During the first week of the winter holidays we welcomed all of our Mentors, both young and old, to join together and participate in a four-day Cottage camp program.

With 46 of our finest young people all week, we had a blast and learnt about the importance of setting and chasing our goals, creating teamwork and giving it our best at all the opportunities we are given in life.

Upon arrival, our close friend (and Cottage by the Sea ambassador), Warren Davies, also known as, ‘The Unbreakable Farmer,’ facilitated a group discussion with our mentors. Warren focused on the significance of confidence, persistence and resilience, particularly when times get tough and/or when things don’t go to plan. He also promoted the benefits of speaking out and closing the gap between increased numbers and sufferers of depression and mental health.

Following his inspiring discussion, our Mentors had the opportunity to ask Warren any questions and as a promise made to him, they all set it upon themselves of seeking their 'why' in life. Later that afternoon the Mentors had the chance to meet and mix with one another (some for the first time) and enjoyed some name games and some down time before going to bed.

For the rest of the week, Our Mentors and staff split off into four separate groups where they would rotate through a range of activities, as well as have the opportunity to choose some on their own by making group decisions and being leaders, taking the ropes and communicating with one another. They also had to ensure that they had enough time throughout each day to sort and prep the lunches and dinners for the rest of the week too.

Some of these exciting and enjoyable experiences included swimming at the Cottage beach, paddle boarding in Swan Bay and at Portarlington, completing a water aerobics class, bike riding to Point Lonsdale and playing giant twister, all the while getting wet and slimy and having some fun in the mud playing a competitive game of bubble soccer at the Howard Glover Reserve in Geelong!

As well as all the fun and enthusiasm, the Mentors were also lucky enough to undertake an environmentally educating dune session with Cottage staff member and nature lover Rhonda! Rhonda taught them all about the native plants and the importance of cleaning, restoring and protecting the dunes from both rubbish and any unwanted plant species too.

By the end of the camp, our Mentors had highly achieved the acts of confidence and leadership, as well as displaying great teamwork, initiative and cooperation each and every day. We are so proud of our Mentors and their strong dedication and commitment to the Cottage and its programs and activities. So thanks again for another great week Mentors, we look forward to seeing you at our future camps!