Today was the very start of our program, we all gathered together on the bus in the morning and started our day at the Yarra Youth Centre where we engaged in a range of icebreaker games that allowed us all to get to know one another a little better. After this we were working through character strengths and had a discussion around what we felt we displayed and what we could perhaps work on over the course of this program. We had a little task to do online that gave us our top 5-character strengths which would come in handy to know later in the program, this online tool also gave us what we maybe lack in, and areas of improvement for us. After this we worked through values, and what values we as a group felt were most important and we had various discussions around how we think these values would be displayed. Our group chose honesty, respect, cooperation, teamwork, kindness and leadership to be our top group values. As this term is focused around leadership we talked about what it means to be a leader, what we look for in leaders in terms of character strengths and what values we feel are important to a leader, as well as how we can improve our leadership skills throughout the program. After this session in the morning we all jumped back on the bus and headed up to do some trees adventure, which all the young people seemed really excited about, this activity was a fun way to challenge fears, try something new and enhance our communication skills between one another and work on exercising our leadership skills and helping other members of our team that may have been feeling a little worried about the heights or the obstacles. This was a great activity which everyone got involved in and we saw great positive encouragement between the young people which reinforced the value of communication, which was predetermined as important within the team dynamic.
It’s the second day of the program and an exciting one as we are spending our day in the city! We all met bright and early at southern cross station and got into our groups straight away. On this day the young people worked in groups of 4 and each of them were responsible for a job. They all had to navigate their way around the city and take strong initiative to answer all the questions. After we made our way around the city we regrouped at the state library. While here we debriefed and organised what we will be doing for our community project and then got lunch at Melbourne central. After this headed straight to SYN radio to participate in a workshop. At SYN radio we covered the basics of radio, organised who would be saying what and jumped straight into the booth! With credit to the young people each and everyone of them did an amazing job and showed confidence, organisation and great leadership on this day. We said goodbye at southern cross station and left feeling exciting for caving tomorrow.
Today we embarked on our last day of our first week, we all jumped on the bus and started the journey up to Brittania Creek Cave where we were set to dive into a new adventure and exercise some leadership skills and have an experience that was bound to challenge us! Once we arrived we were met by Kelto and Mark whom were from Rubicon Outdoor Education Camp, who were coming to meet us prior to the Rubicon camp coming up, Kelto and Mark ran through some safety concerns that might arise while inside the cave and gave us some tips on how to communicate with each other when in a brand-new situation such as caving. We began to out on our overalls and helmets in preparation to enter the cave, as well as our group we also met the Operation Newstart Western Group which were going to be caving with us, this was a great opportunity for the young people to get to know new people experiencing similar experiences outside of the group they have been getting to know, and was also a great introduction as our young people will be sharing experiences later on in the program at the Rubicon camp and the Mt Buller ski camp with this same group of young people. After all the introduction we were set to start caving, prior to starting we let the young people allocate two people that would lead the rest of the group through the cave and be responsible for communicating any potential hazards at the front that may affect anyone behind them in the cave. This was a good chance for the young people to exercise their leadership skills and communicate effectively to get everyone through the cave safely. We stopped at various places in the cave and switched over leaders, discussed what aspects the leaders at the time did well and perhaps areas that needed improving on in our next leg of the cave. Although the caving experience was a wonderful activity that really proved to showcase the good communication skills of our young people it still proved challenging for all. It was impressive to see how well the young people had gotten to know each other and truly had a lot of care for one another when a member of their team was maybe struggling, and the motivation and support that was felt to keep each other moving along in the cave.