Well the Southern Cross Kids camp was amazing! I have now recovered enough to sit down and share the whole experience!
Firstly to everyone that contributed scrapping supplies when the call went out, a HUGE thankyou on behalf of all of the children, their Buddies (adult carers) and myself! The amount of product was just phenomenal, a little overwhelming in hindsight (ok buddies who may be reading.... A LOT..LOL) but amazing none the less. With a lot of hard work and creativity and some help from me and the other support staff the buddies created the most amazing memory albums for each of the children.
In the weeks prior to camp, i organised the supplies, unfortunately due to weddings, airport farewells, general life mayhem and my first ever online Class for Shop and Crop, i was unable to complete all the "time saving" ideas I had in mind. And not being sure how much the buddies knew about scrapbooking, i leapt in boots and all. Thankfully they were all gracious enough and didnt complain about being wrenched well beyond their comfort zones. I learnt a lot and they now know what double sided tape is for, what mats are, how to use a trimmer and the art of brad insertions...LOL. I have big plans for next year, and relax guys, they are going to make your lives a heck of a lot easier.!!
With every night being a 1.30 am or later and the last being an all nighter for two of us at least, we managed to produce a staggering 800 + pages for the books, with 20 photos for each child and 40 magnificnet covers. Unfortunately I can only share the covers with you guys as many of these children have child protection orders that protect their anonimity, but from all accounts, when the buddies shared their Memory book gifts with their kids, their childrens reactions made the late nights and hard work worth every minute. They were absolutely delighted and watching them proudly show their carers or foster parents the physical proof of their activities was the cherry on top. I was lucky enough to have several girls come up to me at the closing concert and express their delight with big shining smiles and huge hugs. For me, that truly made every moment I invested worth gold.
Stories were shared about the importance of these books to the children, with accounts of past campers having run back into their burning home to rescue nothing but their camp memory books, remember these are young children, only 7-11yrs of age. These books are a physical memory anchor to what can be the highlight of some of these childrens childhoods; the physical embodiement of feeling cherished, cared for and just simply being happy carefree children are captured within the pages.
So with great pride, not just in myself but especially in all the buddies, all the helpers and everyone that donated product, I can tell you, YOU HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE in the lives of 40 innocent, abused and neglected children. So THANKS and take a moment to have a smile, because each time they look through their beautiful, lovingly created albums they will relive their memories again and again.