We were created to connect with others. But for some children, trying to connect can cause much heartache — particularly children with a disability. For mum Debra, she’s seen this firsthand through her son Daniel’s struggles.
Through your support for SU QLD’s camping ministry, Daniel recently made meaningful connections with other young people at Central Queensland’s Wet‘n’Wild camp.
“Daniel has intellectual impairment and speech language impairment,” Debra says.
“He’s in Grade 11 at school, but works at a Grade 1-to-2 level. He struggles to communicate and express his feelings. If he’s in a stressful situation he just can’t get his words out.
“The NDIS said it would be good for [Daniel] to go on camps and do sporting activities, so I started looking for a camp he could attend.”
Camp Director Natalie McLennan has been leading on CQ Wet’n’Wild since 2012.
“I direct CQ Wet’n’Wild because I see enormous potential for teenagers to meet and grow in their relationship with Jesus on this camp,” Natalie says.
“A typical day involves a bible talk and small group, followed by activities like waterskiing and tubing at the dam, and then a night activity. This year we went bushwalking.”
Natalie says she was blessed to see Daniel joining in with the other campers throughout the camp’s itinerary.
“Daniel loved playing ball games with leaders and campers, and he showed everyone up when it came to table tennis!” Natalie says.
“Other campers went out of their way to include Daniel throughout camp, especially in the night-time games, which he participated in like everyone else.”
While he most enjoyed the bushwalk, Daniel also treasures the memories of his time spent with other campers. For Debra and husband Mike, having access to this camp meant so much.
“He got along really well with the other campers — he didn’t want to leave!” Debra says.
“As parents we liked that it wasn’t all focused on kids with disabilities — [Daniel] had to fit in to the group. He had to learn to function with people, not just those with a disability.
“We know Scripture Union camps are going to be wholesome; there’s not going to be any bad language or other things brought in, and we liked the fact that it’s activity focused.”
Thank you for making camps like Wet’n’Wild possible for young people like Daniel to experience community and God’s love.
You can support SU QLD’s camping ministry, visit suqld.org.au/donate. Please note that gifts to support SU QLD’s camping ministry are not tax deductible.