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Hello everyone! Wow our time really has gone by fast! Here is our breakdown of our second last week together.

On Wednesday the 22nd we switched up our plans from going camping to a day with our limited students to do some orienteering. We changed this day around as half of our students were unable to make Wednesday, which limited the potential for our camp. So instead we collected the crew down at Collingwood and headed to Darebin Parklands. This space has specifically been left untouched and maintained by the local community to preserve parkland in their suburbs. When there we touched on the importance of the camp to come and that this day would stand as a trial to the days to come. In this we spoke about orienteering and how it develops our navigation skills, and makes people feel more comfortable and confident when travelling. This all ages activity let us see how our group adapts to new skills in a short period, as well as utilising leadership skills. Once a leader was identified and our group was confident about their starting position we headed off following our groups trail. They started strong, communicating and quickly finding our markers. Soon they were individually tasked with finding these markers, having the wide knowledge of our staff to rely on when they were stuck. The group overall did extremely well, and through the considerable walk were able to show how much they can adapt and grow in new and challenging situations. When we finished up this session we talked about the camp the next day and the options of our expedition, namely the types of walks we were to expect and the behaviours that were required. When we were sure our group were fully aware we dropped off for the day and looked to Thursday.

On the 23rd, Thursday, we met our crew at Collingwood station once again. Here we grabbed our group and headed straight off to the Cathedral Ranges. The Ranges are a state park, protected and maintained by Parks Victoria. They hold a variety or hiking trails and campgrounds for groups of all kinds and offer many levels of difficulty. For our expedition camp we aimed to assess not only how our group had grown during our program but how they persist during an obstacle and in the face of difficulties. This camp is key to identifying what our students have learnt through our many previous activities and without this experience we would not feel confident in our assessment otherwise. We began at sugarloaf carpark; the beginnings of our travel was the sugarloaf peak, a series of rock formations that leads to a whopping 941m height. This was the biggest challenge and depending on how we went travelling up this peak determined the level of difficulty we aimed to face this day. The group were nervous but excited, putting on their protective wear and sunscreen before trailing up the peak. This was rocky ledge after rocky ledge, some parts forming a path but it was truly a challenge. Our crew faced it head on and were happy to continue on up, eventually facing the very peak. The crew were successful in achieving the peak goal within a time frame that allowed us to travel along the Ridge. The Razorback Ridge is a hiking trail running from the Sugarloaf Peak to the Jawbone carpark, and is a 2 hour+ hike of rocky terrain. I will also mention that this and the peak track are only identified by small orange triangles that point our way, and as we walked we continued to have Auri, our program teacher, as our guide so that we would not get lost during our travels. Taking breaks along the way, we eventually made it to the carpark and took some victory photos before hoping in our van that was transferred by some other hiking tourists. After this we set up camp, cooked, ate and played till night came. After finishing off some marshmallows and reflecting on what we noticed in each other and ourselves during the hike, we headed off to bed.

On Friday the 24th we awoke bright and early. We began with breakfast and a pack down of camp before looking to our first walk of the day. We chose to take the friends nature trail, an hour long walk along the flat of the Ranges. We took this time to have some alone time while walking, reflecting on our camp and the program at a whole. When we finally came to the end, we looked at some historical sites on our way back to the bus and heading off to see Stevenson Falls. Stevenson Falls is a great natural waterfall that helps supply the town of Marysville with both water and electricity. Here we walked to the Falls and had some silent time, taking in the vast power of the rushing water. After this we looked to lunch travelling to a park in Marysville and eating before hitting up their lolly shop and heading home.


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