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Photo by Crohn's & Colitis New Zealand Charitable Trust

Camp Purple 2019

Belinda Brown —

On the 17th of January 2019, 26 volunteers joined our Camp Purple Committee for our volunteer training day. We have introduced this training to better help prepare our volunteers for the week that lays ahead of them.

For me, the highlight of the day was having Imagine and Clare Weatherford join us to explain to our new volunteers the impact that Camp Purple Live has on campers and their families. Imagine was nervous before she spoke, but you would never have guessed as she appeared cool, calm and collected. Speaking about IBD is not something that would have come easy prior to attending Camp Purple Live. However, after attending the camp for the last two years she spoke confidently about her illness and the positive influence the camp has had on her life.

The following day 66 children and teens and 31 parents descended on Living Springs in Lyttleton to attend the 5th Camp Purple Live and 5th Parents Seminar, making this camp our largest yet.

I think the visit to The Antarctica Centre was one of my highlights this year. I ended up joining group 3 (or tree, as they called it) on their Hagglund ride and we had so much fun. Watching the kids with the huskies was also a highlight, I think many of them wanted to bring one home!

Some of the other highlights from this years camp included:

  • A good old kiwi tradition, a gumboot throw.
  • Tree climbing.
  • Archery tag, with Dr. Malcolm as a moving target.
  • A foamy water slide which was run by the local volunteer fire brigade.
  • Swimming, the pool was definitely a favourite.
  • Adventure Stream.

This year our Junior Day also increased in numbers as we grew to eight junior campers and nine parents attending. They had a fun-filled day at the Animal Park and some of them even got to have a selfie with Baarbara the sheep.

The fluro disco on the last night of camp was most memorable. The Police arrived under lights and siren, and for a good reason. Blue Light Disco charity sent some volunteers along to help our night run smoothly. Everyone got into the 'Fluro Spirit', especially the volunteers. The Police volunteers let the kids wear their vests, hats and even handcuffs. Dr. Malcolm was handcuffed by many of the kids.

We as a Camp Committee are always striving to improve the camp and make it better every year. Sadly, this year we have had two of our Committee members leave due to personal commitments. However, they will still be involved with the camp. We are very thankful for all their help and commitment over the last 5 years. This means we have some new members joining our team with fresh ideas and enthusiasm. See our article introducing our new committee members.

As always we are extremely grateful to our very generous sponsors who make this camp happen year after year at a very minimal cost to our campers and their families.

I’m looking forward to our next camp at El Rancho on the Kapiti Coast and hope to see some of you there!

If you would like to know more about Camp Purple Live, Parents Seminar or Junior day please email us on campenquirires@crohnsandcolitis.org.nz