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MERRI-BEK TERM 1 2024 WEEK 2

Hello Everyone! 2nd week and 1st camp down here is our run down for week 2.


On Wednesday the 14th we gathered the crew and set out to meet the Headspace crew from Glenroy. At the Glenroy Hub we met with a collection of team members who took us through a session focused on stress, awareness of triggers and supports we can put in place to help empty our stress buckets. The Headspace staff were amazing, letting everyone take their time in the discussion and always finding ways to have everyone involved. Throughout our session we got plenty of opportunity for additional support added to the conversation outside the program. We continued on our adventures for the day by heading to Brunswick Baths for a group circuit workout with Jessie, a personal trainer. It was our first gym-based session for the program, and having students not feeling 100%, it was amazing to see everyone giving the circuit a red hot go! As the onset of fatigue kicked in, at times the weights would drop and the dance moves would kick in! Showing a massive group effort to keep on moving even when we got too tired to push some weights. Everyone portrayed a fantastic improvement towards the end of this program; instead of sitting down, not participating in some form, or complaining, everyone participated in such a way that did not bring others down, and enjoyed the increasing group morale throughout. After this the group was ready for some well-earned rest in preparation for the next day, Hike Camp. 


On Thursday the 15th, collecting our crew at Collingwood Station we headed off to CAS to grab our well needed supplies for the hike ahead of us. When there we met Brendon, a senior facilitator of the program who is tagging along for extra support on the camps. Everyone soon prepared their own hike bag and helped with the loading of the bus before we headed off on our long journey to the Cathedral Ranges. When there we dropped off all our gear and supplies and set up our tents, before heading to our hike track. This highly anticipated activity was met head on, as we looked to travel along the length of the Messmate track back to our campsite at Neds Gully. This walk was estimated at 3 hours; regardless the crew took alternating leadership roles and supported the whole group to accomplish our walk within 2 hours. Overall it was a highly rewarding experience for all involved. When we reached our campsite we were quick to set up camp and gather all our belongings before looking to the river. We took time to explore a little further into the bush land and take in the scenery, letting the running water cool us down after our long walk. Holding a quick mindfulness session in the bush we took note of what we could hear, see, feel and smell as he rested in the cool atmosphere. After this moment of relaxation and reflection we headed back to camp and began to prepare our dinner. This was a team effort with everyone having their own part to play and thoroughly enjoying our time together. After eating and enjoying the campfire we had lit for ourselves we began to wind down, eating some marshmallows, making some smores and playing a quick game of werewolf before heading to bed.


On Friday the 16th, we awoke bright and early at 7am. With another hike day ahead, we had a breezy breakfast and morning pack before heading off up the Neds Peak track. Here we were headed to well over 650m above water level and it was a doozy of a hike. The group was continuing to support one another, carrying each other's bags and chatting along the long hike up. After our long trip up we looked towards a rocky peak just before Neds Peak and headed off to look at the stunning view you can see in the pictures below. The group were ecstatic being able to see this sight, taking it all in and having a small snack while we rested after our long hike. After some went to explore the edge a bit further, we began our walk back down the trail making it in less than an hour! When we had finally made it back we began lunch preparations before finishing packing the campsite pack down. We did a quick clean up, packed the bus and began our journey to Marysville, looking forward to seeing the Stevenson Falls; and what a sight they were. The crew were ecstatic to see the famous falls and stood in awe of its size, before snapping a quick photo for proof. After this we headed off once again back towards the city. 


This was our first of 3 overnight camps and our crew showed great determination, bravery and positivity throughout the 2 days with a very new and challenging activity. Everyone should be proud of what they have accomplished on this trip 😀.


Here are some student reflections from our camp:


“My favourite thing was when we were all around the fire having a good time playing and game and my favourite thing I saw was Rory sprinting up a hill and my favourite thing I did was cooking dinner. The Best thing I did was accomplish all the hikes.”



“My favorite moment of someone else was Bronte and Bartolo cooking. My fav moment was the view of the last hike. My fav thing was when we were next to the fire and just having a good time and playing werewolf”



“It was really nice when Rory held me bag when I was not feeling well, I am proud of myself for still doing the walk even though I was not feeling the best”




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