News & Articles

Stories From Camp

Resilience in the rain!

From the moment we arrived in Sydney it started to rain, we all joked about bringing the rain with the us from Victoria. Even though it was forecasted to rain all week this didn’t phase us. Our biggest day of the camp was spent all outdoors, starting at the Taronga Zoo. The ferry ride across […]

Stories From Camp

Surfs up!

It was day 3 of camp and we had been swimming and body boarding the day before, I did not think camp could get any better and that’s when the Cottage staff told us that today we were going surfing! I was so excited but also nervous because I had never been surfing before. The […]


2022 Winter Newsletter

When we welcomed our Mentors back on site for the first time this year, it was time for them to work together to achieve more.  This plan of action started from the moment they walked in. They helped by taking the bags off the trailer, setting up beds and in the preparation and serving of […]

Stories From Camp

First time away from home!

We arrived at school to a very excited group of grade 2 students. This was their first EVER camp and for most it was their first EVER time away from home. From the moment the children arrived they were literally bursting with excitement, some bursting so much they could only express their excitement by screaming […]

Stories From Camp

It’s a multi climb kind of day!

Week 2 of the school holidays we took our older Mentor participants for an offsite mountain climbing camp at Mount Arapiles, a rock formation that rises about 140 metres above the Wimmera plains. While top roping, a few participants were very excited to push themselves though another multi-pitch which they had very little experience in. […]

Stories From Camp

Connecting & learning

Camp this week was all about connecting with others and learning new skills. Our Mentors were completing First Aid and Food Handling courses that would help them gain future employment and build important life skills.  The group participating in the Food Handling Certificate and were put to the test the very first day after completing […]

Our History

Miss Amelia Chinn, Matron 1906-1928

Researched by Jeffrey Ernest Bergmeier a grand-nephew of Matron Miss Amelia Chinn. The family continued to live at Bass with Grandparents Rosetta and Joseph Chinn helping to support the four young children. By 1868 William had met and married Maria Rogers a scholarly mature lady who had never previously married & was by then 57 […]

Stories From Camp

What resilience looks like

Recently four of our staff took 22 children on a three-day hike to the Otways. This group of 12 to 13 year olds from suburban Melbourne had never slept in a tent, used a Trangia stove or walked for kilometres, let alone with a full pack on their back. These children needed to show resilience, […]

Stories From Camp

Quicksilver Surf Day

The tradition lives on. Every year for the last 13 years, Cottage by the Sea and Quicksilver / Boardriders have partnered up to run a surf day for the children attending Cottage by the Sea. This year’s lucky participants came from one of the communities effected be bushfires in 2019/20, who the Cottage has been […]

Stories From Camp

My First Surf

It was our third day of camp and today was the day we were going surfing! I had never been surfing before and I was so so so excited to try to stand up but I was just as nervous to fall off my board and not be able to surf. We got our swimming […]

Stories From Camp

Swimming lessons Cottage style

It is always a day full of excitement with everyone buzzing in anticipation of meeting our first year REEF participants. Camp 1 we welcomed 28 wonderful Grade 6 students from the Bellarine Peninsula to start their long and adventurous journey with Cottage from Grade 6 to Year 12. Activity one was a swim at the […]

Stories From Camp

Surfing up a storm

It was clear on Sunday that Summer was unfortunately no longer with us when we arrived at Ocean Grove main beach, we were met with grey storm clouds, light rain and blustering winds but that wasn’t going to stop this group of Mentors! These Mentors were no strangers to surfing and in their previous years […]

Stories From Camp

Best week ever

We woke up bright and early and met at school where the bus was coming to get us for long trip down to the coast to spend a week at Cottage by the Sea. As we arrived at the Cottage, all the staff and their huge smiles greeted us ready for an awesome week at […]

Stories From Camp

First time at the beach

Being from small country towns, the children of the ‘Top Paddock’ region don’t often get to the beach. The closest beach is over 4 hours away! Our number one goal this week was to make sure we spent as much time at the beach as possible. Before every beach activity, we have a discussion on […]

Stories From Camp

Beginners luck

It always seems to be the children that have never fished before that catch the first or the biggest fish. This week it was young girl Sarah who was a little worried that she had never fished before and everyone else on the charter had, and were quite confident fishermen and women. With a short […]

Stories From Camp


nounthe combined action of a group, especially when effective and efficient. When we welcomed our New Mentors back on site, it was time for them to work together and achieve more. It started from the moment they walked, helping getting the bags off the trailer, setting up beds and even preparing then serving dinner. Teamwork […]

Stories From Camp


One of our favourite things on camp is seeing the reactions of the children when they spot the first giant stingray at the marina. This week it was no different, the water was crystal clear, so we knew it would only be a matter of time until one glided past. Our first stingray spotted was […]

Stories From Camp

One epic party wave

On Thursday morning, the waves were pumping at Ocean Grove Main Beach, perfect for our surf session! Sam our Cottage surfing guru ran through the basics of how to catch a wave. After a few practise runs on the sand we were ready to tackle the ocean. At first, many of the campers found it […]