CampMDA # 1

25th – 30th September, 1989



  1. Ryan Struk
  2. Peter Wenzler
  3. Jeremy Goding
  4. Laurie Hodgkisson
  5. Nicholas Fryer
  6. Chris Fryer


 Monday 25th September – Departure and travel, settled in to camp.

Tuesday 26th September – Trip into Warragul. Picnic lunch.  Tuesday afternoon was spent swimming with the luxury of having several hours in the full sized swimming pool with no other swimmers. It was hard to convince everyone to leave.

 Wednesday 27th September – Kite making and flying. Art and craft activities and bush walking. By Wednesday the temperature was mild with no wind. The afternoon was spent making Batman kits and watching for a hint of breeze. Some very creative designs were used.

 Thursday 28th September – Thursday involved a trip to a nearby farm. The owner, Ian Vagg, is well known for his devotion to groups using the Garfield Camp and he went out of his way to include everybody. Children were given tractor rides, seated on bales of hay behind the vehicle. This went on until the cows came home, when it was time for milking and milk fighting.

Friday 29th September – Visit Gumbuya Park. Evening party and concert.

Saturday 30th September – Pack up and return home.


It was a fun filled week. Mornings were kept for free time and different activities were arranged for each afternoon. A feature of the camp was the development of close rapport between campers and carers.

The first day was spent traveling and settling in. Campers became acquainted with their helpers and their surroundings and a quick trip into Warragul followed. Dinner in the evenings was tinned spaghetti and meat sauce. Thankfully the standard of cooking improved after that point! It was a wet start to the week which gradually improved.

By this stage most companions has a good idea of what the children could do, and it was good to see all campers being given a chance to be as independent as possible.  Several leaders having an early morning run were surprised to find a dead snake not far from the campsite. Presumably the noise of wheelchairs had shocked it out of hibernation!

The week culminated in a trip to Gumbuya Park for a picnic and rides. The toboggan ride, hurtling down the slope at breakneck speed, thrilling the children and terrifying the leaders!

This was a learning experience for all but a positive and extremely enjoyable one. One salient point learned by all who were involved in this camp was the time and work required to meet even the basic daily requirements. Getting campers out of bed, dressed, showered and toileted everyday was a time consuming process and gave us all a new appreciation of what parents go through every day. We also learned not to organise too many activities in the mornings.

The memories of this camp are all positive with the teamwork and enthusiasm of all participants setting an extremely high standard to continue in future camps.