Its week four of the program and time is flying by! We are already half way through the term and we are showing no signs of slowing down.
Wednesday started of strongly at the gym by jumping on the machines and working specific muscle groups. After a quick introduction with Jordan and quick overview of each machine we all got stuck into it. It was awesome to see how focused everyone was on getting the form correct and really targeting the right muscle group. After using machines that focused on our arms, legs, back, core and shoulders we gathered together to debrief the session and go over what we will be working next week. We then did a quick stretch and cool down session and jumped on the bus to make our way to Edendale farm. Once at the farm we met with the wonderful team at Edendale farm and got stuck into cleaning the chicken coop. This required the group to split into three teams. One to load the Ute with fresh bark, one to clean the old bark out of the coop and one to spread the old bark around the farm to provide nutrients to the trees/plants. This day was warm and dirty and with great credit to the young people they did an amazing job at working efficiently and effectively. After doing the dirty work we then collected the chickens (some of us grabbed them by hand and carried them to the new coop!) and let them free in their new home. It was awesome to see how excited everyone was to collect the chickens and how brave we all were to give this all a go. We said goodbye to everyone at Edendale farm and made our way home.
On Thursday the group started with a game of volleyball at Collingwood Alternative school, due to some sore bodies from the previous day at the gym the game was a no score session and was just a good way to wake up prior to our first session of the day. Following the volleyball and a demonstration of gymnastic prowess from some of the group members featuring handstand walks, cartwheels and dare I say flips we headed into the classroom for our session with YSAS. Candice and Malorie greeted the group and delivered a presentation on Alcohol and Drugs talking about the impacts they can have but most importantly about harm minimisation and informed decisions. Their session was very inclusive and provided students plenty of opportunity to ask questions and participate in discussion which they took full advantage of. Following this we had lunch before packing up the remainder of our camping materials from the previous week. We then jumped in the bus for a surprise game of bowling. Bowling was a great chance for students to show off some hidden talents but also just to hang out and enjoy each other’s company.
Friday was a big day on the program as it was our caving day! Caving is an activity that we don't get to do often and one that really pushes us out of our comfort zone. On this day we focus on how we deal with stress and on working together as a team to make it through the cave safety. We picked everyone up from Collingwood station and made our way to Britania creek caves. Once at the cave we geared up in our overalls, helmets and head touches and did a quick safety brief. We also went round and got a rating on how we were all feeling before entering the cave. Many of us were feeling excited to enter and were sitting at a 7/10 while some of us were more nervous and were sitting at a 4/10. After hyping everyone up we went headfirst into the cave and started our journey. While in the cave it is normal and expected that we all experience some stress. This can include having an increased heart rate, sweaty palms, shortness of breath or a heightened sense of anxiety. With the help of everyone working together to 1. support/encourage and 2. help guide the way through the dark cave, we are all able to manage that stress and make our way through the cave. At the half way point we checked in with everyone and it was awesome to see that everyone was sitting at a 7/10 or more. After crawling, sliding, walking and pushing ourselves through the cave twice we then got changed and made our way home. This day was a great day overall and everyone should be proud of their ability to regulate their emotions and deal with stress.