Tuesday morning at the Cottage was a morning like any other. The staff had arrived early to prepare for a new week of kids and with a sunny forecast on the cards who wouldn’t be excited! The beds were made, the lunch was cooking and the treasure in the sandpit had been buried. Now all that was missing was 20 smiling faces.
Unlike most other weeks where the Cottage buses venture out to pick up our happy campers, this week’s kids were lucky enough to catch the Ferry to Queenscliff from the Sorrento terminal. As they finally arrived at midday after their journey from Hastings Primary School, they couldn’t be happier to be back on dry land.
Being greeted with a warm welcoming and a delicious meal, followed by a short tour of the Cottage and its grounds, the 20 students (all of mixed ages) were already calling this place their home.
Now, despite the fact that majority of the group had visited the beach before, (due to it being so close to where they lived), the week still involved an assortment of beach-based activities to ensure these children had the chance to discover our popular seaside destinations along the Bellarine Peninsula and Port Phillip Bay.
The waves at RAAFS surf beach (Ocean Grove) provided the perfect boogie-boarding beach break and the calm ocean behind the Cottage created the best spot for a relaxing swim.
Visiting Portarlington and watching the big machines construct new parts of the harbour was an interesting sight to see and the Cottage staff were very pleased that the children were able to identify the native sea stars compared to the introduced species when strolling along the pier.
Park hopping in the evenings and playing numerous games of ‘Cops and Robbers’ kept the kids busy throughout their stay and ensured they were all tuckered out and settled in for a good sleep each night – as they definitely needed all of their energy for all of our activities!