Surfing up a storm

Stories From Camp

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 at Cottage had been surfing few times. However, the aim of this session was to get to the next step and stand up on the board. Hesitant at first the group set out through the dumping waves with their boards in hand and got familiarized with the basics, paddling hard, keeping balanced and catching the waves into the shore. It had been a while since their last surf for some of the Mentors, especially those from Ballarat that don’t get to hit the beach as often, so it took a while to get back into the swing of things but it wasn’t long before a few were up onto their knees.

With a bit of encouragement from their peers and Camp Leaders the Mentors one by one got the courage to take it to the next step and stand up on the board. “You can do it, get up!” yelled one of the Mentors over the loud crashing waves to their friend, and a wobbly figure standing on the board emerged on the other side of the wave. Despite the wind and the cold these Mentors were not giving in and even when getting smashed by the waves and wiping out they all showed brilliant resilience by getting back on the board and trying again! By inspiring and uplifting, one another the Mentors were able to give it a go in a non-judgmental environment with loads of support for each other which was incredible to see from a Camp Leader perspective.

This group of Mentors have shown with each camp that they can grow as a group and have developed deeper friendships over the last few years with Cottage despite the sporadic camps over lockdowns and cancellations due to Covid. We cannot wait to see what else this group can achieve, especially at their next rock climbing camp at Mount Arapiles.