Week 3 of the program started at the Eltham Leisure Centre with a session focusing on our group values and learning more about the concept of resilience. The students were able to take in a lot of information and it was evident how it resinated through the camp later in the week. Following this session we headed out into the gym with Jordan to use a range of the equipment available, lending itself to a really diverse cardio and strength based workout.
After the gym we had a street art session with AJ at Banyule Youth Services. This was a great afternoon spent designing an art piece and transferring it board after learning a lot of spray painting techniques from AJ. He has years of experience working in the field and it was fantastic to learn from someone so knowledgeable. The session was a greatintro to some of the programs run at Banyule Youth Services.
Thursday morning was the start of our first camp! We all jumped on the bus with our fully packed hiking pack and headed out to the You Yangs Regional Park. The You Yangs is a beautiful area quite close to Melbourne that has some really high quality walks and mountain bike riding tracks. Upon arriving we all put on our packs and started our trek up quite a steep hill. The start of the day's hike is definitely the hardest and it tested a lot of the students both mentally and physically. Although the packs felt heavier as the walk went on, the track became gentler and the students kept up a fast pace, travelling together to get to the campsite for the night. Once we arrived we could relax a little, set up camp and cook dinner before spending the evening toasting marshmallows around the campfire.
Friday morning (after a restful night's sleep for most) we packed up camp, put away the packs and got out the mountain bikes to spend the morning checking out a few of the different tracks in the park. It was great to see all students gain confidence on the bikes, whether they ride regularly or haven't ridden for years. After a shorter ride than usual we headed back to Collingwood for an early lunch, with everyone feeling very grateful for the long weekend after the physically demanding camp.