instead of going to the Gold Coast for part of the school holidays, is stayed a little closer to home and gone to a very special camp for bush kids, held at a little know gem called called Cobbald Gorge. A long way from anywhere, but then again, the people who attend this camp live a long way from anywhere.
Organised by a dear friend of mine and her mother, and with the backing of Scripture Union (who supply the Chaplains to most schools in the north) the camp which is in its third or fourth year, was devised for bush children to access support and services and plain old fashioned FUN not normally easily accessed for those in remote areas.
The camp, run over four days, is almost free for participants, with most of the tutoring and activities supported by grants and fundraising. Covering things as intensive swimming lessons and life saving, fun sporting and craft activities (often with expert instructors brought in) and full on socialising for not only the children but the parents (many mum orientated activities) it also has a more serious side. Mental and physical health are also targeted with a psychologist and other like professionals also present at camp.
The ABC's rural report Charlie McKillop did a most wonderful report and interview HERE well worth listening to, and explains the camp in far better words than I can. And more information HERE, some great coverage.
Camp Cobbald this year, among other things, had a wonderful photographer present (free of charge) who took photos of each and every family present, giving each family a disc of their images. Given that there were around 160 people there, covering 30 families, this was a rather big undertaking over the four days of camp, but the images are stunning. I was so impressed with the quality of the images from Agi Davis Photography, and I have Kat's permission to share some of these stunning images, and some of the other attendees, here. What a wonderful thing for each family to get (doesn't Agi have a wonderful grasp of lighting, I just love her photos)
And after much gentle nagging to attend the camp each year, and even (OMG) teach a class or two (its taken me three years, but I think I have something in mind now) I have agreed that we will indeed come along next year in the second week of the September school holidays, and might even take The Husband along. If you listened to the interview, you'll know of course that dad are welcome, and this might well be the sort of holiday that will run rings around any sort of Gold Coast type adventure (which wouldn't be hard, if it weren't for the cars and too many people down there, the place would have been brilliant, snort ).
And I've said it before, who said there was nothing to do in the bush?