The first weekend of June may have brought with it the cold and dreary weather of winter, but it certainly didn’t deter us from enjoying one of the best weekends of the year! It’s been two years in the making, but we finally made our way to Mt Eliza for our annual Junior Camp with Challenge troopers aged between 4 – 7 years.
Setting up base at Camp Mantung, this two-day camp saw us embark on all kinds of adventures. For people who do not know, Challenge held its first camp at Camp Manyung in 1983 so it holds a special place in our heart.
Whether we were soaring through the sky on the giant flying fox; bearing witness to the incredible wizardry of Felix the Magician; or simply cooking dampers over the cheery blaze of our campfire, every moment was spent making memories to treasure forever.
For some of these children, this was their first time away from the loving arms of their parents and the familiar comfort of home. Though some of our campers may have been initially reluctant to take that first step on the bus, the foot-dragging quickly turned to sprints when they heard we were heading to Inflatable World. From there, the magic began – we never caught a camper without a smile on their face.
This is what experiences like Junior Camp are all about – giving back the essence of being a kid. They teach kids how to take that first leap of faith and enjoy the adventures of the unknown. The endless laughs and cheers for “more!” from our campers only reinforced this.
A big thank you to everyone involved in bringing this camp together with a special mention to Craig and his team at Inflatable World Oakleigh, Somerville Police Station, the Mt. Eliza Fire Brigade, Toula and Fairy Mary, Felix the Magician, Wild Action, Rubies Deerfield, the team at Build-A-Bear, Jay Tee Coaches, and the wonderful team at Camp Manyung. Your generosity and willingness to make this weekend so special for everyone means the world to us.
To our volunteers, thank you for providing the support and warmth for our young members to feel safe in your care. Do not underestimate the impact you have made and the difference you make by sharing your time to give back.
We hope you all had the most wonderful time, and we cannot wait for Junior Camp in 2023!