The amazing and inspiring time we had at Junior Camp Courage was only the beginning of a jam-packed week, and we set ourselves up to do it all again at our senior camp. Senior Camp Courage saw 32 girls coming to us from near and far—with one girl even flying in to us Cairns—and it was with a mix of nerves and excitement that they all piled into the bus that would take them to the stunning campgrounds at Ivory’s Rock.
The girls soon got to know each other as the city shrunk away in the rear-view mirror, and suburban streets transformed into wide, open spaces and paddocks dotted with cows, horses, and sheep. Tent mates were chosen or assigned, and by the time we arrived at the campgrounds the girls were eager to get settled in their tents and get the weekend underway. Ivory’s Rock Conventions and Events Centre truly made sure the girls were comfortable and well looked after with schmick-looking tents fitted with beds and blankets, which really took us from camping to glamping!
“I found like-minded individuals, learned so much and was deeply inspired by every speaker here.”
Once the girls had unpacked and enjoyed a delicious lunch, they were ready to get right into the first few sessions of the weekend. These sessions saw them getting to know their camp co-hosts, Tanya Meessmann and Ky Furneaux, and getting started on activities and mentoring workshops designed to inspire them and build their confidence.
Across the three days of Camp Courage, the girls participated in a wide range of workshops, activities, and talks hosted by a variety of highly inspiring and accomplished women. Such women included: Channel Seven reporter Katrina Blowers, who delivered a highly informative and enlightening workshop on the positive power of social media and how to use it in today’s ever-increasingly digital world; Laura Gervais, who inspired the girls with her sessions on purpose and recovering from failure; and Shine From Within founder Amanda Rootsey, who truly moved the girls with her talk on the final day of camp about how she dealt with her morals and beliefs being challenged while battling with cancer.
“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.”
Mornings for early risers at Camp Courage consisted of 6.30am yoga sessions followed by walks through the picturesque campgrounds led by Ky to get us all warmed up and ready for the day. Those who preferred to get some more beauty rest, of course, could choose to opt out and get a head start on breakfast instead. Throughout the camp the girls enjoyed delicious and wholesome meals and snacks by our legendary camp chef Kathleen, who worked tirelessly to keep us going throughout activity-packed days.
One of the highlights of the camp for many girls who chose to go along was a hike up towards Ivory’s Rock itself. The hike was led by Ky, whose survival expertise meant we were in more than capable hands, and she was able to point out fascinating information about the flora and fauna we encountered along the way. The hike itself was challenging, and saw a few hikers wanting to give up, but with some encouragement and motivation from the awesome Laura Gervais, everyone made it up to the spectacular view at the top. By the end of the hike, there was a huge smile on everyone’s faces as they truly learned that they can overcome any challenge with the support of others.
“IT WAS AMAZING! I WISH IT WAS LONGER!”
While planning this amazing camp we really put a lot of effort and consideration into making the sessions and activities we did with the girls as interesting, engaging, and inspiring as possible. However, what came as a pleasant surprise to us was how much the girls got out of the downtime they had throughout the camp. This was when they were able to really interact and get to know each other, and forge the bonds of friendship that would truly characterise the entire camp. In the evenings they toasted marshmallows and had epic sing/dance-alongs around our awesome campfire, laughed themselves silly over spirited rounds of board games, and talked and stargazed beneath a brilliant canopy of stars which shone so brightly away from city lights.
Seeing the bonds the girls had made not only within themselves, but with each other, was one of the most powerful and moving things about this camp. Many girls have made friends for life at Camp Courage, a fact evidenced by tears shed by the girls as they boarded the bus that would take them back home. Across the three days the girls hiked, juggled, and gained tools to manage stress and pressure in their daily lives; but most importantly, they connected not only with themselves but with each other, and every girl left with a sisterhood of like-minded girls who shared this incredible experience.
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:
- Caring For You Nursing Agency
- Event Cinemas
- Peppermint Magazine
- Bella Rae Magazine
The girls were beyond thrilled with all they got to take home in their gift bags!
Camp Courage 2019 was an incredible experience, and we can’t wait to do it all again. Register your interest for 2020 Senior Camp Courage by clicking the button below!