Camps for Kids
Summer camps splash
The summer holidays is always a busy time for the Cara Camps for Kids team and nothing can keep them from arranging the best and coolest camps for children living with disability – including catastrophic fire danger!
This was the threat for the annual Clare girls’ camp in January. Knowing how important this time of respite is for kids with disability and their parents, the Camps for Kids team pushed on and relocated the camp to Warradale in Adelaide. The 12 girls enjoyed fun summer activities, as well as enjoying ‘girly’ treats like hair makeovers, dress-ups and nail-painting.
The biggest camp of the summer hosted 27 boys at the Jack Roberts campsite in Oakbank in January. With the overall theme of ‘Time Warp’, the boys were taken back in time through various fun activities, organised by the South Australian Boy Scouts.
“This massive, successful camp could not take place without the support of the Onkaparinga Lions Club and Scouting SA who help create a fantastic camp year after year,” says Jessie.
The Oakbank camp has hosted children living with disability for over 50 years. This year, two ‘old boys’ took the opportunity to revisit their childhood memories at Oakbank; while the sisters of Brian Averay, who generously bequeathed $5,000 to this camp in his will, arrived to see their brother’s generous work in action.
The Warradale Christmas camp in December invited 19 kids to enjoy everything that’s great about summer holidays – playing ball games in the sun, watching movies, going Christmas shopping, swimming, and dancing at a disco! A highlight included a visit from Father Christmas.
“Great thanks must go to Rotary Club Brighton who prepared all the meals, and to A Café Etc. who sponsored meat and cakes for the camp,” says camp coordinator, Jessie Flavel.
Bumper Easter Camp season
April was a busy month for Cara Camps for Kids with around 30 children enjoying two four-day camps.
At the Arbury Park camp, over 34 volunteers looked after the excited 7 to 16 year-old children, which included balls games at the Norwood Oval, a visit to the zoo, tenpin bowling and a very well received disco party.
“A big thanks to Stirling Rotary Club who not only provided the meals for the camp but also donated $3,100 towards the accommodation,” says Camps for Kids coordinator, Jessie Flavel.
An earlier camp was held at Adare near Victor Harbor where the kids enjoyed baking cupcakes, visiting the Urimbirra Wildlife Park, climbing the bluff and more dancing!
2012/13 Camps for Kids calendar
|Beach House Victor Harbor Camp||8 - 11 March 2013|
|Renmark Camp (Riverland clients only)||22 - 25 March 2013|
|Clayton Bay Camp||15 - 18 April 2013|
|Arbury Park Camp||23 - 26 April 2013|
|Port Lincoln Camp (Eyre Peninsula clients only)||17 - 20 May 2013|
|Douglas Scrub Camp||8 - 10 June 2013|
|Gladstone Camp||8 - 11 July 2013|
|Warradale Camp||16 - 19 July 2013|
|Port Hughes Camp||30 Sept - 3 October 2013|
|Encounters (Victor Harbor) Camp||8 - 11 October 2013|
|Berri Camp (Riverland clients only)||25 -28 October 2013|
|Warradale Camp||16 - 19 December 2013|
Call Jessie Flavel at (08) 8347 4588 or 0408 036 313 or email email@example.com for more info.
Camps for Kids steams ahead
Thanks to support from volunteers, funders and donators, Cara was able to stage two successful Camps for Kids during the October school holidays. The programme aims to provide children with a disability the same childhood camping experiences as any other Australian child.
The first group of campers made their way to Port Hughes on the Yorke Peninsula where the highlights included a trip to Wallaroo and learning about and experiencing the Moonta Mines. Kids and volunteers jumped on the tourist train and chugged through countryside and tunnels to the copper mines.
The second group visited the popular holiday destination of Victor Harbor. Major activities included riding the cockle train to Goolwa and a walk around Granite Island.
Both camps provide four days of beach fun, ball games, arts and crafts, walks and movies.
Camps for Kids is important for parents and carers of children with a disability as it offers an opportunity for vital rest and respite during school holidays.
Cara hosts up to 16 camps every year and is heavily reliant on volunteers and donations in order to make them happen.
“Thanks to Moonta, Wallaroo, Goolwa and Port Elliot Lions Clubs who provided and prepared meals and assisted in activities for these two camps,” says Camps for Kids co-ordinator, Jessie Flavel. “And to our amazing volunteers from Trinity College at Gawler, Flinders University and Cara who also gave their support. Camps for Kids could not happen without their help.”
In addition, a $500 donation was generously given by the Royal Family Hotel social club.
Camps for Kids
There are 15 Camps for Kids planned for 2011/12 and the annual boys- and girls-only camps proved a hugely successful way to kick off the new year.
“We provide the clients, the scouts provide the accommodation,” says Cara’s Camp for Kids coordinator Jessie Flavel.
“Scouts do all the fun things. Our volunteers come from different scout groups all around Adelaide. They give up seven days to help out.”
January’s camp at Oakbank in the Adelaide Hills was typical of the once yearly boys-only camps run by Camps for Kids.
Six days, five nights under canvas and 26 boys is a ask for anyone, but the success of this year’s venture was never in doubt.
As well as the emotive and practical considerations and preparation, there’s a sizeable logistical hurdle to be overcome first.
“There are 44 volunteers across the seven days,” explains Jessie. “We train them the day before camp starts and everyone, boys and volunteers, sleep in tents.”
Which, as it should in a fun a but stimulating environment, goes down well with everyone. Two children in each tent with one volunteer is the order of the week.
“Most of the children have never slept outside. They don’t get the chance to sleep in tents and stick their noses out and get it frozen off.”
As with all gatherings within this age group – it’s geared to seven to 18-year-olds – getting wet is a big, and positive, deal.
“The kids always relate to our water wet day in the army barracks. The CFS from Balhannah usually bring a couple of water trucks. Then it’s massively wet for everybody,” says Jessie.
Going away from home gets a mix of reactions and Oakbank is no different
“We had a seven-year-old go and he had a wow of a time and then there is an 18-year-old who was quite teary at the end,” says Jessie.
It’s all about having fun and the old and the new when it comes to the day’s activities.
Trip to the museum and a picnic in the botanical gardens are staples and favourites while laser games near Mount Lofty proved a sure fire hit with more than a degree of inclusive creativity thrown in – children who were unable to hide their guns used the volunteers to do the hard labour while they directed via the interactive control gear. A big success.
Girls just wanna have fun
Meanwhile the girls annual camp took place in Clare this year, in a Renmark caravan camp to be more precise.
And again, very successful and due in no small measure to the help of the others in the immediate community, Clare Lions Club providing all the meals and helping with activities including a big party on the final evening.
The Tumbadrum musical group, an interactive experience where the kids can pick up an assortment of different drums and anything they can use, was a particular highlight.
As was a trip to the Blyth picture theatre, which the children had all to themselves, the film ‘Despicable me’ - about a group of children finding a fun and creative substitute carer – a metaphor of sorts for the four day break in Clare.
“The kids can get out of their wheelchairs and roll around the floor and can interact with the screen, it’s just having that forum,” says Jessie.