Camp Report – Surgeons for little lives

just-footprints-test-camps2Our Foundation had the absolute pleasure of hosting a camp for Surgeons for little lives at Kwalata Adventure Centre in the Dinokeng Big 5 Game Reserve during the weekend of 17 to 19 November 2017.

Training: We had two separate training dates for all the volunteers. It was great to share our camp goals, roles and responsibilities and programme for the camp. Each volunteer was eager and looking forward to joining us as a Camp Footprints volunteer.

Camp: This is the first time that Camp Footprints has hosted children from Surgeons for little lives, so camp in a Big 5 game reserve was an amazing treat for the children and the wildlife including giraffe, zebra and a variety of buck that they saw on their early morning game drives held them spell bound. This was also their first time on a game viewer, so this was a double treat for the campers.

32 campers, 14 volunteers/staff from Surgeons for little lives and 10 JFF staff and volunteers enjoyed a weekend of sports, swimming and loads of fun and adventure.

Our model is based on intentional learning through fun activities, and the daily programme was as always jam packed with games, sport, water activities, painting of their Camp Footprints t-shirt and adding their own personal touch, making Camp Footprints beaded bracelets etc. Below are some of the topics that was introduced:

  1. Anti-bullying- Our facilitators counselled and rectified any issues that arose from every game or activity that was played by the kids.
  1. Hygiene – Washing of hands became part of the routine before every meal which tuned into a fun exercise for all.
  1. Group work/Teamwork – They were in their body check group for the duration of the camp, they learned how to depend on one another and how work together as a team.
  1. Creative thinking – One of the activities required them to design and make zoo animals for a zoo that they designed themselves. It allowed them to venture into their creative talents.
  1. Respect – They were praised and commended on any behaviour that showed respect towards fellow campers and camp crew members.

Each camper received a ‘Super Camper Certificate’ during the camp. This is a certificate that we handed out in a fun way after every meal. Each child was recognized according to what the facilitators/volunteers observed during camp.

It was such a pleasure to work with all and we are looking forward to a continuous partnership and more amazing camps for these amazing children!

Yours for the Children,
Lize van Vuuren
Camp Director
Just Footprints Foundation/Camp Footprints

Volunteer Feedback

Through this collaboration between, Just footprint foundation and Surgeons for little lives, all of the kids benefited from this experience. This camping trip was made possible through partnership from Surgeons for Little lives and they provided an enjoyable, fun and really amazing camping experience especially for all the Paeds patients who have been affected by serious illnesses or traumatic life circumstances.  This camp provided the kids with an opportunity to enjoy life, even if was for a short time. In this camp they were normal and happy kids again despite their challenging medical conditions that prevent them to be like others and to enjoy life. In the camp they also received the best medical treatment services from Baragwanath and Just footprints volunteers, doctors, and nurses they were well looked after. They were given great food, they received T-shirts, caps, bottles, and even certificates which cheered all of them up.
Children who were on the camp have discovered something good and positive about themselves, their creativity and strengths. The activities were not only fun but they were educational as well. Most of the activities required planning, thinking, measuring, designing, calculating and writing. The kids were free, explorative and excited to be amongst other kids. This camping experience taught me about kids and how to handle, care and treat them.  My love and passion of working with kids has increased dramatically.

I thank Just Footprints Foundation and Surgeons for Little Lives for this great and wonderful camping experience and to have the opportunity to be amongst my co-workers and have great time while we were looking after and making sure that every kid is safe, enjoys and has fun in this camping experience. I look forward to another great and wonderful camping such as this one. It was really fun!!!

Bara Paeds employee – Thulani Mzobe