Calrossy students take on carer role

THIS year’s Sony Children’s Camp, hosted by Calrossy Anglican School, is significant for a number of reasons, none more so though than the fact it’s the 10th year the school has put up its hand to host the camp, which supports children with a disability. 

The annual camp, which runs for three days and two nights, involves students in Year 12 volunteering their time to take on the care of a child aged anywhere between six and 14 to help give their family some much-needed respite and the child an injection of fun in the lead-up to Christmas. 

This year there are 26 student carers and 22 disabled children taking part.

Camp director Andrew Newman said between the arrival of campers at 9am on Friday and their departure yesterday the young carers, assisted by staff and sherpas from the school, will have cared for their young buddies for about 52 hours.

“It can be a long time and there are a number of hurdles that are overcome throughout the duration of the camp, but every year we see the children go home with a smile on their face and the student carers have learnt so much – the benefits of being involved are more than evident,” he said. 

During the three days the children and their carers participate in a range of fun activities – everything from bowling,  swimming, train rides and jumping castles to remote controls, a visit from Santa and a talent competition. 

Mr Newman said each year the camp had a similar routine.

“It’s not uncommon for the same children to come back,” he said. 

“Every now and then we change things and add an activity or two but there is so much enjoyment from the children that the formula doesn’t need to be mixed up too much,” he said. 

Mr Newman said the camp often served as an “eye-opener” for the Year 12 student carers.

“Many of them leave here with a sense of achievement, a bond with the child they have cared for and an increased level of understanding of the patience the child they care 

for has and their level of 

perseverance.”

The majority of the 22 children participating in this year’s camp are from towns around the north including Armidale, Gunnedah, Guyra, Tamworth and Quirindi. 

Calrossy is one of 22 camps the foundation has supported across Australia this year.

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