MANDIE + COLIN'S STORY
Meet Mandie and Colin, two volunteers who have been with Camp Quality since day one. The two found each other – and enduring love – doing what they do best, giving back to others.
Mandie was just 15 when she attended her first Camp Quality program as a volunteer. She remembers her dad always getting a buzz out of helping people, no matter who or where. She grew up believing that when you can help and support others, no ifs or buts, you do. She signed up with Camp Quality in the pursuit of altruism, and she started to learn more about herself and the world around her.
Colin had heard about camp through his sister. He thought it sounded like a fantastic community to be a part of.
Mandie remembers the first time she met Colin – he was chatty and cheeky with a big smile and eyes that twinkled. It was 1989; he was 22 and she was 19. They were volunteering on a Kids’ Camp in Albury, each paired with a kid dealing cancer. Their job was to give these kids a weekend of happy memories. Colin remembers being struck by Mandie’s bubbly personality, her eyes and her sense of humour.
The day after camp finished, the two attended a BBQ held by a friend. They clicked instantly, chatting most of the day, laughing and joking. On Valentine's Day 1992, they got engaged, and on Halloween,1993, they were married by Camp Quality founder Vera Entwistle’s husband, Brian. A third of the guests at the wedding were Camp Quality volunteers, families, kids and staff!
Mandie and Colin now have three kids, Travis, Sienna and Brock. They both still volunteer regularly – in fact, Mandie celebrated her 100th Camp at Stanwell Tops Junior Camp in April of this year.
As Camp Quality celebrates 35 years of fun, we acknowledge thousands of volunteers, past and present, who have spent countless hours ensuring kids facing cancer can be kids again.
On her time as a volunteer, Mandie reflects:
"It’s everything to me. It’s both selfless and selfish – the more you put in the more you get out of it. Now with a family of my own, I understand the value and importance of supporting the whole family through a cancer experience."