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Easter Holiday Program Review

Hi, I'm Elsi! When the writing is in purple it was written by me.

Hey! My name is Summer, when the writing is in green it was written by me.

Everything else was written by both of us.

We are intermediate paddlers at Auspaddlers Tuesday paddling classes and have been doing it since the start of 2021, and we both attended the paddling Easter holiday program. Here is our review of it!

Day one: Monday 11 April 2022

The first day of the Easter holiday program was blank by three siblings, Isaiah, Dante, and Mahalia, and their mum Jessica who were new to paddling, as well as Archer, one of the regular paddlers at the home school paddling group, and us (Elsi & Summer) of course.

We were happy to be joined by Elsi’s next door neighbour Sky on the first day. It was Sky’s first time paddling and she loved it!

After getting all the kayaks down to the river and getting on, the beginners and the regular paddlers split off for the first half.

While the beginners learnt how to paddle and some basic paddling skills, we worked on our draw stroke skills.

After that we all went up into the Geelong Canoe Club’s kitchen for morning tea - biscuits and hot chocolate! Yum.

When we got back on the water we all played a mini game of canoe polo!

At the end we all got the opportunity to jump in the river for a swim.

Monday was a lovely introduction to the holiday program, and I definitely enjoyed it.

My favourite part was probably the mini game of canoe polo, which is one of my favourite things to do on the water, and I also loved meeting everyone new as well as hanging out with my friends from the Tuesday paddling classes!

Monday was great! It was nice meeting all the new paddlers.

My favourite part of it has got to be the game of canoe polo, but I absolutely loved the whole thing. I learned so much from my first day of the holiday program, and I could not wait for tomorrow!

Day two: Tuesday 12 April 2022

Everyone from the day before came on Tuesday, as well as Ossi (a regular paddler from the weekly classes. We are excited to welcome him to the intermediates in term 2!) and his brother Howie.

On Tuesday, we went on double canoes (we normally go on kayaks) which meant we got to have a friend with us in the canoe! It felt strange being in double canoes at first, but we all soon got used to it. After we paddled around for a while to get used to the canoes, we had morning tea and then got back on the water.

Our instructor Jay told us we were going to be making a raft by stacking our canoes on top of each other. It sounded almost impossible, but we managed to complete the task. It involved a lot of climbing out of boats and teamwork. In the end we had created a raft by stacking two canoes on top of the other three! Everyone on the top and bottom layer then paddled the raft around as one boat! It took a lot of effort but we did it!

I LOVED Tuesday!

Stacking our canoes into a raft was a real challenge, especially as we were in unfamiliar boats, but that just made it even more fun! I really enjoyed sharing a canoe with Summer, and really just everything else too! It was definitely one of the best days and one I wont forget!

Tuesday was one of my FAVE days of the school holiday program,

And I am very sorry if you haven’t experienced this for yourself.

It was absolutely amazing! I shared a canoe with Elsi, and it was great!

Stacking out canoes was a great experience! It felt a bit unbalanced at first, since I was one of the people at the top, but wow it was so fun!

Day three: Wednesday 13 April 2022

On Wednesday, we went in canoes again, this time for a 5K expedition!

It took us about 3 hours to get to the destination and back, which was a nice park with picnic tables.

It took a lot of effort to get there.

Jimmy, one of the assistant instructors came along too.

We sat around the table where Jay had set up a camp cooker and took turns roasting marshmallows and making smores.

I got a bit enthusiastic with the marshmallows in the fire and my stick burnt until it snapped, and my marshmallow tragically fell on the floor…FOUR TIMES.

It was a lovely expedition, though very tiring. The scenery was beautiful, and we all had a great time.

The third day was definitely the hardest!

I was exhausted by the end, but it was totally worth it and it was good to spend more time on canoes.

The best bit in my opinion was having smores at the park for our morning tea! It was really nice to have a break and get to hangout and chat!

I liked it on Wednesday, though it was very hardcore.

Afterwards, I was extremely tired! It was lovely though, and I'd love to do it again!

Day Four: Thursday 14 April 2022

Thursday was the last day of the holiday program, and one of the BEST!

At the start we all helped carry down the big canoe polo goal. It took everyone's help to get it down!

We were split into two canoe polo teams.

Team one: Elsi, Ossi, Howie, and Dante.

Team two: Summer, Archer, Jessica, Isaiah, and Mahalia. Then, we played a big game of canoe polo, which was brilliant! It was more of a professional game then we had done before, since we had the canoe goal and buoy.

After a long battle, Team One won by two points! It was very close though.

Just before morning tea, everyone was given three plastic Easter eggs to hide along the river.

We weren't actually supposed to watch each other, but it was hard to avoid accidentally paddling right past where an egg was about to be hidden. It was really funny, as we kept bumping into each other and we had to pretend we hadn't seen anything!

Morning tea was really fun! We all chatted together and had a great time!

The cookies were good too!

Yes, they were. I think everyone was trying to eat as many as they could before anyone noticed!

While we had morning tea, Jay hid the rest of the eggs.

After all the cookies and hot chocolate had been eaten, we made our way back down to the water, for the easter egg hunt! As soon as Jay said go, we all raced as fast as we could to grab any in sight, before jumping into our kayaks to search along the river! It was great! Some of the eggs were REALLY well hidden, while others were easy to find. Ossi found the most!

At the end we all paddled out and then stood up on our kayaks. After “THREE, TWO, ONE!” we all jumped into the water at the same time! It was FREEZING at first but we all warmed up soon, and ended up jumping in together 3 more times! At the end of the session, we exchanged our plastic eggs for chocolate eggs!

The last day was probably my favourite out of all of them.

The highlights for me were canoe polo, morning tea and jumping out at the end! Both me and Summer were really sad for it to end, and we are looking forward to continue paddling in term 2!

I had so much fun on the last day! I really loved all of it, and honestly, I was very sad that the program had ended. I absolutely cannot wait for next term!

By Elsi Fletcher & Summer Richards

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