CampMDA # 86

1st July to 4th July, 2012
Urban Camp, Parkville


1. Zeth Angeles
2. Luke David
3. Ryan Deayton
4. Dominic Di Battista
5. Daniel Maugeri
6. Matthew Maugeri
7. Thomas McGann
8. Jules North-Coombes
9. Josh Rycken


Sophie Armstrong
Elise Henry
Julia Link
Imogen Piper
Laura Speed
Caitlyn Wood
Ken Forbes
Julia Mihalic
Emily Powell
Tara Skilbeck
Rebecca Zammit


Simone Ziemer
Frank Saliba




 Everyone started arriving at camp from about midday, with the students there early to prepare. Campers started arriving at about 12:30 and we settled in for a lovely BBQ lunch cooked by Tara. Frank Saliba joined us for lunch with his granddaughter and it was great to catch up with him. After everyone had a chance to catch up, meet the carers and new camper Zeth, we headed up to the State Netball and Hockey Centre for some wheelchair sports.

The evening’s activity was a pizza and movie night. Everyone enjoyed the Dominos pizza that arrived for dinner. We had some trouble setting up Beck’s media player to the campsite’s TV in order to watch the movie. After about half an hour of Beck and Ken trying to get it to work, Vaughn from the other group staying at Urban Camp, The Mirabel Foundation, managed to get it going for us. The kids from Mirabel invited us to watch their talent show which we did and all ended up with the bubblegum song stuck in our heads! “Bazooka zooka bubblegum!”

After the talent show, most of the group settled in to watch Yes Man and the others chilled out in the dining room. Overall a good first day!


 Things didn’t quite go to plan this morning with some late risers and some campers taking longer to get ready than carers first thought, causing us to depart Urban Camp a bit late. Luckily we made it to the city and were only five minutes late to our booked visit to the Game Masters Exhibit at ACMI. We spent some time exploring the exhibit and playing all the video games on display. Sophie and Caitlyn were brave enough to get up and have a go at the dance battle on the big screen with the game Dance Central 2 in front of everyone! It was very entertaining, especially when Sophie dropped to the ground to try and break dance during the freestyle part!

After the exhibit, Urban Camp staff dropped our sandwiches to us for lunch. The afternoon involved a couple of hours of free time in the city. The older campers chose to chill out in the warmth of Young and Jacksons opposite Flinders Street Station and enjoy some chips. The younger campers went to Crown and did some bowling.

Back at camp we had a yummy dinner of roast chicken with chocolate mousse for desert. Simone joined us for dinner and afterwards she ran a dessert tasting activity with products from her work, Indulgence Sweets and Desserts. Each table had 6 unlabelled tubs of Gelati and we had to guess the flavours. Simone also bought along some really yummy tarts and shortbread biscuits for us all to enjoy.

After the yummy sweets, everyone chilled out in the dining room. A bunch of the campers and carers played a very animated game of Balderdash! Tom Zeth and Emily battled it out with Tom’s magic card game and Beck, Julia and Tara ganged up on Ryan in a few games of Uno!


 Everyone was up bright and early to head off for the day. Unfortunately, Zeth had to leave us today for an appointment at the RCH. The rest of us left Urban Camp by 9:45 and headed to the Queen Victoria Market for some shopping. Some great purchases were made.

After lunch in the courtyard at the Old Melbourne Gaol, we toured the Watch House, where up until 1994 people who were arrested were taken for processing and held until they faced court. We were yelled at by a sergeant and she locked us in a cell! We discovered that years ago, when people in wheelchairs were arrested, they were taken to the Watch House in wheelbarrows!

After the tour of the Watch House tour we were taken into the Old Melbourne Gaol and given a tour and a talk. The Gaol was creepy, especially the death masks that were in the cells and it was eerie to know that when we were under the gallows, we were right where people had been hung. It was all very interesting though and I think we all learnt something new.

The afternoon was a little more free time at Melbourne Central before heading back to camp, Most campers grabbed some food and had a chat. We went back to camp in two groups as a few campers were stuck waiting for the lift and missed the first train. The second group ran into a bit of trouble when we got back to Royal Park station-Jules’s wheelchair died! Tara, Beck and Laura had to push him back to camp, up a hill! Luckily Emily and Julia came to the rescue before we all passed out from exhaustion!

There were some noisy kids staying at Urban Camp on a soccer training camp. They were running around and making noises early in the morning and late at night. This afternoon, one of them lost their shoe over the edge of the second level and it nearly hit one of the campers! So some of the staff decided to hide the shoe under Dom’s blanket, before putting it in the lost property bin to teach them a lesson. They found this very entertaining!

Tuesday night back at camp was pretty chilled. After a yummy pasta dinner, some of the campers watched another movie and the rest of the group chatted in the dining room.


Unfortunately some of the campers were woken up by the noisy kids again, which made Beck very grumpy! Everyone was up pretty early and packed and ready to go home. We had a yummy cooked breakfast of eggs, bacon and baked beans. Boris and Maria came over to say hello to everyone and join us for breakfast. Taxi’s and parents started arriving at about 10:15 and campers started heading home. After helping to return beds to their original places and load the MDA equipment into the van with Charlie, the students and carers all headed home for some much needed rest!


Old Melbourne Gaol and ACMI