It was what you would call a "full-cottage" on this weeks’ program, with all our staff on-board to help run activities, cook meals and keep the place neat and tidy for 32 grade five students and five of their teaching staff who were visiting from Melbourne's western suburbs for the week.

The madness began on Monday, with all hands on deck to make the bunk beds, bury the treasure boxes and drive the buses to to Thomastown West Primary School to collect the children. It wasn't long after such a crazy and jam-packed morning of preparation that the kids began to arrive and everyone could finally relax, settle in and let the fun begin! We decided to enjoy the afternoon sunshine with a group swim in the beach and a cheeky splash in the Cottage rock-pools!

For the next few days we had the children split into two groups of 16, with a rotation of activities and and Cottage Camp Leaders so that everyone had the opportunity to meet someone new and try something different. The kids really enjoyed everything that the camp had to offer and no matter what we were doing, they were always smiling and having fun.

We had them walk all around Queenscliff, where we found a large washed up seal on the beach, saw a fisherman catching calamari and watched in amazement as a Pilot Boat guided a huge cargo ship through 'The Heads' and take on the treacherous 'Rip'.

They loved learning about the old shipwrecks during our walk along 13th Beach and we all enjoyed dipping our legs in the Barwon River after a big session of rock-pool rambling below the Bluff. After our visit to the historical Point Lonsdale Lighthouse, one of the kids was super excited to find out that their wish for Pizza came true when it was on the menu for lunch that very same day!

We were thankful spend most of our days by the beach or in the water because of the glorious weather. It was amazing to know that majority of the students had never been to the beach before they came on to Cottage, let alone had the opportunity to 'hang-ten' on a surfboard or wipe-out on a boogey-board in the white-wash at Ocean Grove Surf Beach.

It was due to their constant enthusiasm and engagement on our visits to the Marine Discovery Centre that the staff let us feed some of the sea-horses during our morning session and afterwards let’s just say that the kids wanted to take more than just some fun-facts home with them!

Every year the staff at Cottage by Sea have been amazed with the students from Thomastown West Primary School for their wonderful efforts and outgoing personalities. We would like to thank them for an amazing week of fun and laughs, as well as saying a special thanks to their teachers for all their help and kind words throughout the week. We know that there will be a few sleepy heads on the way home but we can definitely say that they deserve a rest after all their hard work this week! Thanks again Thomastown West, we can't wait to do it all again next February!