Magical moments were created this weekend on Challenge’s annual Junior Camp, which hosted more than 60 kids aged between 4-7 years to what was likely the first camp of their lives.

Making our way to Mt Eliza bright and early Saturday morning, this two-day camp at Camp Manyung was packed full of fun. We cooked dampers over the cheery blaze of our campfire; we watched our favourite magician Crazy Pete and bore witness to his enchantment; and we met some of our country’s local heroes from the Mt Eliza Police and Fire Brigade.

Though the weather was grey and chilly, it did not deter us from all the excitement that was to be had. We were artists, we were chefs, and we were jumping acrobats. There was a bit of fun for everyone and this is precisely what this camp is all about: bringing the simple pleasures of childhood back to the lives of kids with cancer. From dressing up as their favourites superheroes to building new friendships, the importance of these experiences cannot be adequately articulated.

Cancer is undoubtedly a lifechanging experience, but we should never let it be a defining one. It is imperative that these kids stay connected to the world outside of the cancer journey – whether it is theirs or their siblings. Every child should experience the unequivocal happiness of simply being a child and to watch those kids do exactly that was truly precious.

We would like to thank all the amazing volunteers, staff, and community of Mt Eliza and surrounding areas for their unwavering support. Without you, we would not be able to provide the experiences we do for kids and families living with cancer and so we thank you from the bottom of our heart.

We hope you all had the time of your lives and we look forward to Junior Camp 2019!