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Summer camps are an important part of the culture for children and young people in foster care with Westcare. We reflect on two summer camps over the school holidays that brought kids together for a group adventure.

Camp Wyuna

During the summer school holidays, 39 children and young people journeyed with their carers and Westcare staff to Wyuna Camp in Queenscliff.

The camp was an opportunitiy for young people to participate in activities they've never previously engaged in, such as:

  • A bike ride to Point Lonsdale
  • Beach games and sand castle building
  • Canoeing experience on Swan Bay
  • Walk to Shortland's bluff along the beach
  • Rock pool beach comb
  • Disco
  • Camp fire and toasting marshmallows
  • Port Phillip boat trip to see the seals and birds in the bay

For program manager, Jill Wain, the camp was an important occasion to draw kids and their carers together in a safe space to enjoy a retreat.

With varied age groups, Jill was pleased to see adolescents "take on the role of leaders" by looking out for the younger children and providing positive role modelling.

As well as bringing Westcare's foster care community together, Jill underscored the importance for young people to build positive connections with children in foster care.

"[It's important for] everyone to mix as a group to help children and young people understand they are not the only ones in care and that there are many other children experiencing the same things, like not living with their birth families."

Camp Wyuna

Inside Out Camp

Last month, 4 children from Westcare's foster care program attended The Salvation Army's Inside Out camp.

Our chaplain, Rob, went with the young people to the 'picturesque' Rowsley Valley for the 5 day retreat at Lady Northcote camp.

The kids loved getting involved in physical activity, with Rob recounting:

"Our kids had a great time sending the chaplain off giant swings and flyng foxes."

As well as enjoying playing with Rob, the kids were able to get involved in arts and crafts.

Across the week, Rob reflected that it was a great opportunity to bring young people together.

"The learned skills and strategies for handling their emotions that will equip them for life."

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