Take a Break for a bushfire-affected community
In 2021, Cottage started to run programs for those communities affected by bushfires. Our first school to attend in February 2021 was a primary school in East Gippsland. The summer program allowed them to participate in activities such as fishing charters, where they would return to Cottage and cook their fresh fish. They also explored the harbour on the Sea All Dolphin charter, as well as favourite Cottage activities such as swimming, surfing and rock pooling.
In 2023 when their familiar faces returned, it was June and not as warm and sunny as last time they attended the program. For our first activity, we ventured indoors to the warm Ocean Grove swimming pool, where the children played in the water park. We bounced across the trampolines at BOUNCE, and scoured the rock climbing walls racing each other to the top.
We lifted small rocks looking for crabs at the Barwon Heads Bluff, and searched for coloured beach glass. Tenpin bowling was another indoor favourite activity, but perhaps the most challenging was surfing in June. With wetsuits on, we tackled the small clean waves at Ocean Grove beach. The children showed great resilience in the cold water, as they paddled back out for more waves with a cheer and big smiles as they stood up.
As the kids head home, we say a huge thank you for being our first and last camp of this nature. New friendships were made, and lasting memories were created.