Our January adventure camp this year had 58 children – 29 girls and 29 boys aged 8-17 years – and we feel pretty confident in saying that a wonderful time was had by all. The kids came in from all around the state, meeting at the airport and boarding the coach for Broken Bay. From there we caught the ferry across to the island we called home for the next five days.
The island is a picturesque Sport and Recreation Camp, and as there are no roads, there are no cars except the occasional work vehicle, meaning the kids could roam freely without fear of traffic. What weren’t they so happy about having nothing of? Lolly shops, IGAs, corner shops of any kind! The kids had money in their pockets but nothing to spend it on, and to make matters worse, there was no phone reception! Despite all this, if you can believe it, we have several of them on record saying they had “the best time ever”. (Phew).
Water activities during our time there included swimming – both in the pool and in the ocean – canoeing, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding. On day three our Chair Gary Merryweather, Det Supt Mark Hutchings and Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb came and spent the day. Mark Hutchings took the kids out on the police jet ski and boat, and screams of absolute joy could be heard throughout the camp. We also held a build-your-own raft and race competition. Some of the rafts stayed afloat, while others may have lost a few bits and pieces along the way. And a certain Supervisor may have encouraged one of the rafts to be taken out in order to win the race…
As for the on-ground (or should that be ‘in-air’?) activities, highlights included abseiling down a twelve-metre rock face, high ropes and a zipline. Little miss Hannah Kupa was the first over the edge of the abseiling course – what a star! (I’m still not sure whether the kids enjoyed the abseiling so much or the fact that when we got to the top of the mountain there was phone reception.) The zipline was such a hit that some kids even travelled backwards and upside down.
There was plenty of time and energy left over for making our own entertainment. We ran a trivia night which started (naturally) with a planking competition. Josh Small and Tom Chell took out equal first, but Elli Steel gave them a run for their money. This was closely followed by a dancing competition in which Tara Marsh wowed the crowd. We also held the best No Talent Show the camp supervisors have witnessed. Elli Steel and Tom Chell went head to head with backflipping, but it was a very close win by Nate Dorman with a joke that brought the house down, followed in second place by Hailee Homan with a perfect a dance routine.
All in all, it was an incredible time. Would we do it again? Sure! We’re already looking forward to the July camp in Port Stephens.
~ Leisa Doherty, Community Support Officer