Meet Crosbi Knight
Crosbi is an amazing volunteer who first became involved in Kookaburra Kids back in 2007, making her one of our longest standing volunteers.
She has demonstrated unwavering dedication to all aspects of the Kookaburra Kids program including developing the Kookaburra Kids program “Chat Group”. Chat Group is now a central part of each Kookaburra Kids camp and provides an opportunity for the kids to learn about mental illness and how it affects families, as well as a safe place to share their experiences and to discover and improve their coping skills and resilience. Crosbi has also assisted in designing and developing our volunteer training program and leaders manuals. Kookaburra Kids held our first Volunteer Training Weekend last weekend and Crosbi played a major role in developing the program and facilitating the training.
Crosbi has a warm and friendly feeling about her which both the kids and volunteers are drawn to. She is one of our volunteer Clinical Consultants who attend to the psychological and support needs of both kids and leaders on camp and also provide ongoing oversight of all clinical issues for Kookaburra Kids.
Our volunteers are the backbone of Kookaburra Kids and the success of our program can be directly attributed to the caliber of volunteers like Crosbi.
We asked Crosbi some questions about volunteering at Kookaburra Kids. See what she has to say…
1. Why did you decide to volunteer for Kookaburra Kids?
I decided to volunteer for Kookaburra Kids after I received a presentation at my workplace about the program and saw it as a great way to give back to the community. I work in the field of psychology and have a lot of experience working with children where a family member has mental illness so the concept of Kookaburra Kids really appealed to me. I believe strongly in the importance of educating children about the mental illness affecting their family so they better understand what is happening and they can develop coping skills to increase their resilience. I believe Kookaburra Kids is an extremely worthwhile foundation to volunteer for because children are given an opportunity to learn age-appropriate mental illness information, meet other children in the same situation, develop coping skills, get connected to support services, and also have a fun break.
2. What do you enjoy most about volunteering for Kookaburra Kids?
I enjoy a lot of aspects of volunteering for Kookaburra Kids, it is hard to pick what I enjoy MOST. I enjoy the wide variety of children I get to be involved with, they all have such special personalities. Some are wild and fun, some are quirky, some are good for long contemplative discussions. Every child is different and each have their own wonderful qualities which make spending time with them on camp special. I enjoy getting to see so many of the children grow up, mature, and change as they return year after year. When campers return there are always happy reunions with leaders and a lovely sense of familiarity and connection that keeps growing year after year. I also love the relationships that exist among the leaders and the bonding that develops from having shared these experiences. I have developed long-lasting meaningful friendships over the years, that now exist beyond the realm of Kookaburra Kids, and new friendships are always forming as we get fantastic new volunteers joining.
3. Can you tell us your favourite Kookaburra Kids experience?
My favourite Kookaburra Kids experience is from quite a few years ago but I remember as if it were yesterday. There was a young boy, Ben*, attending camp who was very overweight for his age. As a result, he often withdrew during activities and declined to participate. He appeared like a quiet wallflower that didn’t want to be noticed. One day there was a flying fox activity where campers were strapped into a harness and went down a small zip-line. Ben declined to participate and reported he would be too heavy for the activity, despite the activity staff telling him otherwise. The leaders and other campers started encouraging him to give it a go. Ben stood in the harness at the top of the activity for approximately 30 minutes while leaders and campers continued encouraging him and tried to motivate him to step off the edge. Ben’s willingness ebbed and flowed. During this entire time, no other campers were able to use the activity. However they didn’t get frustrated or complain – they were all focused on encouraging Ben to face his fear and trust the harness to let him enjoy the ride. Leaders and campers tried everything, quiet chats, motivational pep talks, and loud positive chanting. Eventually, he stepped off the edge and went down the zip-line to an explosion of cheers, clapping (and tears) from all. Ben was smiling ear-to-ear, he was so proud of himself for facing his fears. It was an extremely meaningful moment for Ben and a great reflection of the ‘team spirit’ among all the campers and leaders who all pulled together to support one boy to ‘let go’ and enjoy himself.
*Ben is not his real name