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Our Stories

School holidays have just begun for Victorian school students and for Cottage by the Sea that means we are in for a whole lot of fun with our Mentors! Over the past week, we’ve had 32 of the year 8 and year 9 Mentors visit us. We’ve played fun games, studied extra hard and learned a whole lot of new and useful things. Aside from enjoying the wonderful Autumn sunshine and going for a dip in the ocean almost everyday, our Mentors had a few other important reasons to be on this camp too.

As Cottage by the Sea is a workplace based solely on the focus of helping children, it is essential that all of our staff obtain their Level 2 in First Aid. However, we also highly encourage and enrol majority of our Mentors into their very own first aid course once they begin year 9 or reach the given legal age to enter the workplace – as it increases their chances of employment and broadens their opportunities and life skills.

So for two days, our older group of Mentors were under the pump! From performing CPR and bandaging up fake wounds, to playing with a defibrillator and determining the signs and symptoms of an oncoming asthma attack – the Mentors were more inquisitive than Webbie is whenever there’s a tennis ball around! After eventually completing all the hands on learning and training, it was finally time to put their knowledge to the test with a compulsory First Aid quiz and booklet to fill out. But fear not, as these Mentors had no trouble passing and successfully became nationally recognised and qualified first aid assistants that very day!

Meanwhile, our younger Mentors who have recently finished their first term in year 8, were given the opportunity to complete their Safety Food Handlers Certificate. This is in hope of helping to prepare them for future employment opportunities and give them an extra stepping stone into possibly entering our hospitality program in the years ahead.

So after being inside the Cottage for most of the day, it was time to reward all of our Mentors for their hard work and eagerness – and what better way to do so than with some bonding time whilst walking along the beach as a big group between Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale.

Come early Friday and the final day of camp, our Mentors helped clean up around the Cottage before heading to Ocean Grove Main Beach for a quick surf before home time! Great weather and perfect surf conditions had all the young people and staff wanting to stay and not get out of the water but after almost 2 hours, it was time for everyone to say their final farewells.

The Cottage by the Sea staff who worked on this camp with our year 8 & 9 Mentors were so impressed and pleased with everyone’s positive attitudes and behaviour throughout the whole camp and were particularly overwhelmed with happiness as our Mentors mixed really well with one another on their own terms after only meeting for the first time this week!