Girls’ weekend in the northern suburbs

The Outdoor Education Foundation and the Alice Sloan Trust have teamed up to launch a new community-funded initiative called A Weekend of Fun and Friendship.

The event hosted 33 North Melbourne girls from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds at Camp Jungai in Rubicon.

Students from three schools participated in the camp, Hume Central Secondary College, Roxburgh College and Glenroy College.

The weekend program included bush walks, orienteering, high ropes courses and canoeing. There was also an opportunity to learn more about empowerment with the Be Your Own Superhero seminar, presented by resilience expert Dr. Casey Delmara.

Auri Parker, a teacher at Hume Central Secondary College, felt it was an avenue for girls to thrive.

“Before the trip, many students said they felt stressed out about school and life, and were still building their confidence. Stepping out of their comfort zone and making new friends helped these students to develop resilience and significant positive self-esteem, while refreshing their view of school and their world,” said Ms. Parker.

The pilot program was a way to help build friendships, new and old, and a different kind of learning experience after emerging from two years of isolation due to COVID.

Lucy Menting, from the Outdoor Education Foundation, said: “It is essential that we connect our young people to the outdoors and to each other. Proving that opportunities for leadership, teamwork and exploration have never been more critical.

Dino J. Dotson