Kidney Kids Camp has always remained the hallmark of our services for kidney kids and their families. The COVID pandemic has intensified the isolation and stress of children and their whanau. The support team was determined not to let the pandemic stop our kids from enjoying camp, so we decided to host a Virtual Camp for 2022.
Ben Fonua, our Youth Navigator, hosted this year’s Young Adults Kidney Kids (YAK) and their siblings. The age group ranged from 16 to 21 years old. Our online-savvy campers made the most of it. They participated in varied fun activities that could be shared through a screen. The YAK campers were engaged in zoom meeting activities with Ben. These activities included cooking “Sausage Sizzle,” “Smores,” “Campfire sing-alongs,” and “Movie Night,” replacing the in-person activities of a summer camp. The virtual campers found out that online camping experience is still possible.
The Kidney Kids support team created a private Virtual Camp Facebook Page for all campers to share their cooking results, camping grounds, and experiences. This platform was utilised for announcements, sharing photos, and making new friends. Campers also received a map of NZ displaying the different locations where their fellow kidney kid campers lived. One of the attendees shared why he enjoys the annual camp. “I liked virtual camp because I got to still see my old friends and make new friends. I don’t think about my medical problems while I’m at camp.”
A huge thank you to Lelea for the Live entertainment around our campfire. You were absolutely fantastic! We wish you the best in your future endeavours.
Thank you to all YAK campers and whanau that attended. We appreciate your time and enjoyed engaging in the family fun together. While everyone involved hopes to return to the in-person campground, all agreed that an energetic effort created an unforgettable time for this year’s campers.