At Cottage by the Sea we aim to empower disadvantaged children by supporting them in developing their self-esteem, health and well being. Our programs emphasise co-operation and respect and encourage children to be healthy, active, happy and secure. Children are given the opportunity to participate in a range of leadership and outreach programs in a positive, friendly, healthy, seaside environment.
We offer camps to children marginalised for a wide range of reasons, e.g.:
- family breakdown and/or dysfunction
- domestic violence
- emotional/physical trauma
- social/economic disadvantage
- living in poverty
- cultural disadvantage
- refugee status
- lack of educational opportunities
- combinations of above
What do the children do at the Cottage?
The children are kept active and occupied during the day and, depending on the season, visit the beach and many local tourist attractions (e.g. Marine Discovery Centre, Jirrhalinga Wildlife Park, Maritime Museum, Point Lonsdale Lighthouse, Queenscliff Harbour, steam train) and experience numerous outdoor activities (e.g. beach games, swimming, surfing, paddle boarding, canoeing, rockpool rambling, bike riding) as well as indoor activities (e.g. art, craft, cooking, music, drama). Educational and recreational activities, along with rest and plentiful nutritious food, are the order of the day. Strong emphasis is placed on co-operation, teamwork and respect for self, others and the environment.
Children are referred by schools, welfare agencies, community health services and/or case workers. The average number of children is between 12 and 21 depending on the need, age group and time of the school year.
Traditionally children from all over Victoria visited Cottage by the Sea but in recent years we have also had children from interstate participating in our National Program. Interstate camps have been funded by sponsors wanting to offer camps to children from their state.