Our second year REEF kids visited us for their second camp this year, where they spent 3 days at the Cottage over a weekend in late March. Although the camp was a bit shorter than the usual camps they are use too, the staff had nonetheless packed a variety of activities into their program.
Arriving early on the Friday the children were in for a surprise! Unlike most Cottage based camps, both the staff and kids were camping out and eating and sleeping inside our brand new big shed. Along with different sleeping arrangements, majority of the activities planned involved more challenging aspects that really tested and pushed the REEFies out of their comfort zones.
We split the REEF kids into 2 groups early on Saturday morning before venturing out to Anglesea where we all visited YMCA to face our fear of heights and complete the ‘Giant Swing.’ Along with this, the kids had to test out their teamwork by building and digging out a giant hole to relax in at the beach, before heading over to Coogoorah Park Nature Reserve to enjoy a group barbecue together.
In the early afternoon the groups separated yet again and completed both canoeing and a trail/bush walk around the reserve. As it was their first time canoeing with the Cottage, the Anglesea River made the perfect spot for most of them to learn the hang of it. From an introduction lesson, to fun, competitive races along the river banks and even playing paddle knockouts afterwards, the activity proved to be a fun one for all to enjoy and definitely has them prepared for their next camp at Aire River and the future Mentor camp at Moulamein, as they both involve canoeing.
On Sunday morning, the shed was in need of a big group clean up, before the REEFies were rewarded with a snorkel around the ‘Ozone,’ in Indented Heads. The old shipwreck that lies a fair while out from shore provides a home for many sea creatures (great and small) and delivered the best opportunity for the children to progress their confidence in snorkelling. Stingrays, banjorays, sea urchins, sea stars, squid and all types of fish surrounded themselves amongst the wreck and swam peacefully beneath and between us all. It felt like an underwater dream!
Catching up with one another and talking about the changes and challenges they had faced when entering high school this year during circle-time discussions, as well as playing games like “Big-Bully” around the campfire at night, ensured the children could relax and reflect on the journey they’ve covered since they first joined the REEF program over a year ago.
The Cottage staff are already looking forward to our next camp with these REEFies, as no matter what time of the year or what activities/adventure they undergo, they always manage to give everything their best shot!