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Yarra Term 2 Week 3

Hi everyone!

This week we had our first camp of the program at the Cathedral Ranges!

On Wednesday we spent the morning at CAS, addressing the expectations of camp and learning about the importance of self-sufficiency. This hiking camp is designed to be at times a little challenging so that the young people are able to build on their character strengths, such as perseverance, leadership and self-regulation. We also spoke about how we can change our mindset to be more positive when we experience low resilience responses. We started to pack our hiking packs with essentials which included a sleeping bag, mat, liner and wet weather gear and added our food snacks, clothes, tents and all extras on Thursday before we left. This meant that all students were geared for independency, having the essentials to keep them warm, safe and dry. For the afternoon, we went to the Richmond Recreation Centre for a gym session. Instructor Andrew, led a workout session and then gave the students the opportunity to have free time to use different equipment. The young people did a great job at participating and putting in their efforts. Towards the end of the day, we all went grocery shopping for our camp which was great to have the students to be a part of.

On Thursday morning we completed packing everything we needed for our trip and then loaded up the bus and trailer, ready to head to the Cathedral Ranges. We started at Sugarloaf Saddle and took the Messmate Track to Cooks Mill and followed through on the Little River Track to our final destination - Neds Gully. The young people took turns in leading throughout the hike and did a good job in that role. The walk to camp was around 7kms and we were lucky to have perfect weather. We focused on building high resilience responses and each student managed to show that multiple times on the hike. There was encouragement between the peers which was nice to see. Once we arrived at our campsite, the students had a well deserved break before putting up their tents. We had a kick around with the ball and then cracked on with dinner. The students cooked a yummy chicken satay stir-fry and for dessert we roasted marshmallows around the campfire and made s'mores :) For our debrief session, students identified at least one character strength they used on the hike, any issues they may have had and acknowledged someone for their helpful efforts. It was also great listening to everyone's highlights of the day. We went for a night walk before bed and was able to appreciate the beautiful night sky that was completely covered in stars which was a really nice end to the day.

On Friday morning we walked up to Neds peak where we had such an amazing view! It was a fairly steep climb but we made it! The students' efforts were commendable. We had a mindfulness session at the peak where we all sat in silence, focusing on using all our senses and appreciating the beauty of nature. It was a great end to our camp. Once we made it back to Melbourne, we unpacked the bus and organised all the gear. Everyone looked to be pretty pooped, so a great sign to a great camp!

Thanks for an awesome first camp. Have a great weekend everyone :)


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