Whale of a time on Family Camp
April 2017 saw the first Family Camp for Tasmania with nine families, including 30 kids, in attendance alongside seven volunteers. Families arrived for camp on Friday night for a relaxed and casual atmosphere for dinner at the Port Arthur Historic Site.
To begin the Camp, the wonderfully entertaining and knowledgeable guides at the Port Arthur Historic Site took our families on an optional lantern-lit ghost tour to learn about the unexplained occurrences of the past and the convict, settlers, and soldiers history in the region. A truly spooky but fascinating journey through time!
Saturday morning came full of anticipation for a full day ahead. An early start heading to Eaglehawk Neck to get on the boats was well worth it when the incredibly rare sighting occurred – a pod of orcas right next to us! This was an incredibly special and beautiful experience for everyone involved, a truly once in a lifetime experience for our Camp Quality families. A huge thank you to the staff and crew at Pennicott Wilderness Journeys for their enthusiasm and expertise, teaching us so much about the wonderful creatures of the sea!
"What an absolutely fantastic time we had at Port Arthur!! The killer whales will make this camp stand out as one of a kind!! - Mel Radbone, Camp Quality parent."
After some free time and another visit for a daytime exploration of the Historic Site, families headed onto tours of the Isle of the Dead, with some fascinating insights into the lives of those buried on Port Arthur, and the Point Puer boys prison, learning about life inside for the boys and the lives of prisoners after they left.
After a busy day, it was a quiet night back at Stewarts Bay Lodge for a meal and some rest, before gearing up again for the final day on Sunday.
Another up-close encounter with the spectacular nature and wildlife that Tasmania has to offer was the last activity for families, with the chance for face-to-face encounters with unique animals at the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo. The Unzoo concept is that animals are not displayed in enclosures purely for human entertainment, so gave families a wonderful opportunity to see how animals and plants interact with their environment and observe in a memorable and inspiring way.
This was a great camp for our Tasmanian Camp Quality families, and we think they sum it up best:
"Our kids had an absolute ball, and we loved it all as well. It played out perfectly, and we really enjoyed all the activities.” – Emily, Camp Quality parent
"I am still buzzing!! Thank you to all of you for making us feel special. It was a camp we will truly never forget.” – Mel Radbone, Camp Quality parent
We are so grateful for all of the donors, supporters, and volunteers who made this camp possible, and can’t wait to see everyone on one of our programs again soon!
About Camp Quality Family Camp
The camps cater for the whole family at no cost. Everyone gets to join in the fun. Kids-only activities are also scheduled, so parents have a chance to unwind too.
The relaxing and supportive environment is also an opportunity to meet and talk with other parents and children going through similar experiences and build strength through solidarity.
Family camps provide a break from the stresses of home and hospital, a getaway designed to help the whole family recharge, reduce stress, and increase resilience and the ability to cope.