We were expecting the first camp of 2020 to have a summer flavour, supposing record heat waves and buckets of sweat to be on the menu, but instead we were delivered fabulous storms with sheets of rain lashing our bus and lulling us to sleep in the evenings.
Day one was for ice breakers. Tent buddies were found and divvied into tents, with Ky and Tanya running activities to calm nerves and spark conversation. Ky spoke about resilience before Grade 12 Leader Jesse helped us connect with new friends. We swapped names and back stories, sharing parts of ourselves with each other to break down walls and begin forming the formidable bonds that would last longer than camp itself.
And so day turned to night where we swapped sandals for slippers, toasting marshmallows and playing games around the campfire, warming up to camp, and warming up to each other.
“I found like-minded individuals, learned so much and was deeply inspired by every speaker here.”
Enter, day two. Head of Collective Learning & Development at Collection House Group Laura Herman ran our first workshop, diving into all things Emotional Intelligence. We practiced navigating emotional situations and endeavoured to become emotionally and socially proactive, owning the parts of our relationships that were entirely in our control.
Next Tanya led the Confidence Workshop, gifting the girls with tools and strategies to make their way through confidence barriers they might be experiencing in school and home life. Looking for a break in nature, we embarked on a 2.5 kilometre hike to the peak crossing at Ivory’s Rock. It was a challenge, both mentally and physically, not just for those who had never been on an adventure like this one, but for all. The views from the top were breathtaking and well worth the perspiration. In awe we watched the storm clouds roll in and the heavens open as it bucketed down during the hike back to camp.
Arriving back to home base drenched and alive with energy, we dried off and continued with our workshops, eyes a little brighter than before. Ky guided her Fear of Failure workshop for girls to better understand failure and resilience, developing their individual game plan to tackle their big goals head on, expecting the unexpected.
Despite being soaked to our core mere hours earlier, we spent the afternoon getting wet, playing water games to test our skill and balance. Year 12 Leader El took the cohort through improvisation exercises designed to really push everyone out of their comfort zones – but it seemed our campers had more courage than we thought! After kicking things up a notch, we discovered our creative sides.
“You learn life lessons. You meeting new people. Make awesome friends. Time to find your passion. Reflect on who you are and where you want to go. The camp made me feel empowered and strong. I can have control over my life.”
That night the power was with the crew. Giving them the option to do what they pleased, we ended up hosting an impromptu karaoke show, unearthing some incredible and unexpected talent. Move over Billie Eilish, you’ve got some flame-shaped competition on your tail!
The cherry on the night was watching Ky push herself to her limits in a number of episodes of Naked and Afraid. It was a testimony to what courage and confidence really looks like out in the wild.
Bringing us to our final day, we once again laced up our sneakers and journeyed into our bushy surrounds. Ky joined us, imparting her flora wisdom and survival tips as we spotted the world’s largest lizard!
Apt for our final day of self-discovery, we heard from Shine From Within Founder and cancer survivor Amanda Rootsey. We can say with confidence, her powerful and moving talk had us reflecting on our own lives and individual journeys, with our inner selves always there to guide us even through the tough times. Amanda generously gifted our flames a copy of her book Shine From Within: A Teen Girl’s Guide To Life, a robust reminder to tackle our overall wellbeing with positivity and poise.
“IT WAS AMAZING! I WISH IT WAS LONGER!”
Charlotte then directed our final Year 12 Leader exercise, a creative expression of key learnings the girls were taking away from camp. We solidified the bonds we made over the past three days and realised how the 72 hours had changed us – some felt braver, or discovered they were more creative than they thought they were, while others realised they’d grown out of their shell.
By the time tired legs climbed back aboard the bus bound for home, we could feeling the fulfillment brimming and excitement by the new friendships made. But ultimately, each girl left camp with a strong and determined understanding of how she was far more capable than she ever knew before arriving.
We are so proud of how well all the girls did. It was an amazing experience for everyone involved, but it wasn’t just the girls leaving with a life changing experience – the volunteers and camp leaders were so honoured to share this moment in time with the girls. We can’t wait for the next one!
Events like this aren’t possible without the amazing help of our sponsors, so we would love to thank:
Also a special thanks to our gift bag contributors:
- Uncle Tobys
- Caring For You Nursing Agency
- Peppermint Magazine
The girls were beyond thrilled with all they got to take home in their gift bags!
January Camp Courage 2019 was an incredible experience, and we can’t wait to do it all again. Book your place at the next Camp Courage by clicking the button below!