CELEBRATING 12 YEARS OF SONY CAMP IN DARWIN 

Date: 25 August 2021 

In late June, Haileybury Rendall School hosted their 12th Sony Foundation Children’s Holiday Camp (affectionately known as 'Sony Camp') welcoming 12 children with disability on a holiday of a lifetime! Here Volunteer Camp Coordinator Lisa Cadd shares a reflection on the special weekend:

The Senior Student Volunteers and Volunteer Staff from Haileybury Rendall School were once again given the privilege to participate in Sony Camp, held in Gumimba House at our school’s boarding facilities.  It certainly was a fun filled weekend, as we cared for, entertained and created special experiences for the children. There was lots of fun, laughter and many great memories were created.

Families with children supported by local disability support services and education support schools/specialised learning schools around Darwin, were given the opportunity to apply for their child to attend the three-day camp, providing a rare opportunity for some much-needed respite, while knowing that their precious children were being well cared for.

On the first day, we attend an excursion to Lake Leanyer Water Park, and enjoyed a delicious BBQ picnic lunch. Later in the day was a visit to our school for some exciting experiments combining science with art, as well as lots of fun making slime.

After dinner, and such a big day, everyone got comfortable in their bean bags for a special movie night, screening ‘Tangled’, while the smell of freshly made popcorn filled the room. Every year our movie night has a different theme, and this year’s was ‘Fairy Tales’. Throughout the movie night, art and craft sessions took place creating incredible wands and fairy wings, castle and dragon featured artworks, while bubbles floated in the air. Everyone enjoyed spending time together watching the movie, playing games or relaxing while reading books.

On Saturday we all had lots of fun and food, as we enjoyed our time at Adventure Land, an indoor playground. Our Student Carers had loads of fun navigating themselves through the play equipment and playing games like hide and seek with the children. In the afternoon we decorated (and ate!) lots of biscuits, a delicious highlight for all.

The entire time at the Camp is so much fun for all the kids, both big and little. It really gives our students a different perspective into what it is like to be a parent/carer for a child. Even though it can be very tiring at times, the enjoyment of spending time with these children is so rewarding. The bond that is developed over this short time, is so heart-warming and all the student carers were so grateful and appreciative of the opportunity to get to know the children.

The weekend came to an end so quickly with Sunday being the Family Farewell Lunch. The families were so excited to be reunited with their children, but it was so evident to them that their children really had a wonderful time.

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