Social and Life Skills at Nanga Bush Camp

Group image of the adventurous campers and Visability Staff at SALSA CampWritten by Youth Support Officer, Ryan Honschooten.

On Tuesday morning in the first week of the School holidays, fifteen adventurous campers made their way to Nanga Bush camp in Dwellingup for the Annual SALSA Camp.

As we were staying in a new dormitory, much exploration and discovery of the new surroundings took place, as beds were located and made. The kitchen was soon put through its paces as the camp snacks, mini muffins and chocolate chip cookies, were cooked.

As dinnertime approached the campers donned their best camping outfits, some looking quite sharp, and we headed out to 24 Carat (a restaurant) for a lovely meal.

Wednesday morning soon arrived. The sleepy campers slowly made their way downstairs to the kitchen to commence breakfast and get ready for the days planned activities. Many skills were put to the test in buttering toast and making cups of tea.

We then headed out to a low ropes obstacle course. Team work, trust and confidence were the three skills being worked on throughout the low ropes course, as the children worked together to solve problems. It’s amazing how you can fit 15 campers into a small island surround by lava!

After a healthy homemade wrap for lunch, it was time for the campers to get into their bathers for an afternoon of rafting. We all worked together to carry the rafts down to the water’s edge and after the safety briefing headed off for a paddle up river.

Soon the games and fun began with several of the children either jumping in, or falling in the rather cold and refreshing water.

Back to camp for much-needed warm showers and the lighting of two fires to keep us warm for the night. Dinner was soon cooking away, and not before long everyone was tucking into a delicious Spaghetti Bolognese cooked entirely by the children.

Thursday morning and the toast-buttering skills learnt the day before were put into action. Breakfast soon made way for a SALSA session focused around relaxation, followed by a YouTube presentation from Nas Campanella, which encouraged the children to talk about the importance of self-advocacy.

Watch Nas Campanella’s presentation here:

VisAbility’s Michael Pereira next introduced the campers to self-defence while the sausage sizzle lunch was being prepared.

Thursday afternoon we headed off to Tree Top Adventures for a swinging, climbing, high rope experience which tested the camper’s strength, agility and fear of heights. Thursday night’s talent show extravaganza was the longest talent show so far on SALSA camp, with many acts of high quality and entertainment.

Friday morning seemed to come round far too fast, signalling the end to another great camp enjoyed by all. With new friendships made and old friendships reconfirmed, the happy campers headed back to VisAbility.

Who is Nas Campanella?

Nas is an inspirational totally blind journalist working for the ABC in Sydney since 2011. Nas can often be heard reading the news on Triple J . Nas also has a genetic disease called, Charcot-Marie-Tooth. As a result she has very little sensitivity in her fingertips and hands, therefore is not able to read braille.

If you enjoyed Nas’s presentation, you may wish to watch the following Youtube clip as well.

Until next camp..!
Ryan Honschooten
Youth Support Officer

Think VisAbility’s SALSA Camp sounds like fun? Visit our Children and Youth Services page for more information. Alternatively please contact us for further information.