Sixteen Brainwave families travelled to Queenscliff in Victoria for an action packed, fun-filled weekend away. On arrival families were given a warm and jolly welcome by Ray, the head chef and treated to a delicious spread of salads and schnitzels. YMCA Camp Leader Lincoln set the tone for a fun night which included egg and spoon races, funny walks, comical games and conversation starters getting families laughing and feeling at ease.
On Saturday the weather was beautiful. A sunny day with not a breath of wind enabled families to enjoy the best that Queenscliff had to offer. At the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre families touched slimy, prickly and furry sea creatures and learned about their bizarre survival tactics. Did you know that the ‘snapping shrimp’ can create supersonic sound and heat that replicates temperatures on the sun’s surface? It can’t be placed in a glass tank for obvious reasons. Did you also know that male sea horses give birth…incredible! Families went on a seafaring expedition canoeing on Swan Bay with Harry; a passionate scientist. He managed to lead our families astray - spotting crabs, gummy sharks and the largest octopus any of us had ever seen in the wild, with a head circumference measuring 30cms. To top off the day, families enjoyed beach challenges with camp leader Ellie. The ocean, sun and sand proved too tempting for many children which saw many submerge themselves…clothes and all! Defeated, parents watched on and delighted in seeing their kids having some good old-fashion fun.
On the Saturday night families were treated to a night around the campfire eating marshmallows and S’mores (an American seriously sweet and yummy treat) and watching others perform hilarious acts and witnessed some seriously talented circus tricks. Hat’s off to all our families and volunteers for their participation and enthusiasm.
On Sunday the weather turned wild with wind gusts reaching 100km per hour. Luckily we were scheduled for indoor activity, visiting the Queenscliff Fort to learn about our brave soldiers. As the wind howled, our group sought refuge in the bunkers whenever we could, the weather added an exciting dimension we hadn’t planned! The children were entertained with history stories and dressed up as soldiers. It was a perfect end to a great weekend of respite for all of our families.
We need to thank our volunteers Ben, Sheunnie, John, Jess and Suk-young who worked tirelessly to help support families. The children adored our volunteers and they are truly deserving of a medal for their patience and contribution over the course of the weekend.
Thank you to the wonderful families who attended and the five special individuals who made sizable donations at the 2015 Brainwave Melbourne Gala which funded Camp Brainwave 2016. It is a precious weekend away for our families that is always positive and memorable. The Duffy family followed-up with, “Thanks for an awesome weekend away - you guys truly went above and beyond. Feeling very tried but refreshed at the same time. My kids had a blast and haven't stopped talking about it. Us big kids are also exhausted. Feeling an overwhelming sense of favour and blessing. Thank you from the entire Duffy brood.”