Transformation Stories from Southern Cross Kids Camp

This year marks the 14th year of camps for children within the child welfare system, children who have experienced the trauma of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and neglect. Children are referred through DHS, foster care agencies such as Anglicare and Anchor, and social workers or chaplains. At present SCKC has three camps in NSW, one in Queensland and six in Victoria. In 2014 new camps will start in Mackay and Warwick (Queensland) a northern Sydney camp is in the planning stages, and Ballarat is on the drawing board.

SCKC2014 Knox Buddies

The Knox camp which commenced in 2009 is headed up by Ginnie Richardson (CityLife) and Andrew and Vivienne Harvey.  Staff and buddies are sourced from CityLife and other local churches. With an adult buddy for every child plus a staff which includes camp nurse, counsellor, pastoral care, grandparents and activity directors, the number of volunteers per camp can be anywhere up to 45 to 60.

The post-camp stories are what make this camp worth every effort and sacrifice on the part of our volunteers.

From an 11 yr old girl who has experienced multiple foster homes  “You (husband and wife directors) are like my real parents, and the people at camp are my family.”

Observations from teachers:
“T arrived back from camp much more settled.   He is making an effort to fit in and to cooperative with others…..this camp has had a huge effect on his attitude towards others.”

“J was always angry and often lashed out.  He told me how much he had enjoyed camp, and particularly enjoyed being with his buddy.  SCKC 2014 Camp MascotHe has been thinking about his responses and I see a real change in the way he is coping with situation that would normally cause him to react negatively.  He is voluntarily modelling his behaviour and I can only say that this is a result of being in such a caring and supportive environment as this camp.”

Some camps follow up with SCK Clubs and from these children and their parent/carer are coming into contact with a loving and supportive church community.

Thank you to CITYLIFE leadership for your support and covering.  Thank you to the many volunteers aged 18-70+ who give up time, family, job and finances to come to camp to make a difference in the lives of these children.  Thank you to the many who get behind with donation of goods – soft toys, birthday boxes, clothing – and finances.  May God bless you abundantly for your heart for the kids of Southern Cross Kids’ Camps.

– Carolyn