Part of the community of Stuarts Point and Grassy Heads for the past 50 years, the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Junior and Teen Summer Camps bring around 400 campers and staff each month of January to the area. But despite being a closed event, it has been embracing the community for approximately ten years, by offering free water activities at the Stuarts Point Waterfront for the local kids.
Initially, the only option was 'The Worm', a floating obstacle course. Still, this year, the camp administration decided to open the tubing as well.
Blair Lemke, one of the camp administrators, explains that the decision to open these activities for free is "a way to give back to a community that has been receiving the event so well for many years".
"We just want to be a blessing to these young people. We saw them coming along, and they would watch, wishing that they could be part of it, but they couldn't because they were not campers. So we decided that every time we have a break, we can provide them with the opportunity to be involved and have a great time during their summer holidays", he says.
The initiative has become a big part of the community. Manda Godfrey, a local, has been bringing her kids for the past six years. "It's great for a small town like this because we don't have a lot here, and it's free! So we do appreciate it very much. A lot of the little kids grow up, and they've done this for several years. Even today I spoke to someone over the shop who is about 20 years old, and he was trying to remember what time it starts because he used to come here a lot when he was younger", she says.
After planing for a few years, the Summer Camp organization will be able to sponsor five local kids to join the full program in the 2021 edition.
For January 2020 the free water activities have already been open for two weeks and will still be available from January 14 to 17 and from January 21 to 24. Kids from the local community are welcome to come to the waterfront from 12:30pm to 3:00pm.
All participants under the age of 18 must have a Parental Consent Form signed before boarding on the boat, to participate in all waterfront related activities. If under 10 years of age, children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Based on the Yarra Convention Centre, The Summer Camp is not a business. It is an initiative from the Youth Department of the Seventh Day Adventist Church for the north of NSW. The purpose of the event is to provide safe, fun and constructive activities during the school holidays for Juniors and Teens between the ages of 10 and 17 years old of all communities and faiths.