Twenty-four lucky teenagers and volunteers descended on Canberra on the first weekend in March for our first ACT Defence Teens camp!  These Kookaburra Kids came from Victoria, NSW and the ACT and for many of them this was their first Kookaburra Kids activity of any kind.

Friday night nerves soon gave way to smiles and laughter as the new Kookaburra Kids got to know each other with some fun and challenging games on their first night.  This was followed up with some yoga to help settle and calm everyone for a good night’s sleep in preparation for big weekend ahead!

Saturday began with breakfast and our first Chat Group of camp.  This was an opportunity for the Kookaburra Kids to learn more about mental health issues and to meet other Defence children from a similar background.  Chat Group was followed up with the physical challenge of the ropes course where campers could stretch their comfort zones to reach new heights.

After a morning of challenge, it was time to unwind with a water fight and slip and slide – the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon with new friends.  Our amazing volunteers really enjoyed getting involved in this activity and the Kookaburra Kids had to be careful of finding themselves with buckets of water poured over their heads!

The evening was a time to relax with new friends.  Dinner was followed by cooking marshmallows and damper over the campfire as well as a sing-along thanks to our volunteer Geoff and his guitar.  This was a highlight for all the campers and volunteers alike!  Finally, it was a movie and then straight to sleep for a bunch of very tired but happy Kookaburra Kids!

Sunday morning’s Chat Group was more focused on resilience building and help-seeking behaviours, it was also an opportunity for campers to talk about each other’s strengths and show their appreciation for one another.  As camp was coming to a close, there was just time for some bush craft before our final highlight video.  Before long, parents and buses had come to take some very tired, but happy campers home.

A big thank you to all of the Kookaburra Kids and our amazing volunteers who helped make this camp so special.  We can’t wait to see you all again on our next activity day and camps!