Did we meet, exceed or miss our targets for R2R?
Funding from GCC ensured that the teen campers accommodation and meals were financially covered during the camp.
Feedback from the R2R team, the teens, VicPol members who assisted, parents, guardians and survey results indicate that we not only met our objectives, we absolutely exceeded expectations.
Building on from our first R2R Camp in 2019 and team training sessions, we reviewed the 2019 evaluation and noted suggestions for improvements and/or additions to the program for future R2R camps.
R2R Camp 2021 suggestions and improvements implemented were:
To support young people experiencing trauma, loss and grief in the aftermath of a road fatality/collision.
Often young people who have experienced personal loss due to road trauma, miss out on support to repair the damage caused which would help them get back on track and reach their full potential.
They feel isolated and alone.
Comments from the campers which reflect the Rationale.
Our incredible group of volunteers met together today to discuss final details of our upcoming Raw2Roar camp in March. What a delight it was to share our mutual passion, vision and enthusiasm to produce the best possible experience for our new group of campers. A truly incredible group of people, from all walks of life, who share the same vision, an abundance of creativity and an exemplary level of dedication in helping young people dealing with trauma. We truly couldn’t be more proud of the effort these amazing people have dedicated and continue to dedicate to making a real difference in our communities through their own grief and experiences. Thank you to Lara RSL for hosting us and thank you to each and every one of you for being your amazing selves! We couldn’t do this without you!!!!!!
Margaret and Lisa
Our training days were well organised and great fun. New volunteers welcomed as were our two mentors. The training was based on being a ‘child safe organisation’, camp expectations, team roles, ideas for group activities with opportunity to ask questions and explore ideas.
We created a flier which was posted on a variety of Social Media sites. It was bright in its presentation to catch the eye of prospective teen campers or friends and family members. The presentation and wording proved appropriate for the age cohort. The mention of a FREE Camp was the highlight of the flier. It was shared many times on social media creating a journey all of its own. Contact details were also clear and easily identified.
A camper application pack was created and sent out to those who enquired together with the R2R Camp Rationale. An option of returning the pack via email or post was offered. Reinforcement of the information being confidential was also delivered within the application pack. Parental/guardian signatures were required in addition to medical information which also required signatures.
A ‘code of conduct’ was also formulated and sent to applicants to sign together with their parent/guardian.
A volunteer application pack was also created and sent to the team members to be filled in, signed and returned.
A medical record was created to record the medication dispensed to the teens during camp. The record required two signatures.
In keeping with Covid 19 requirements, a list of all campers was always filled out when leaving the camp site and returning to the camp site. This was also implemented for team members who used their time off to leave the camp site.
A bus list was also important when on an activity away from the camp site.
The influence and effect of Covid created a challenge in relation to applications. With zones being implemented by the Victorian Government and the risk of instant ‘shut downs’ resulted in hesitation from families to commit to the camp. it was really tricky to bring metro and rural together in one ‘time zone’. An enormous amount of time and energy was spent on personal contact with applicants and their families to reassure them of the safety of their children. BUT – we made it!!!
I just wanted to thank you for having T……… and also for organising the camp. I have not seen T…….. this happy for a long tome. I can’t remember when, actually. He has spoken very highly of everyone and I’m hoping it has given him some much needed peace.
Feedback from A……. — to describe it in one word, was ‘excellent’. He has not been so happy and relaxed since his return. He stated that he loved every aspect of the camp and has asked to be informed of any future YMCA camps coming. A…….was very moved with the meditation, candles etc and he felt very enlightened.
Margaret thank you so much for organising and inviting our vulnerable traumatised young people to share and be part of this camp.
On arrival during the first night, ten campers filled in the K10 Stress, Depression, Anxiety Questionnaire which was to determine how much distress they had experienced in the past four weeks. The campers were made up of 3 males and 7 females, ages 12-17.
The K10 Distress test score range is 5 (no distress) to 50 (severe distress).
Campers score range was between 16 (somewhat distressed) to 38 (significantly distressed).
Overall, six campers reported feeling distressed some to almost all of the time, the other four campers reported mild to very little levels of distress. Predominantly 70% of the scores represented that the level of distress was present only a little of the time to some of the time.
The campers were given the option to request to speak to the camp counsellor, only one camper volunteered.
Given the circumstances of the campers, my recommendation would be to have a one-on-one chat with them and conduct the survey during that session. This would build confidence and trust, possibly leading to more accurate results. I suspect many did not want to report bad feelings in case that might prevent them from camp experiences.
Campers also filled out an end of camp evaluation, which was eleven questions regarding their experience while on camp.
70% of campers felt they were part of making decisions at the camp.
70% of campers felt comfortable talking about difficult things
90% of campers felt the organisers understood their situation
60% of campers felt the camp helped them learn new skills for the future
80% of campers felt the experience helped them understand their peers
60% of campers felt they know how to ask for help
60% of campers felt like they know where to go to ask for help
90% of campers would like to go on another camp like this
100% of campers felt they knew what the aim of the camp was about
50% of campers felt they were prepared and knew what they would be doing on the camp
100% of campers felt the camp staff were supportive.
The camp was very enjoyable for them and all wish to attend another.
All participants loved the lighting of candles and sending them down the river, and this was a very positive activity.
It was moving to see campers bond together.