Shalom held its 8th Edmund Rice Camp at Chaverim over the holiday period. Edmund Rice camps see a group of our Year 12 students (Big Buddies) give up their holidays and part time employment to adopt a number of primary aged students (Little Buddies) from the local community who are in need of some old fashioned fun and a holiday.
Each year it is humbling to witness Shalom's past students who return to lead our Edmund Rice Camps, upskilling the next generation of campers. This year all volunteers were either Shalom Staff or Students (past and present). Monet Minnie returned once again (2012 graduate) to join CJ Thom (2014 graduate) and Jessica Fagg (2013 graduate) to lead camp.
Big Buddies worked tirelessly on fundraising throughout the year and our Parents and Friends Association made a healthy donation to this very worthy cause. Fundraising was made easier with the constant motivation and leadership of Taleigha Batt and Tom Houghton (2015 graduates) and our 'Gappies'.
The camp experience is often transformative for Little and Big Buddies alike and it was wonderful to witness the connections made between both groups of students. A grant was awarded to our camp for the Bargara Surf School to provide surf lessons, Rip Curl swim shirts and merchandise to all of our Little Buddies. Other activities included; tie dying, building cardboard lairs, bubbles, bush walking, slip n slide, cake decorating, singing, sand castle building, dancing, disco and much more.
In total we invited 25 Little Buddies, 27 Big Buddies, 13 Leaders and staff. Mrs Karen Miller-Smith provided the compulsory Child Safety Training and joined us for the entire camp. We were also thankful to Mr Laurie Robinson, Mr Dan McMahon, Mr Robin Wust, Mrs Karen Lyons, Miss Erin McHugh, Mr Vince Habermann and Mr Stephen Chappel who visited camp, cooked sausages, drove buses and assisted in some way.
Brother Rochford attends camp each year and reminds us of the Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice story and how this camp is an excellent way to continue his legacy throughout the local Bundaberg community. Shalom is very proud of how our Year 12's presented themselves and the difference our past students continue to make in the community. Students have also accepted, for the 17th time, the invitation to take part in the Yeppoon Edmund Rice Camp in November.