WOW! What a rollercoaster January was!
Eddie Rice Camps NSW is proud to report, that in spite of some serious challenges we still managed to provide an awesome camp experience to 50 children with the help of 60 incredible volunteers. Scroll down to read about our crazy roller coaster ride...
The Cancellation of Week 1 Camps
After weeks of being in communication with the incredible RFS, we received news on the Sunday morning of camp which prompted the week one camp to be cancelled. The RFS simply couldn't predict the fires, but additionally, the air quality in Mulgoa was too hazardous! Staff, volunteers & children were so disappointed.
Plan B: "The Extended Picnic Day"
With the assistance of some amazing volunteers, we were overjoyed to be able to pull together a last minute "extended Picnic Day". Our day involved swimming at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre, lots of indoor craft activities and an awesome pizza party!
This extended Picnic Day allowed all the children, who were so excited about camp, to still have one day of respite and to experience the Eddie Rice magic. We had so many volunteers who joined us, not only newbies but also experienced campers who ensured our kids had an awesome day!
The Camps That Never Happened
After the disappointment of missing out on camp, our volunteers decided to organize a day in the office to make finger knitting bracelets and write letters to all the beautiful kids who missed out on camp. It was such a heart-warming day and we received a few responses back from some kids too!
Once it was confirmed that Mulgoa was not a safe location to hold any camps
for the remainder of January, we had to determine how to move forward. Volunteer representatives from our remaining camps joined us in the
office to make some tough decisions. It was decided that we would be unable to run two consecutive programs from the new campsite, and therefore we organized what we called the "Mega Camp"!
The Mega Camp
Although we were forced to cancel our Senior Camp, we were fortunate enough to be able to allow Seniors who had siblings on Junior Camp, or who were attending their last camp, to attend the Junior Program.. essentially making it an all-ages camp - which we fondly named the January Mega Camp! This Mega Camp required a MEGA TEAM to ensure it's success. We were fortunate to enlist camp legend, Tom Barnes, to take on the tough role of Chef for the week. Our epic camp was Facilitated by the incredible Stevie Rae, and energetic champions, Hammish & Owen were our Team Leaders.
It just wouldn't be an Eddie Rice summer camp without a trip to Malabar beach! Throwing seaweed, playing beach cricket and eating some decision sausage sizzles were the highlights of our day.
We were in walking distance from the Newington Armory, so when the air quality was good we really loved heading down there for some free play and morning tea!
The Siblings Camp
Our Siblings Camp brought together children from ten different families and provided them with a safe and enjoyable space to enjoy the school holidays together. Twenty-eight incredible volunteers made this week possible and ensured our kids spent every minute on camp smiling from ear to ear!
Unpredictable weather and poor air quality made it challenging to plan our week, but we simply couldn't go through camp without making a visit to the ever-popular Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre! The kids had a ball!
"Camps are awesome and this week went really well despite the new location and plans changing. The Eddie Rice spirit was still very much alive through everyone this week!" - experienced Eddie Rice Camper
Although it was a tough January for ERC NSW, our thoughts are with all those so terribly impacted by the ravages of the bush fires around NSW. Our heartfelt thanks goes to the Rural Fire Service who work so hard to keep us all safe - particularly those at the Cumberland Brigade who were so helpful and supportive of us at the Edmund Rice Camps NSW.
Please feel free to reach out to our friendly staff with any questions about upcoming programs... Programs Officer - Emily Banks 0439 900 832 firstname.lastname@example.org Executive Officer - Bonnie Faulkner 0468 511 096 email@example.com