It's week three and an exciting week as its the week of our first camp! We started the week back at Eltham Leisure Centre and met with Jordan who is always busting with life! It was a beautiful day today and so we made the most of this and did out circuit workout outside. Jordan is great at keeping what we do in the gym fresh and different. After grabbing some equipment we set up our eight station circuit and got stuck into it. It was great to see everyone getting involved and trying their hardest to get through the session. The circuit included push ups, running, kettle bell workouts, lunges, tyre flipping and crunches. With music pumping we did two rounds of the circuit and finished the session off with a quick yoga session. After this we drove to JETS Studio to participate in a music session with Simon. JETS Studio is a great resource for us and the young people to use. They run all types of sessions and workshops that are free for any young person to access. During the music session we were able to play a range of different instruments some of which included a DJ kit, guitar, keyboard, base, mic and more. We finished the session feeling good about our efforts and excited for the next few days.
Thursday was a special day as it marked day one of our first camping experience this term. The students began the day at Collingwood Alternative School where they packed the remainder of there bags and ensured they had everything. Prior to leaving we each reassessed how we were feeling about the camp and the importance of having a growth mindset. Part of this was discussing different thought chains that can either help or hinder the experience for the whole group. After disucssing this then we set off. The journey to the Cathedral Ranges took around 2 hours which gave the students time to add songs to the travel playlist Jess has been putting together. Upon arrival students were briefed on the best way to carry their backpacks as anything they wanted to use while camping, they had to carry. We then began our first hike of the camp. The hike to our camping ground was around 6km and was made more difficult by the 30-degree heat that set upon the group, this challenged the groups mindset. Throughout the journey different students were given he opportunity to lead and each student took this on in their stride, different leadership qualities were demonstrated by each leader including but not limited to support, kindness, teamwork and assertiveness. Despite the heat, the journey and the development and maintenance of several blisters at each pitstop the group seemed to rally around each other with waves of support and we eventually reached the campsite in what felt like record time. This proved to be a great result as following the assembling of tents we found spare time which meant a refreshing dip in the creek and a kick of the footy prior to dinner. For dinner the students prepared a delicious stir fry which lead to some of us questioning whether we were in fact camping or glamping. Following dinner and clean up, we enjoyed some marshmallows around the fire before debriefing the day. We discussed the different character strengths that each of the group members demonstrated through the day before moving into an opportunity for students to bring up any issues they had encountered. This provided the students with a safe space to discuss anything that was bringing them down or they were struggling with and presented with the opportunity to talk about issues rather than allowing them to build up and be left unresolved. Finally, before bed we presented each other with affirmations, whereby students acknowledged moments they saw that deserved recognition from the group.
Friday saw us waking up and out of our tents at 7pm, each student enjoyed some breakfast while some even indulged in a milo or some coffee. Pack up was done in a hasty fashion and by 8.45 we had emu bobbed the camp ensuring we left behind no rubbish and set off on the bus for our second hike in Marysville. For our second hike we headed up to Steavenson Falls, this is one of the tallest waterfalls in Victoria and made for an absolutely beautiful site. The parking lot took us a small portion of the way up the waterfall but then we hiked the rest of the way up the 122m waterfall. The journey took us around half an hour and presented for plenty of opportunities to demonstrate a growth mindset. This was shown as students acknowledged the difficulty of the steepness of the hike but were overcome with excitement to reach the top and overlook the waterfall. At the peak of the waterfall we took a group photo before seeking out the best view point available of the waterfall, this took us about 1km around the mountain which gave us a stunning view of the waterfall and the surrounding mountain that it rests on. The hike down featured singing as students elected to stay positive rather than let the forming blisters take from their experience and before we knew it, we were back on the bus and headed for home. The journey back saw students taking advantage of songs added to the playlist with a highlight being a singalong to Queens hit Bohemian Rhapsody. On arrival back to the school students got straight into an unpack and clean-up of the bus and gear before we had a final debrief. Students and staff were asked to explain a time when they chose a growth mindset in a time when they normally wouldn’t have and then rate the camp. We then jumped back on the bus and headed for the train station where we said our goodbyes and set our sights on next week.