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Case Study: Julian's Story - Thea Calzoni Parent

 

At 30 years of age, my son Julian is a proof of the positive impact outdoor recreation can have on those living with a disability.

IMG: Volunteers on camp

Julian has an intellectual disability and is not good at talking. As a young child, he had a lot of challenges – like toileting, interacting and socialising with his peers and asking for what he wanted.

His life got better when he first went on camp with the specialist school he was attending. At the time, we had no idea how instrumental this first camp experience would be in unleashing Julian’s adventurous spirit!


Positive feedback from Julian’s teachers following his first school camp experience, encouraged me to contact People Outdoors. Julian attended his first People Outdoors camp in June 1998 and he has now been on more than 25 camps.


As a parent, I feel that it is only natural to feel nervous to send you child – with a disability or otherwise ‐ away on camp for the weekend or even overnight. However, I discovered that camp could give Julian opportunities and a sense of accomplishment that I could not. I’m glad he discovered the fun of camps when he was young enough to be open to adventure.


Camp provided Julian with an opportunity to extend himself mentally and physically in a well‐supported environment. It encouraged him to take risks and to socialise while his confidence continued to grow. 

The most pleasing aspect about Julian’s experience as a camper was learning that he really enjoyed being a helper.


Julian’s love for helping others was realised in 2011 when he began volunteering on children’s camps as a camp helper with People Outdoors. He has been on more than 35 camps as a helper to date.

As a camp helper, Julian provides support with other volunteers. His enthusiasm and rapport with the children he supports has been a joy to watch. One of Julian’s key responsibilities includes managing camp equipment where he takes great pride in ensuring that all the equipment is returned and stored neatly.

Julian receiving award at 2016 Volunteer Awards
I was proud of Julian when I learnt that he was a finalist in the 2016 Disability Awards. His dad and I attended the award ceremony alongside Julian where he received a Highly Commended Award – a testament to just how far he has come.


When he is on camp, Julian is so empowered to be the best version of himself. As such, I am glad to have NDIS funded support for Julian to attend at least four camps a year to continue to strengthen his health, wellbeing and independence.

 
 
Latest News

Expansion to NSW and QLD

The Australian Camps Association's People Outdoors program has been providing camps for children, teens and adults living with disability for over 30 years! We're thrilled to be bringing this program to Queensland and New South Wales in 2024.

 
 
Upcoming Programs
 
 
VIC: Adults Weekend Camp
Lake Dewar Discovery Camp
Adults (18yrs+)
17-05-2024 - 19-05-2024
weekend

Join us at Lake Dewar Discovery Camp for this Weekend Camp (2 nights).

This camp is for Adults (18yrs+) living with disability. Please note this camp will depart from our Melbourne departure point in Thornbury.

Some of the activities you might participate in are canoeing, archery, low ropes and more!

New to People Outdoors camps? Please complete the referral form so we can begin the intake process (note: completion of the intake process is required prior to attending any camp).

ENQUIRE (New Camper) ENQUIRE (Returning Camper)
QLD: Kids & Teens Camp | Gold Coast
Gold Coast Recreation Precinct
Kids & Teens (6-17yrs)
17-05-2024 - 19-05-2024
weekend

Join us at Gold Coast Recreation Precinct for this Weekend Camp (2 nights).

This camp is for Queensland Kids & Teens (6-17years) living with disability. Campers will need to make their own way to the venue. Please contact us if you have any queries on this.

Some of the activities you might participate in on this camp are - archery, high ropes course, walks and more.

New to People Outdoors? Please complete the referral form so we can begin the intake process (note, completion of the intake process is required prior to attending any camp).

ENQUIRE (New Camper) ENQUIRE (Returning Camper)
VIC: Adults Camp | Mornington Peninsula
Camp Manyung
Adults (18yrs+)
31-05-2024 - 02-06-2024
weekend

Join us at Manyung Discovery Camp for this Weekend Camp (2 nights).

This camp is for Adults (18yrs+) living with disability. Please note this camp will depart from our Melbourne departure point in Thornbury.

Some of the activities you might participate in are high ropes course, archery, campfire cooking and more!

New to People Outdoors camps? Please complete the referral form so we can begin the intake process (note: completion of the intake process is required prior to attending any camp).

ENQUIRE (New Camper) ENQUIRE (Returning Camper)