Scotland Family Camp 2016
A story by Over The Wall
We provided a residential weekend Family Camp for the immediate families of children living with serious illness from across Scotland.
What Scotland Family Camp 2016 did
We ran a weekend camp for families affected by serious illness in children at Tulliallan Police College in Fife from 13th to 15th May 2016. The camp was attended by 14 families, comprising a total of 56 individual campers.
Our breaks, unique in Scotland, are based on the therapeutic recreation model which is geared towards building the confidence, self esteem and coping mechanisms of all who attend. The camps are also designed to enable families to connect with others who share the same frustrations, fears, concerns and challenges in daily life. Many of these connections will endure long after camp comes to an end.
The main focus at camp is FUN. Our campers enjoyed spending quality time together trying our fun new activities including archery, climbing wall, zip wires as well as talent night, arts and crafts and music sessions. These sessions are fully supported by trained staff who provide encouragement, support and expertise throughout.
All families at camp are supported by at least one (normally two) specially trained volunteer 'buddies' who help every member and every family group to gain the very best from their time at camp. In addition, we provide a 'Med Shed' facility, manned by medical professional volunteers (doctors and nurses) who dispense home from home care to the ill child but also as required to any other camper/volunteer. The presence of this facility makes it possible for even those children with very complex needs to attend.
Scotland Family Camps is open to all. Places at our camp are offered entirely free of charge.
" We learned lots of feel-good happy camp songs. We continue to sing them every day. We bonded together in a way we haven't before."
Dad of 3:
"We laughed together, had fun together and shared serious experiences together. It gave us space to talk about our own and the children's experiences and helped us bond closer together in a safe and nurturing environment,"
"It helped us to see that M can grow and develop and that he really can mix with others in a safe environment. I think he also became more aware and thoughtful of others. "
Mum of 3:
"My children built confidence and I was also more confident about letting them do these things. I was able to relax and not worry as the volunteers were so supportive and kept a closes eye on things."
Mum of 2:
"My children are definitely more confident. They have learned new things they would not have even tried anywhere else".
"Highlight for me was meeting lots of other families and being able to see in us all, the transformation from often tired (for most of us, hospitals, medical appointments and limitations are daily occurrences) to booty shaking, smiling families. We wholeheartedly embraced the silly camp songs & craziness of the camp bubble together. Being there together.... reminded me how it feels to have quality family time & to see possibilities where often illness caused too many limitations."
Mum of 2:
"This camp provided us with an opportunity to meet people from many different backgrounds. We don't get to meet lots of other families who know what we have to go through. "
Mum of 3:
"It helped to meet other families with their own challenges, many the same but others with even more challenges than us. We so enjoyed the ambience of the place and the friendliness of everyone we met, The volunteers were amazing."
What Over The Wall has learnedWe need to try and simplify the applications process
We must keep in touch with families throughout the applications process, to ensure they are fully supported
We should investigate possibility to introducing new activities as suggested by some of our families (cycling, spa, guided walks).