On the first weekend of the September holidays, myself and 11 other girls attended the annual Sony Camp at Toowoomba Grammar School, along with students from Fairholme College and Grammar. We were accompanied by the ever helpful and guiding Mrs Waters and Mrs Sullivan. Sony Camp is a three-day camp where Year 11 students have the opportunity to care for children with disabilities.
On the Tuesday prior to the camp, we all had the opportunity to meet our guests at their schools. This encouraged much excitement for us all as it was the first time we could start to connect and work toward a relationship with them. It was hard to tell who was more excited; the companions or the guests!
We all met back at Grammar on Friday night for a companions’ BBQ run by this year’s Year 12s who were companions last year. This was a great way to get to know some of the other companions. On Saturday morning all the companions returned early to be ready to greet their guests. The excitement was contagious, there was not a frown in sight!
Once all the guests had arrived it was onto the activities. There was face painting, ball games, a music room and play equipment. These activities were followed by some time in the craft tent and on the oval waiting for the anticipated helicopter arrival. However, it was hard for many of the guests to focus on much more than the 3:00pm swim! There didn’t seem to be a single guest who wasn’t excited to throw on their togs and splash about. The swim pretty well tuckered out many of the guests and they were happy to lie on the bean bags for ‘Nemo’ after dinner. From there we took our guests back to Corfe House (the boarding house we were staying in). Bedtime proved a challenging time for some as the enthusiasm was hard to contain yet we all managed to gain enough sleep to be ready for our next day.
Sunday morning started with a stroll around the school grounds and a filling breakfast. From there, guests had the option to express their creativity in the craft tent or make their way to the sports centre and show off their athlete moves. After lunch was another swim which consisted of the same level of anticipation as the day before and was followed by a visit from the police, fire department, Army, and Star Wars characters. May I say that many a guest found themselves comfortable in the driver's seat of the police car booming instructions through the loudspeaker. It was important for our guests to preserve some energy, as after dinner we had a thrilling concert which produced some very high-quality talent and then the disco where everyone got to bust a move.
Monday was filled was mixed emotions from everyone. Excitement for the show day but sadness for the impending conclusion of our camp. There were plenty of rides for the guests, such as the teacups, jumping castle and baby animals. Saying goodbye to our guests was one of the toughest parts of the camp. We had all established such close relationships with our guests that it was going to be strange to not have them by our side.
Sony Camp was the most amazing, at times challenging, but a fulfilling experience I have ever had. For you and your partner to become completely responsible for another person was something none of us had really ever done before. Over the whole weekend, the only thing we could think of was our guest, whether they were having fun, whether they were safe, and whether they were having the best time of their life.
I would strongly recommend Sony Camp to all Year 10s! I can confidently say that it was an experience that I will carry with me forever, with unforgettable memories and indescribable experiences
Glennie Student - Year 11