“To infinity And Beyond!” – St Vincent de Paul January Kids Camp

On the 12th of January, 29 lucky Vinnies members met together and were given one monumental task, to make sure that each and every kid on their upcoming camp had the best time they possibly could. After a full day of planning, preparation and a well-earned rest, the 27 privileged met up at Ozanam House the next day to meet the kids and embark on a 4 day journey through space and time in this years’ Time Travelled Themed Kids Camp.

As only a relatively new member of the Vinnies organization I was understandably a bit nervous about being a leader on this camp, “what if the kids don’t like me…..what if I make a mistake…..what if…what if?” was all that plagued my mind as I prepped myself for the next few days. However, these thoughts were quickly washed away as I was thrust into action and started talking to the kids that I was given the responsibly of looking after, along with my cohort of brilliant leaders. Any thoughts or fears of not getting along with the kids was immediately dispersed as a 20 minute argument quickly ensured over who would win in a fight between “a piece of broccoli and cauliflower” a debate I never thought I’d be having with 7 kids, nor one I thought I’d be so passionate about. With meetings and greetings aside and everyone packed and ready to go, we hopped on the bus, and set out for the most rootinest tootinest time travel camp possible.

After a lengthy, but never dull bus trip fueled by continuous camp songs and jokes, we arrived at our campsite in Serpentine. Kids jostling in excitement over the experiences too come, what proceeded over the next four next few days can only be described as some of the most intense scavenger hunt, the most ruthless water fights, and the most swashbuckling games of dodgeball to ever be held. Days jam packed full of activities from learning how to finger knit from the girls (a skill I have been sorely lacking) to making a working Texta catapult with the boys, the excitement never seemed to waver.

At the end of each day, kids and leaders alike were given time to close their eyes, and reflect on the highlights of the day, whether it be a certain game played, or how good the burgers during lunch were (which I must admit, were pretty amazing) but, for me the one thought that continuously played through my mind as we reflected on what we enjoyed and felt thankful for, was the privilege to be here, surrounded by such incredible kids, and outstanding leaders, each with hearts so big and caring, which was too me one of the greatest experiences a young boy like myself could ever be lucky enough to have.

– Brendan Deany