A group of 45 children from the Murrumbidgee Council area headed off to the Portsea Camp last month for seven days of fun filled activities.
Portsea is a charity camp near Melbourne that runs four week-long camps over the summer school holidays for children aged nine to 12 and one camp for teenagers.
It is for disadvantaged, special needs and rurally remote kids. Costs are heavily subsidised, with up to 280 children attending each camp.
It has operated since 1945, and the Jerilderie Portsea Camp Committee has been sending a group of local children for more than 50 years.
Murrumbidgee Council’s Cindy Eldridge attended this year as a leader and said it was a great experience for both herself and the children.
‘‘The camp is professionally run, and the organisers and volunteers alike are friendly, helpful and encouraging towards the kids, who are challenged into doing different activities such as high ropes, flying fox, swimming, hiking, acting and more,’’ she said.
‘‘If your children came home exhausted it was because of the wake-up at 7am, and bed usually at 9.30pm.
‘‘As you can imagine, trying to settle 40 plus girls at night was a challenge, but all the kids were fantastic and were too tired to do much talking at night — I know I was.
‘‘It is a fantastic opportunity for the children and for the volunteer teenagers to help.
‘‘I left there with a sense of achieving some things I would never normally have done, and I made some great friends, both kids and adults. And, given the opportunity, I would definitely go again.’’
Also supporting the Murrumbidgee group on behalf of the Jerilderie Portsea Camp Committee were Otaden Evans, Kelsey Fraser, Ryan Mannes and Jack Hatty.
Attendance is possible thanks to local businesses and organisations who provide sponsorship.