Family Camp was beautifully summed up in the words of a nine-year-old camper,“That was the best weekend of my life!“
The weekend started with the usual Auckland traffic jam on the motorway, and with daylight savings having ended, most people arrived in the dark. Everyone was in good spirits though and we launched right into activities with the adults meeting for an open forum chaired by Grace Harris, Diabetes Nurse Specialist. Everyone contributed and it was a chance to get to know each other and to share and learn from each other.
The kids meanwhile, were being entertained by Andrew and Carla, ably assisted by Alex, Hayley and Sam. Smoothie making sounds pretty yum, right? No, not when you put Andrew and Carla in charge of the ingredient list! Yes, there were delicious items to put in, like bananas and berries, but there was also tuna, barbecue sauce, peanut butter and crackers! The catch was that if you got the diabetes based question right, you got to choose whether the ingredient went into your smoothie or into the other team’s one. At the end, everyone had to sample their team’s smoothie – but with some subtle encouraging from Hayley, the kids all made Andrew drink both!
Saturday morning started off with the hills outside covered in a fine mist, making Shakespear Regional Park feel a million miles from Auckland city. The adults had a mini conference morning, with some fabulous speakers lined up. Lotte Williams from Starshipspoke on Diabetes Burnout; Fiona Cloete from Mediraytalked aboutthe new apps from Freestyle Libre; Chantal Summerton from Intermedexplained the Medtronic pump and Tim Gunn from Nightscoutgot us all excited about DIY technology solutions. Thank you to Mediray and Intermed for generously sponsoring the Education Morning.
The kids were straight into activities, with three groups led by the YMCA instructors and helped by the DYA volunteers. Kids and parents got to check in at morning tea, then it was back into activities! The kids’ activities included kayaking, archery, UHF radios, rock wall climbing, mountain boarding and initiative exercises. Archery was really popular, by the end everyone had successfully shot something, with more arrows ending up in targets than in walls or ceilings – some even managed to shoot and pop balloons pinned to the targets!
Kayaking in the beautiful bay was loads of fun, with everyone getting competitive during the games and then being awed by the trip to the shipwreck. The kids also loved climbing; using UHF radios to play games and mountain boarding – it’s a bit like a cross between skateboarding and snowboarding!
After lunch the adults signed up for activities too, and enjoyed some mountain biking, archery, kayaking and catapult building. The adults enjoyed the activities as an opportunity to get to know one another and also a chance for some time out without having to worry about their Type 1 child. The kids meanwhile, were busy making friends and enjoying some freedom in a safe environment. Thank you to Trilian Trust for the grant to pay for our outdoor activities!
Saturday night was the chance for those daring enough to do a Burma Trail – who knew there were rattlesnakes in Auckland? Luckily everyone made it back alive and was able to take part in more activities on Sunday morning.
We finished with lunch on Sunday, and after a fabulous weekend of Family Camp, a tired but happy group of campers packed up and headed off home.