With great excitement and anticipation our 75 mentors for 2014 set off on Friday afternoon to collect their mentees and head on down to the Woodman Point Camp School. For some mentors and teens this was the start of another year paired together and a great chance to catch up and chat about how the summer had been. For others this was their first instance meeting each-other and thus for many the car ride was a great opportunity to get to know each others interests, hobbies and hopes for the year with UCFT.
Following introductions, rules and a hot dinner, the group divided in to two large groups with the juniors and their mentors heading off for some get to know you games, while the senior group discussed behaviour expectations and future leadership opportunities with UCFT. Following this there was an option for the teens to watch a movie before bed, or to join in with a ghost tour that highlighted some of the very creepy and a little bit scary history of Woodman Point.
Teens and mentors were out of bed on Saturday morning bright and early for breakfast before all climbing on to the buses to head off for the first of many activities that day. First stop was Armadale Aquatic Centre. Here the teens and mentors made the most of a beautiful day of sunshine with endless games in the pool, on the basketball court, football on the grass, and, of course, races on the popular speed slides. At lunchtime our amazing volunteers impressively cooked up 160 gourmet burgers on the little barbecue for everyone to enjoy. Before long it was time to climb back on to the buses and head to the next destination; the Cockburn Youth Centre. Organised here was a round robin of activities designed to expose the teens to some new life skills. This included a session on CPR led by our friends from the Swanbourne Nedlands Surf Life Saving Club, a Vietnamese cooking class where all the teens made and sampled some fresh and healthy vegetarian rice-paper rolls, and finally an opportunity to try their hand at some music writing and recording in the Cockburn music studio. Furthermore, for a select group of interested senior UCFT teens there was a resume workshop led by our Youth Development Manager Eva. Teens took this time to chat with their mentor about their hopes for first time employment, while mentors were invited to share their memories of their first jobs. Many recalled their own fear and nervous anticipation upon scoring that first job at Red Rooster, or Boost Juice, many when they were at the same age of their UCFT teens. The teens were then guided through a template on the computer to complete their very own resume to take home.
Once the activities had all been completed the group again boarded the bus and set off for the next destination. Upon arriving in Fremantle the teens and mentors broke off in to smaller groups and set off on foot for their restaurants of choice. Teens and mentors straightened their hair and did up their shirt buttons and enjoyed the opportunity to sit down at a restaurant in small groups for some yummy dinner and positive conversations about their plans for the year. The groups enjoyed a variety of food including Mexican, Italian, Chinese, a steak house, seafood, Vietnamese, and even a few more gourmet burgers.
After dinner the foot trains set off again, all meeting back together at Victoria Hall in Fremantle. Here there was a series of performance workshops on offer with the theme being for all teens to have a go at something new in a safe and positive environment. Teens each selected one group to join and then were given 40 minutes to work on their performance piece. Before long we were all facing the stage excitingly awaiting each of the performances and nervously counting down to our own. UCFT Teen Idol for 2014 enjoyed amazing performances of funky hip hop, daredevil breakdancing, an impressive choir rendition of the pop song ‘Brave’, a band trying out an original song, some stand up comedy, and even a boys only drama group. The performance was a great success with so much respect and applause from the audience. After thanking all of the performance teachers and helpers we set back for camp for a movie and then finally off to bed, exhausted and happy from a very busy and successful day.
Following breakfast on Sunday morning teens and mentors spread out at the camp school for a range of high-energy activities. First off to awaken the mind, body and spirit, we had a yoga class for the teens to all try out. Next there was a series of challenges and obstacles to complete down at the beach, along with some time to enjoy the sun and sea with a swim in the ocean. Finally there was a choice of either a game of soccer, or an opportunity for some crafting with teens and mentors getting to take home a polaroid picture in their very own hand decorated photo frames and trinket boxes. Before lunch the entire UCFT group came together in the main hall for the UCFT Youth Committee announcement. Four brave and impressive senior UCFT teens stepped forward in front of the entire group to introduce themselves, and to announce their nomination for the inaugural UCFT Youth Committee. All four teens were applauded and the UCFT community of teens and volunteers are all looking forward to the amazing contribution these teens will make to the program this year.
After lunch the teens and mentors then packed up their dorms and loaded their bags back in to the cars before heading off for the last activity of camp. Our large group of eager teens and mentors converged on the local ice rink for an hour of ice-skating. This was a very popular activity with many teens having never experienced ice-skating before. Time flew by and before long it was time to say goodbye to new friends and pile back in to cars for the drive home. On the drive home many teens and mentors chatted about their experiences on camp, and discussed the many possible outings and adventures to be had in the year to come with UCFT.