We started off our Hume program with taking on introductory activities at Roxburgh Park Youth Centre (RPYC). We as a whole group took part in and participated in many fun games in order for all students to get to know and meet each other, as well as developing a group code of conduct. All students nominated on what values were most significant and important to them to form our group agreement for the term. The selected values were respect, attitude, trust, patience/tolerance and participation. After lunch we headed off to a boxing session at Maribyrnong Youth Boxing Gym where we met Sal. He put all the students through a high intensity boxing session, which left everyone feeling extremely energetic and worn out by the end of the session! Boxing was a great way to start of our program because it showed the students respect for one another and with all participating it increased skills such as patience, promoting positive attitude and a new found trust for one other.
Day 2 was packed with physical activities again, we started off with the 1000 steps hike at the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk which saw all the students walk a 5km hike up a steep 1000 step-climb. Not only was this activity a physical one that worked on skills such as team work and communication as a group, it was a great learning experience for all the students to understand the exhaustion felt by all Australian soldiers who fought in World War II. At the end of the walk the students were all able to reflect and observe the plaques illustrating the lives of those who fought and died on the Kokoda trail in 1942. The afternoon was then spent at Tree Adventures High Ropes which was an exciting and challenging obstacle course high up in the tree canopy. Even though there were a few nerves with heights the students got right into the climbing experience by swinging, leaping and flying through the forest. It allowed all the students to be thrill seeking and for some students taught them to support, encourage, respect and help their fellow mates to overcome their fears and uncertainties.
Our final day for the week saw the students writing school goals and preparing for camp. The students all selected a number of school goals and personal goals to focus on throughout the term. We use these goals as a focus point at various times throughout the term, particularly when we visit students in school fortnightly. After this we got out all the camp equipment, including tents, sleeping mats, trangias etc. out ready for camp in a few weeks. In the afternoon the students were able to get a taste for landscaping at Melbourne Polytechnic in Fairfield. We all learnt how to lay pavers, it was a great hands on experience for all the students to understand and gain an insight into what it is like to be educated in a TAFE education setting. With a lot of the students interested in trades as a future career it was a great opportunity for them to ask questions and understand more about the campus and courses that were available to them.
Our first week was jam packed with exciting new experiences and activities for all the students and it’s safe to say we were all pretty tired by the end of the week, but everyone showed great participation and eagerness for the rest of the program.