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Puppets take NT schools by storm

2017 saw our Primary School Program Puppet Tour visit the Northern Territory!

From March 21 to 31, the Camp Quality Puppets, Kylie, Dean and Mel, visited a whopping 16 schools in Alice Springs, Santa Teresa, Darwin, Palmerston and other rural areas. Primary School Program Coordinator SA/NT, Shannon Rush, and puppet tour first-timer, Kimberley Fox, performed 23 shows in total, reaching over 6,000 kids.

The program works to dispel common myths, and teaches students how to be supportive and understanding of kids impacted by cancer – all of which prevents bullying and exclusion. To have touched the lives of so many Northern Territory kids is an incredible achievement for Camp Quality.

With the puppets taking over Camp Quality's Instagram account for the duration of the tour, the highlights inside and outside of schools was broadcast across Australia. Dean loved driving out to Santa Teresa on the bumpiest gravel road ever – “just like a show ride!” he reckoned. Kylie’s highlight was trying a crocodile schnitzel in Darwin which she said “tasted like chewy chicken”. Mel snuck out one night to go dancing at a local RSL hall!

Every school was nothing short of amazing and incredibly welcoming, but the puppets particularly loved performing for Bakewell Primary School – the largest school in the Northern Territory with 880 students! It was a great success which had students on their feet with excitement (880 kids make a lot of noise...)!

Shannon and Kimberley thoroughly enjoyed meeting many of our new families and touching base with some old ones too! It was great to see so many parents come along to watch the shows with their children, helping keep the conversation going after the puppets finished performing. Many brave Camp Quality kids received certificates on behalf of their school, and were so proud to be part of Camp Quality and what we do.

One nine-year-old student from a school in Alice Springs sent Kylie an email after the show. They explained how much she loved having the performance at her school and wrote:

"Dear Kylie, I think you were awesome! How did you come up with an awesome show? Also, you and your show I just love! PS. YOU LOOK COOL WITH NO HAIR."

A huge thank you to our amazing sponsor, PowerWater, for making this tour happen. We couldn’t have done it without you! Our puppet, puppeteers, the schools and communities we visited, and of course, our Camp Quality families thank you.

About the Primary School Education Program

Our touring puppet show for primary schools answers difficult questions kids have about cancer. Often the effects of cancer can be confronting for young kids - when children return to school they often look very different as a result of the side effects from their treatment.

This needs to be explained so kids know what the child has been through and why it’s important to support them. Importantly the puppets teach students that cancer is not contagious. The show encourages kids to be supportive of their classmate who has a mum, dad, brother or sister diagnosed with cancer – or who has cancer themselves, and reduces the likelihood of bullying, exclusion, confusion or anxiety.