To say that 2020 was a challenging, unusual, and different year is an understatement. Unfortunately, we had to cancel Camp Stretch in April and the inaugural Family Weekender in May due to the COVID-19 virus. We were all very saddened at AOWA to make the decision; however, a silver lining was in sight as we determined to run Camp Freedom and Camp Stretch as a combined event later in the year.
A record number of 68 participants, aged between 7-16 years old, attended the Kerem Adventure Camp ground from Sunday 27th September until Friday 1st October. The camp was supported by 12 AOWA Leaders who gifted their time and talents towards ensuring that everyone had a fun and safe time. The Leaders included some AOWA regulars, including Nurse Debbie, Gloria, Tim, Rachel, Joe, Ethan, and Nurse Jay. We were also supported by five new leaders: Nicole a past camper; and from Curtin and Notre Dame University, there was Erin, Madison, Hannah, and Lachie. I am happy to state that they all enjoyed their first camp so much that they would like to return to support us again next year.
The week commenced with us getting to know one another. There were many new friendships formed, as well as old friendships rekindled. We then went on to engage in some fun and inspiring activities which included the following:
- Theatre Sports for our first night’s activity
- Daily wake-up with Morning Fitness
- Low & High Ropes
- Laser Tag
- Tie Dying
- Wall Climbing Archery
- Team Games
- And a visit to Outback Splash for some water fun.
The fun and activities did not stop at sunset as our evenings were filled with: a Movie Night; Campfire; the eagerly awaited Camp Has Talent Show (wow do we have some talent in our campers); and of course, the ever-popular Disco, which had a theme of the Wild, Wild, West.
Along with AOWA, I would like to thank Lotterywest for their generous contribution enabling us to run camps to support children and young people with chronic musculoskeletal conditions. We also appreciate the understanding that Lotterywest has demonstrated whilst we implemented an abundance of changes in response to the pandemic outbreak.
We would also like to thank all the Leaders who attended camp during these difficult times with the extra measures we needed to put in place, and the parents who trust us to deliver a fun and safe camp yearly.
At this stage, we have not locked in planning for Camp 2021 and will be waiting to see what unfolds in the next couple of months regarding the pandemic before progressing forward. So, watch this space – we will let you know as soon as we have more information and can make a decision.
By Kerry Mace, Camp Coordinator AOWA