Its the second last week of the program and we all can't believe how fast it has gone! This week is an important one as it is our final camp and our assessment camp. This three day horse riding and mountain bike riding camp is one that looks at the students strengths and assesses them on their self organisation, team work, participation, respect and behaviour. The students also set a character strength goal for the week that we reflect on each night.
We picked up the students from Collingwood Station and got stuck into packing the bus and making sure we had enough warm clothes and wet weather gear. After this we loaded in, put the playlist on and made our journey to Rubicon. Once at Rubicon we introduced ourselves to Pagey, got the run down of the day and drove to met our horses. Once at the stables we met with Jo (who owns the horse) and got paired up to a horse that matched our skill level and personality. It was great to see how quickly each student embraced their horse and how well they listened to Pageys instructions around horse safety. We saddled up, got on our horses and went for an hours ride around the river in the valley. With big credit to the young people this day was tough. It rained the whole time and was windy which made the horses hard to work with. This didn't dull anyones spirits though as no one complained and everyone stayed on task! After our ride we collected some last minute things from Rubicon and drove up to our accommodation for the next few days. The accommodation is this quaint little house on the top of a hill called Roysten house. It has bunk beds, a kitchen, power and a single fire place. It was wonderful to see how quickly everyone got into action once we got into the house. We all unpacked our things, started the generator, got the fire going and got stuck into making dinner. After this we cleaned up, debriefed the day, played pictionary and went to bed ready for another big day tomorrow.
Thursday morning started off with a bang as we woke up to pancakes for breakfast and got ready efficiently and on time. We drove down to Rubicon Valley horse riding and met with Jo and Pagey to start our full day of horse riding. Everyone was excited for this day and was looking forward to being reunited with their horse. We saddled up, recapped the skills we learnt and road off into the hills. It was great to see how much each young people embraced what today had to offer. Everyone was able to trot, dismount their horse, admire/enjoy the view and were able to appreciate the opportunity that they all had. We were lucky on this day to have no rain and moments on sunshine. The track we walked had panoramic views of the valley which allowed everyone to use the character strength of appreciation of beauty and excellence. By the end of the ride everyone was comfortable with their horses and was eager to learn as much as they can about riding them. Although we were all a little sore and stiff we road back to the stabled with a positive mindset and were able to finish the day on a high. Probably one of the nicest time with our horses was this pack up as we each got to unsaddle and brush them down. This allowed for a deeper connection with the horses and was a great way to say goodbye. We then drove back to Roysten house to start the fire, play some games, have dinner and debrief the day. We all went to bed tired and ready for our last day.
Friday we woke up with a spring in our step as we all got ready and packed up the house ready to go mountain bike riding. We met with Pagey and Lockie from Rubicon and got stuck into it. After a quick recap of bike riding safety and a gear/bike check we were riding off into the forest. The track that we use on this day is one that curves and twists through ferns and by a gushing river. The track was one that tested our resilience and character strength goals. We had puddles, muds, steep hills, boardwalks and a road to over come. With credit to the young people they were able to make the most of this opportunity and we all made it to the end of the track. After working efficiently again and cleaning our gear we debriefed the whole camp with Pagey and said goodbye. Throughout this camp the young people all worked really hard on their character strength goal. Self regulation and bravery were highlighted and were really put into practice over each day. Each student should be proud of themselves for what they were able to achieve on this camp.