Week 4 and we are already half way through the program, time is just flying by!
Like every Wednesday, we started back at our local hub at Oxygen Youth services. This week we were working again with Jacinta and passionate volunteers from headspace. Much like our last session with headspace, we focused on coping strategies that we use in life. We also spoke about things we encounter in life and how they make us feel. Its always a pleasure to see how the young people engage in these sessions as each and everyone of them contribute insightful comments. We finished the session with some always enjoyable mindfulness. After a quick snack we headed straight into our nutrition workshop that was run by Julie from Merri Health. The session begun by learning a bit about health and nutrition and by practically arranging a range of drinks by how much sugar is in them. The drinks ranged from ice coffee to orange juice and I think everyone in this session was surprised by the results. We then headed over to the kitchen at Oxygen and worked together to make a vegetable pasta for lunch. It was lovely to see each young person take a role to prepare and cook the meal. We then ate our lunch together as a group and finished the day by completing some goal setting and covering the logistics of this weeks camp.
Thursday morning we set off on our way to our second camp down in Torquay. After the drive, we got to our accomodation at Bancoora life saving club, a beautiful, quiet spot located 10 minutes from Torquay. We had a quick bite to eat, sorted out our rooms, and then made the quick drive down to Torquay. We met our surf instructor Dave, got our wetsuits on and headed straight down to cosy corner! After a quick lesson on the sand, we got into the water and starting catching some waves. Everyone put in 100% and it was so good to see everyone smiling, having fun and getting used to a new activity. It was great to see everyone getting up to their keens and even standing up within the first hour of us being there - prof of how hard they were working. After a couple of hours of practice, we said bye to Dave and got some hot chips and relaxed in a nearby park, before making our way to Bells Beach. Unfortunately the weather got very cold and rainy so we headed home to make some dinner, play some pool, and have a much needed good night’s sleep.
The next morning we woke up, well rested and keen to get back into the water and have our second lesson of surfing. Dave met us at Bancoora and we got to practice our skills in a much rougher surf, with much bigger waves. Everyone had so much fun, and we all got to stand up on our boards! It was so impressive to see the determination and energy in all the young people, discovering new skills they never knew they had. We were lucky that the weather held up and the sun decided to poke out every now and then too. After the two hour session, there were a lot of disappointed faces when we had to get out of the water and say bye to Dave. Our focus of the three P’s - participation, persistence and perseverance - were definitely presented by all of the young people, and everyone pushed themselves out of their comfort zones. After a quick warm shower and timely pack up, we ended our day with a group lunch, jumped on the bus and headed back home.