Kool Kids — Salt Water Dreaming Camp

Kool Kids — Salt Water Dreaming Camp

October 2017

Salt Water Dreaming Camp with Surf Camp Australia

With the buses packed full of Kool Kids, Switch Leaders & their camp gear, the Weave Kool Kids surfing crew headed down south for our annual Salt Water Dreaming Surf Camp.  Our first stop was the blow hole at Kiama where we had a feed and let the little cherubs stretch their legs with free time in the park.

The kids were beaming with excitement throughout the drive reminiscing about many surf camp memories. The Kool Kids were stoked to be back at beautiful Gerroa & especially to catch up with Luke, Sam, Jose & the rest of the boys at Surf Camp. When the buses pulled up at Big 4 Discovery Park, Matt, Beau, Karlie & Lynette M already had the tents up awaiting our arrival. Plenty of discussions flew around about the tent set up & who wanted to share with who. Once the important things were sorted we cruised down to surf camp headquarters to meet our surf instructors and have a BBQ feed for lunch. Wetsuits were given out & you could feel the excitement building within the group.

Our first surf was on the Wednesday in the late afternoon, and the surf conditions were not the most inviting. But, in true Kool Kids style we did not let the conditions deter us. Our newest surf camp member Caleb, caught his first ever wave, and just like his little sis did many years back he stood up & rode it all the way to shore. Wow! Another natural surfer. After our surf we had well deserved hot showers in readiness for dinner & a movie. The team watched “Surfs Up” inside the games room while munching on Tim Tams for dessert.

The “real” fun started when it was time for bed. All the kids were tucked away in their tents but as predicted it was a late night with them staying awake & having fun with their mates. The laughter throughout the group was very contagious.

We were up with the birds on Thursday morning and on time for our 8am breakfast at Surf Camp. Once we were fuelled with energy, we hit the beach for our second surfing session. With better conditions the kids ripped into the surf, catching nice waves & showing off to their mates. The more experienced surfers took on the green waves paddling out the back with Lynette and a few were lucky enough to ride her fibreglass surfboards.

This surf was followed by a yummy lunch, then we piled into the KK buses and made our way to Gerroa National Park to meet Deidre Stewart & Jacob for a cultural workshop. The kids took so much away from their experience at the workshop, so a huge thank you to the discovery rangers for looking after us.

The kids were excited to have some free time in the afternoon and could choose to participate in an art activity run by Kool Kids worker Karlie, a walk around the lake or time on the jumping pillow. All 3 were a hit. On our second night the kids & workers hung around Surf Camp telling stories, sharing yarns & laughter.

On our last day we were up early to begin packing up our camp. The kids were a great help with cleaning & pulling down tents. Once camp was clean & packed away we headed for breakfast followed by our final surf of the trip. The weather & beach conditions were terrible. With heavy on shore winds, cold weather and dark clouds looming, the group were hesitant to get in the icy cold water. As our switch leaders managed to paddle out the back the younger crew were being pushed and pulled along the shore line. Again, this did not stop any of the Kool Kids surfing, smiling & having fun with nature.

We finished off the camp with lunch & a presentation. All the kids received certificates and a Cool to be Kind hat, with four special awards given out to recognise the standouts on camp. Congratulations to Taniesha K, Makaylah S, Caleb I & Dheklin H who received these awards plus a small gift. Well done little grommets.

The camp would not be possible without the help, dedication and knowledge of our wonderful volunteer Lynette Mackenzie. Lynette’s commitment to our Aboriginal Surfing Program & surf camp itself is inspiring. For Lynette to give up her free time to encourage the kids to improve their surfing & ocean knowledge is truly a priceless gift. She has become part of the Kool Kids team, and especially now that she has been presented with a weave staff hoodie! She wore it with pride. Thank you all for your time and for being so fantastic with the kids.

Our switch leaders Carmen, Tori, Shauna-lee, Christine, Kayde & Rasharyn were a huge help to the staff & younger Kool Kids during the camp. Well done switches, you switched on & led the Kool Kids in a way we could only dream of. The kids look up to you all so keep up the good role modelling. Thank you Kool Kids for being so KOOL and awesome on camp.

To the team at Surf Camp Australia: you guys are legends! The relaxed & professional vibe you created for us was super special & does not go unnoticed. We love being part of the Surf Camp family. Thanks to the management and staff at the Discovery Big 4 Caravan Park for your continued support & patience.

Thank you for the support from the Australian Prime Minister and Cabinet which helps us have the ability to offer these incredible experiences to the Kool Kids.

A huge shout out to all the Kool Kids Staff for all their hard work & efforts towards the camp.

What a team!

Written by: Melissa Leaudais

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