For the first time in quite a while I took last Friday off work and Melinda and I packed up the kids and took them down to Wilson’s Promontory to give our new Tent for a test run. Two weeks ago we went Tent shopping and picked up a new 12 man tent with 3 separate rooms which we thought would give us more than enough room (and surprisingly it does).
We left on Friday morning and what should have been a two hour trip ended up taking more like three and half hours – the time difference can be explained by the joy of travelling with three kids under five! Anyway once we arrived we got our tent set up pretty quickly and made some lunch. I don’t think it was more than half an hour before a giant wombat came visiting our tent. He didn’t stay long but he did come back that night and got into the tent of some people who were camping down a bit from us.
The kids ended up staying up much longer than they should have, but they had a great night in their room and this was despite the fighting between who should get the flashlight. The next morning we took them on a walk up on the Lilly Pilly (sp?)Trail and then up and around to Squeaky Beach outlook. They kids did really well as we were not sure how far they would be able to hike, but we took our time and we did pack some biscuits which kept their motivation up.
Joshua is still sleeping in a cot so packing the cot to take away took up a fair bit of space in the car but we were surprised how easy it was to camp with him still sleeping in it. Before now I think he was probably a little bit too small to take him camping, but now I think camping will get easier as he grows out of his newborn baby phase.
All in all we had a great long weekend and are looking forward to our next Camping adventure.
Late last year I noticed a tweet from @PipMacDonald where she was ReTweeting a message to volunteer for a program run by The Smith Family here in Australia called iTrack. You can visit The Smith Family Website, but I have also provided a quick snapshot below of the program and what it is all about.
Basically you are giving one hour of your time each week to talk to a student online about their school/work life transition. I can’t help but think that if I knew what I know now about working life I may have studied harder, applied myself further, etc… when I was in school. I think in today’s world there are so many opportunities for our youth to make something of themselves that they really should try to achieve their dreams whatever they may be. Hopefully I have can help in some way and I am looking forward to starting this program later in the year.
If you are in Australia and are interested contact The Smith Family for more details and lend a hand.
iTrack – Fact Sheet – The Smith Family
Creating better outcomes for disadvantaged Australians
Lack of employment is still the single greatest predictor that an individual will be in the poorest 20% of Australia’s population.*
Research by The Smith Family with the Australian Council for Education Research found that while disadvantaged students appear to have a good understanding of the world of work, they have more to learn about how to get these jobs.**
The Smith Family believes in providing mentoring opportunities to support school to work/further study transition. Young people need to be supported in their preparation to undertake the transition, so that they have a clearer idea of their abilities and interests, the opportunities available and the pathways needed to take advantage of these opportunities.
What is iTrack?
iTrack is an online mentoring program that focuses on the school to work transition. The program aims to provide students with opportunities to develop appropriate relationships with supportive adults other than a teacher or parent, and to provide information to students about workplace, study and career opportunities to enhance their school to work transition.
How does iTrack work?
Senior high school students are matched with professionals currently drawn from The Smith Family’s corporate partners, and communicate over the course of approximately two school terms. The interactions mostly take place online in The Smith Family’s IGNITE! website chatrooms and IBM’s MentorPlace site. Some pairs also have three face-to-face meetings, which helps build rapport between student and mentor.
While projects and activities are provided to guide the development of the relationships, just as much value is gleaned from the social interaction between the partners. By the nature of the interaction, students become accustomed to online communication and improve their ICT (information communication technology) skills.
iTrack is currently operating in NSW, VIC, QLD, SA and WA.
A comprehensive evaluation of iTrack conducted by The Smith Family and completed in October 2007 showed over 92 percent of those mentored found the experience valuable and more than 81 percent confirmed they had a better understanding of career pathways as a result of participating in iTrack.***
“I feel confident after learning new skills such as interviewing techniques, resume writing and applying for a job.”
“It was great meeting someone who was working in the field I wanted to work in. She gave me heaps of advice about how to achieve my own goals”
“I developed a valuable relationship with my mentor. I learnt not to be scared to ask for help”
“I learned a lot about life and myself”
If you would like to find out more about mentoring in your area, please contact the National Volunteer Coordination Unit on 1300 397 730 or email your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org