Our Stories

First Aid Training for our Mentors

Our Year 9 Mentor program participants get the opportunity to learn valuable life skills while gaining an important qualification. Every year, we have Wilderness First Aid Australia come and put our Mentors through their paces by teaching them first aid and CPR. The course is very informative but also very fun, with lots of different […]

Our Stories

Scholarship update: supporting a passion for ballet

“Thank you so much CBTS – for all you do for the Mentors and their passions.” Our Programs Team has been busy offering new opportunities to young people through our scholarship program. The team recently received a letter of thanks from one of our Mentor participants, Annabella. She applied for a scholarship in late 2023 […]

Our Stories

We spotted a seal on Take a Break!

It was an exciting rock-pooling session this week on the Take a Break program. Not because of what the program participants found under the rocks, but because of what they saw on the rocks. At first, one of the children thought they could see a big rock moving – but that couldn’t be possible, so […]

Our Stories

Old Mentors hike to “The Pinnacle”

On the first night of camp during this offsite adventure to the Grampians with our Old Mentor participants, we all opened up to share a challenge that we’ve faced this year. Most of the topics were based around challenges at school and starting VCE exams, as well as how we cope and overcome these challenges. […]

Our Stories

The start of an exciting journey on the REEF program

Everyone was buzzing in anticipation and excitement of meeting our first-year REEF participants for their first camp of the year. We welcomed 37 Grade 6 students from Whittington and Newcomb Primary Schools to start their adventurous journey with Cottage over the next 2 years on the REEF program. The first camp is all about establishing […]

Our Stories

Bringing a fishing dream to life

Cottage by the Sea Branches have always played a key role in raising funds for our programs. Recently, the Highton Ceres Branch made a generous contribution towards our fishing activity. Thanks to the Branch’s donation, visiting children on a recent Take a Break program were able to enjoy the experience of a fishing charter and […]

Our Stories

Movie stars for the day on Take a Break

This week during our Take a Break program, there was a guest at Cottage by the Sea with a flashy camera taking snaps of the children and staff in each activity for the day. The morning started with the photographer jumping on the fishing charter to capture the children reeling in some fish, with lots […]

Our Stories

The rewards of perseverance on the REEF program

For our 2nd-year Reefies, the Great Otway National Park adventure can be a real test of physical and mental fortitude. The Reefies are set the task of hiking along the Great Ocean Walk from Aire River to Johanna Beach, covering roughly 15 kilometres. They have to work together as a team to get everyone over […]

Our Stories

Scholarship update: aerial silks national competition 

One of our Mentor participants, Olive, has been pursuing her passion for aerial silks through our scholarship program. This experience has provided Olive with some amazing opportunities – she competed in the State Championships last year (you can read about that experience here) and she was selected to compete at the Nationals in Queensland in […]

Our Stories

Cottage by the Sea Annual Boardriders Surf Day over the years

We are very proud of our 17-year partnership with the Boardriders Foundation. Boardriders supports Cottage with product donations for visiting children and their families, along with hosting an Annual Surf Day for our program participants. Our partnership with Boardriders Foundation has been integral in enriching the lives of children on Cottage programs. Boardriders recently donated […]

Our Stories

Rock pool swim on Take a Break

Cottage by the Sea reef is considered by many to be one of the best snorkelling locations in Victoria. Divers from all around the world come to Cottage by the Sea to dive the reef. We are lucky the reef is located right out the back gate and a short walk along the beach. When […]

Our Stories

Barista Training at The Gordon for our Mentors!

The first Old Mentor program for the year is about reconnecting with one another while also gaining some new qualifications. At Cottage by the Sea, we are all about providing opportunities for young people and supporting them to be the best versions of themselves. To be able to give that support, it is important to […]

Our Stories

Scholarship update: LEGO championships

Offering a child the opportunity to pursue a passion can be a life-defining experience, which we are regularly reminded of through our scholarship program. We recently received a letter from scholarship recipients at Woodville Primary School, who have attended our Take a Break program. Cottage by the Sea has had a long-lasting relationship with this […]

Our Stories

Cottage by the Sea Annual Boardriders Surf Day

Our favourite event of the year fell on this week’s Take a Break program – the Annual Boardriders Surf Day! The visiting children all heard whispers of a special event that was coming up on their program, but they didn’t know the finer details. A rumour of a famous surfer and some gift packs had […]

Our Stories

Making new connections on the Mentor program

For Camp Leaders, the first New Mentor program of the year at Cottage by the Sea brings excitement and strikes curiosity. This is because it is the first time two groups come together to start a journey through the Mentor program. For our REEF graduates last year, it was their first program as a Mentor […]

Our Stories

Stingray spotting on Take a Break

Queenscliff Marina is home to giant stingrays, and it is a weekly tradition on the Take a Break program at Cottage by the Sea to see if we can spot some gliding through the crystal blue waters of the harbour. As we walked along the harbour – peering into the water looking for any slight […]

Our Stories

Take a Break from the children’s perspective

The below story was written by Abbie, Muhamed, Zahra, Chloe, Attila and Harmony who attended a recent Take a Break program at Cottage by the Sea. Cottage by the Sea was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for this year’s Grade 5/6s. It was a delightful and enjoyable experience. Boogie-boarding was a favourite activity for the majority of […]

Our Stories

Canoeing fun on Take a Break

For this week’s group of visiting children, we decided to change up our traditional Take a Break program by adding canoeing into the mix. Some students were a little nervous at first when they found out that we were canoeing, and plenty of questions arose. Some students thought canoeing was done in a small tube […]