Today 5 Camp Quality families arrived at the Abrolhos Islands. Each family is getting to spend 3 nights staying in the camps out here with a host family, a host family is a resident on the islands who is either a fisherman or Aquaculturalist.
If you wind back 5 years ago I remember Steve Pawelski - who describes himself as a Yuna boy, farmer and Camp Quality volunteer was asking me for photos of the Abrolhos Islands so he could approach his head office to try and convince them that it would be fantastic to take the Camp Quality families to the precious Abrolhos Islands and this year about 2 months ago Steve called and said that finally it has been approved. The excitement in his voice was so moving, you can sense the passion he has for this project.
Last night the host family's and camp quality volunteers caught up to get to know each other. We also heard another Camp Quality volunteer tell us her story which was that she was a sibling of a child with cancer... she explained how she used to feel left out because she wasn't the 'sick kid' and how special it was to actually go on camp together with her brother. and now as she is older being fully aware of her feelings I could see how she could really understand where these families are coming from and going through. To see the passion these volunteers have is absolutely admirable.
They were also explaining that statistics say 1 in 3 family's who experience having a child with illness end in divorce. So also it made me aware of the extra pressures a family has on them who go through this life changing event, pressures such as spending time apart from loved ones during treatment times as children have to travel from home often to travel to city areas for treatment which can last for up to 18 months. A reminder to us all of how important it is to have family time.
I am hoping that all the guests have a wonderful experience spending time together as a family in these beautiful islands, just to give them a break, to enjoy themselves and reconnect together if that's what they need. Let the sun shine, let the wind blow with fresh air.
For those who haven' t been to the Abrolhos Islands, they are located about 70km off the coast of Geraldton. They are low lying coral atolls with a few simple fishermen shacks. They are holding the camp at an island part of the Easter Group called Rat Island which has an airstrip which will be handy if anyone needs to get back to town quick.
Once we found out that Camp Quality families were coming we wanted to pretty the camps up a bit. So I thought I'd share the journey we repainted our camps and did some basic touch ups to ensure the camps are more cozy for the guests. I'm sure they are going to love this break away as a family.