An experience like no other

Stories From Camp

It was Tuesday, mid-December and the All Mentors were on the road to Winnap, a town along the Lower Glenelg National Park. For one Mentor this was going to be an experience like no other.

Day 1 involved sleeping on a camping stretcher bed in a garage with carpet on the floor. “We’re not seriously sleeping in there are we?” said Harvey. “Where’s the bed he asked?” This 4-day canoe trip along the Glenelg River was going to teach Harvey a new way of travelling and living.

Day 2 Harvey discovered that you can fit all your sleeping gear including tents, cooking equipment and clothing for a couple of days into one barrel. A task he thought was impossible. He was even more amazed that we could fit all the food and water for the group in everyone’s canoes.

What Harvey was not prepared for was the effort and strength required to paddle down the river, well actually upstream. He was very fortunate that he had a powerful partner that was able to steer and keep moving the boat forward. The best part for Harvey was arriving at camp on Day 2, the tail wind in the afternoon made it a much easier journey than the morning. A dip in the river cooled him off in the 38-degree weather and then he was ready for a shower to wash off. He soon learnt that there were no showers in these pristine campsites. Harvey had never been camping where there was no access to showers, he was amused at the thought that his swim in a river was the only wash he would have for a few days. A truly new experience it was!

Day 3 came with more new experiences and moments of wonder. For breakfast, Harvey watched bewildered as raisin toast was cooked on a trangia and it even tasted the same as toast cooked in a toaster. The limestone cliffs on either side or greenery all around was an environment like no other he had seen. There were even kangaroos bouncing close by in the campsite and possums hanging out on the roof of the shelter. Harvey learnt to have a baby wipe shower and excitedly used some face cleanser for his Thursday evening wash. In the final camp circle of the week, Harvey told the group that his favourite thing was the paddling, even though it was challenging and tough his enjoyment of cruising along the river, chatting to mates was a memory he would have forever! 

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Last year over 1,000 children were inspired, had fun and accessed new opportunities through our children’s programs. As Cottage by the Sea programs receive no government funding, we rely on the generosity of corporate sponsors, individual donations and contributions.

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