Camp Brainwave is a much-anticipated weekend away for Brainwave families. Making new friends, trying fun challenges, sharing experiences and supporting one another and importantly leaving worries behind if only for a short while is the central aim.
Twenty lucky families were given this opportunity from Friday 15 September to 17 September. The much-anticipated rain, hail and snow forecasted had subsided by Saturday paving the way for a spirited camp weekend. Based at YMCA Camp Manyung in Mt Eliza, the weekend began with “getting to know you” type games which included building the tallest tower of ‘smelly’ shoes, creating out of newspaper costume replicas of Batman, Captain America, brides and princesses and getting quizzed about your favourite likes and dislikes. Rain…what rain?!
The families woke to sunshine, a hearty breakfast and a day of exciting activities including the all-time favourite, the giant swing. To see children and adults supporting one another; reaching new heights and the look of satisfaction when free falling is a joy to watch. Similarly, to see children challenge themselves and conquer their fears, as seen with the crate climbing activity, makes this YMCA program unique. The children experienced a tree rolling course where wheelchairs were able to traverse the course well above ground level with challenging obstacles before finishing off with adventures on the flying fox. There really was something for everyone.
After lunch, we all walked to Sunnyside Beach for a relaxing afternoon. Thanks to Mt Martha Life Saving Club we were able to roll out the ‘blue carpet’ and the wheel the chairs onto the beach. Families enjoyed the fresh air and open space, for the energetic campers, there was plenty of action still to be had including a relentless game of ‘tug of war’.
After a long day, parents and carers enjoyed quiet time whilst children watched a movie or joined in the canvas painting workshop; the aim to conserve energy for the night that lay ahead.
After a sumptuous dinner, families were entertained by Professor Silly from the Kazoos around the camp fire. He had the kids dancing, laughing and quizzing him about his silly behaviour! Big Brown Bear made a cameo appearance to the delight of the children…security was needed! The night finished off with families performing a range of skits with everyone enjoying the talent, jokes and effort that had been put into these acts. Well done to all.
Abigail said, “we have never been on a family camp and it was so amazing to see our kids making friends and having a go at all of the activities and to meet other lovely families who were so happy to share their experiences. I found out some great information on how to apply for mobility chairs and Centrelink entitlements from other families so it has really helped me personally trying to sort out our needs. It was a lovely experience and I feel so fortunate to have been part of it”.
Camp Brainwave relies on volunteers to help run the program. This weekend Ben and Nicholas from our corporate partner Mercedes-Benz joined the team. Together these guys worked tirelessly so that families could enjoy a break. They were an invaluable support to Brainwave. A big thank you also to community volunteer Damien who joined us on Saturday and to the Barr Foundation for generously supporting Camp Brainwave.