects of maintaining your bike. We also went for a ride in preparation for the You Yangs camp.
Thursday was the first day of our first camp- after packing up all our packs and other equipment, we jumped on the bus and headed out to the You Yangs Regional Park. Here we do one of the most challenging activities the students do for the whole program- the hike. Walking with a heavy pack on your back was a new experience for most of the students, and the staff were really impressed by how well the students took it on board with little complaints. The entire group worked well together as a team, taking turns as leader to complete the 8km and find our way to the campsite, enjoying the views and having some great conversation on the way. Once we got to camp we set up the tents and cooked dinner. Learning to cook with the trangias is a great experience for everyone, and again these guys were really quick to get the hang of it. After dinner and a kick of the footy, we got a great camp fire going where we were able to debrief on the day and play some games (as well as toast marshmallows!)
Friday morning everyone was up bright and early for breakfast and to pack up camp. Once this was done we were able to head off on our bikes for a good ride. The tracks at the You Yangs are fantastic for mountain biking at any level, and we definitely made use of a range of different tracks. Every student improved in their biking ability and we hope everyone enjoyed the ride! After the bikes were away we were able to sit down and share a camp lunch together, before all jumping back on the bus back to Collingwood, happy and tired from a great couple of days away. Thank you to the students for conducting themselves really well over the camp, everyone should be proud of their contributions and efforts!