For the girls entering Year 7 at Ruyton Girls’ School, staying at Lord Somers’ Camp at the start of the year has become an early highlight of the school calendar. The beauty of the natural environment and the warm weather make the trip a much-anticipated one for girls entering Senior School. During our stay, we learnt a great deal about the local environment, historical sites and wildlife. Perhaps most importantly, we learned that the camp’s vision is to provide respite and holiday opportunities for families and/or children facing significant personal challenges.

Action-packed water activities, nature walks, sports and bonding with your classmates were extremely enjoyable for everyone. Spending time with all the girls helped every one of us make new friends and encouraged us to interact with a diverse range of people. After all the girls heard about Lord Somers’ generosity in conducting spectacular programs for kids who might not otherwise have such opportunities, we all realised how fortunate we are and began to appreciate more the wonderful things we get to experience. This realisation led to a communal decision by the girls that we would like to help the Camp achieve its goal of providing opportunities for other deserving children to enjoy what we ourselves have treasured: learning to communicate and work together, make new friends and have some good old-fashioned fun. We saw that these opportunities, that many of us perhaps took for granted, were not readily available to all, so when we returned to school, each of the four Form Groups brainstormed creative ideas to fundraise money to purchase new and much needed equipment for Lord Somers’ Camp. 7PGR held a chocolate toss, 7PBR and 7JGR held a serve-yourself lolly bar, and 7BMO held a spider drink stall.

All the money raised – some $920 – went to the camp, and each and every girl was happy that other children – and the amazing people in their lives who help and support them – might also have the opportunity to have a great time. Not only is it a tradition to visit the camp every year, it has also become a tradition to assist the camp in its vision for years to come.