Bond University will host a very special pre-Christmas children’s holiday camp this week for 15 intellectually and physically disabled children.
From December 16 to 19, Bond students and staff will host children with Down’s Syndrome, Autism and Cerebral Palsy, keeping them entertained with a host of fun activities.
Making full use of the campus’ extensive recreation facilities, the students have designed a jam-packed program including pool games, painting, sports and more.
On day two, they’ll head into Surfers Paradise for a cruise on the amphibious Aquaduck and an afternoon at SeaWorld; on day three, the Queensland Fire Department will make a special visit to give the children a ride around the campus on their fire trucks; and, on the final day, families, carers, friends and sponsors will join the children for a gala Christmas Party in the Princeton Room.
The Bond Children’s Holiday Camp was instigated by five university students – Alex Smith, Will Marsh, Andrew MacAlpine, Henry Norris and Patrick McNamee – who all attended high school at St Ignatius College Riverview in Sydney.
St Ignatius has been running similar holiday camps for the past eleven years, extending the program to 13 other secondary schools across Australia.
The Bond Children’s Holiday Camp will be the first one run by a university.
“The main aim of the holiday camp is to give the parents of these children a much-needed respite,” said Alex Smith, President of the Bond University Student Association.
“While they enjoy the short break, their children will be mixing with others their own age and generally having the time of their lives.
“At the same time, the camp gives our students an opportunity to volunteer and contribute to the wider community.
“A total of 25 Bond students, supported by a number of staff members, have offered to look after the children over the four days.
“Not only will they be organising activities and supervising games; they’ll also be taking responsibility for the children’s well-being, helping with practical day-to-day tasks such as feeding, bathing, dressing, toileting and so on.
“As such, it is as much a learning experience for the uni students as it is a fun four-day break for the children.”
The Bond Children’s Holiday Camp was made possible through the generous support and contribution of the following sponsors: Bond University, SeaWorld, Professional Investment Services, Robina Lions Club, Channel 9, Bond University Humanities Students’ Association, Bond University Law Students’ Association, AAA Digital, Queensland Fire Department and the Bennett Family.