Its the second last week of the program and our expedition week! This week is one of the most important weeks on the program and the young people are assessed for their efforts on this camp. It is also out longest camp and a journey camp which adds extra challenges to the experience. All the young people worked hard throughout the three days and it was lots of fun for everyone.
On the Wednesday we picked up the students, packed all our gear and and headed straight for the Goulburn River. With all 8 of us there and the playlist pumping the two hour car ride flew by. We arrived at Archeron, near Alexandra, to being our canoeing Journey. We met with Kelto and Paigie from Rubicon and got straight into packing our belongings into dry bags. This is one of the first challenges for the young people as you can only bring what fits into the bag. After some eliminating of items, gearing up and safety briefs we were loading the canoes on the river to start our journey. The young people worked well in pairs to paddle 8km to our campsite for the night, using the skills learned last week during the canoeing session on the Yarra. We all set up our tents, cooked dinner, debriefed the day and headed to bed ready for the biggest day of the camp.
Thursday we woke up beside the river to the sun shining and birds chirping. We were very fortunate on this camp to have idea weather temperatures and no rain. We packed up, loaded our canoes and prepared to canoe the 18km needed to reach our next campsite. Appreciation of beauty and excellence is a character strength that we talk about often on this program and during this camp the students were able to let this strength come to life. During the river journey the students all at some point appreciated the wildlife (birds, platypus, cows!), landscape and river. Its a great quality to have and one that this group practices really well. With the group travelling smoothly we arrived at our campsite in the afternoon, leaving plenty of time to set up camp, have an explore, cook dinner and relax. After some food and a debrief of the day we headed to bed ready to start the final day of this camp.
Friday we all woke determined to finish the camp on a high. We had breakfast, packed up and were on the river in record time. With some of us swapping canoe partners we travelled the final 6km to then unpack, repack and debrief the camp. This last pack up is often the hardest hurdle to overcome and it was great to have everyone participate evenly to clean and pack away all the equipment. Communication, respect, participation, organisation and behaviour are the areas that we assess on this camp and each young person demonstrated these well. Although we each had some challenging moments we all made it through the camp and everyone should be very proud of their efforts.