Wednesday was another busy day for our bodies and mind! We met the young people at Eltham station and made our way straight to the Eltham Leisure centre to met Jordan. Once with Jordan we got stuck into a high intensity boxing session. We paired up and got stuck running boxing drills with our partner. Everyone did well to listen to Jordan and take instructions on how to punch with correct form. After this we got into the gym and worked our way through our fitness program. After working up a sweat we drove to Jets Studio to complete our second session their and do some street art. We meet with Lisa and the Jets staff and got stuck into it. We flipped through some street arts books, googled some designs and worked hard to get our designed sketched and ready to paint. Once we were happy we listened to Lisa on how to correctly use the spray cans and how to do some effects and created our masterpieces. It was lovely to see everyone have fun with the cans and creating a range of different types of art works. Once finished we took a few photos, thanked the Jets crew and went home.
Thursday was an exciting day for the young people as it was our second day at REACH. After last time session everyone was really excited to get back to REACH to meet their new friends and indulge in all that they have to offer. Much like last time only the young people are allowed in the workshop so I can't report on exactly what went on. From speaking to them, it was much like last time as they had a focus on reflection and story sharing. Each of them walked out happy to be a part of the program and felt good about the session.
On Friday er met at Collingwood train station before heading 15 minutes down the road to Yarra Bend Park. Upon arrival we were greeted by a member of the Friends of Bats and Bushcare volunteer group who informed us about the local flying foxes that populated the area and asked us to respect them by remaining quiet as they scare easily. We unpacked the canoes and took them down to the river. Before heading into the water Brendan briefed the students on the importance of communication as well as techniques on how to best steer the canoes and how to suddenly stop in case of emergency. We then played a canoe related game that challenged concentration and coordination before heading back to the canoes. Once in the water we rafted up, this involved connecting the canoes as students held onto the ones next to them, here we were able to demonstrate the best turning technique before we broke off and enjoyed a cruise down the Yarra. Students were working in pairs with two in each boat and had to identify the best way to communicate to ensure they continued straight and turned when needed. After around 20 minutes of paddling downstream we rafted up again and set a challenge that would test the teamwork, communication and leadership skills of the students. The task was that everyone had to swap positions, partners and boats. Students responded to this challenge in a great fashion and the were able to communicate effectively how to best change their positions and they did so without anyone ending up in the water. This presented the group with an opportunity to paddle back upstream with different partners to help prepare themselves for next weeks expedition camp. We then headed back for the bus packed up the canoes and returned to the school. After unloading the trailer, we debriefed the day, students were asked to reflect on a time during the day they felt frustrated and how they were able to work through it.