As our first year REEF group have already experienced the joys and comforts of staying at the Cottage, we thought we'd make their second camp with us that little bit more exhilarating and challenging. The young group of 29 were surprised to find sleeping bags and sleeping liners upon their beds when they arrived rather than the usual array of bedding, blankets, scarves, teddies and beanies.

The reason being that the four-day camp planned for them involved a one night stay at the Riverview Family Caravan Park, in Ocean Grove. We had decided it was time to test out their patience, resilience and teamwork and what a better way to do so than to be in the great outdoors in the middle of winter!

Whether it was setting up a tent and having to pack it up again in the rain, putting up with growling possums or the freezing cold air throughout the night, stuffing an entire sleeping bag back into its case or building a protective shelter using only a tarp and the surrounding trees, the young REEF students never let their frustration get the better of them! In fact, we were amazed to see and hear all of their creative ideas and watch them work together to get the job done!

The two groups also experienced cooking on a Trangia (portable hiking/camper stove) for the first time, when they had to prepare and cook Spaghetti Bolognese for dinner and of course clean up their mess afterwards.

Throughout our days on camp together we enjoyed some time in the water swimming and surfing, going for a few lovely nature walks along the Barwon River, baking cookies and playing games collectively both at Cottage and the Caravan Park.

We would like to say a huge thank-you to the Riverview Family Caravan Park and its staff for not only having us but for also donating a huge tub of goodies to our charity! Along with them, our three younger Mentors Makayla, Lou-Lou and Nicholas also deserve a round of applause for spending their last week of school holidays at the Cottage, helping out on this REEF camp and promoting the benefits of graduating the REEF Program to become an inspiring role model on the Mentor Program just like them.