Self-care and exploration at Sibling Camp

When a child has a life-threatening condition, we often forget about the stress this can place on the whole family, let alone their siblings. For them, it can often be a time of great confusion and resentfulness so it’s important to reduce any sense of isolation and encourage peer support.

Adolescent Sibling Camp

Recently, 30 adolescent siblings went on a two night camp in Locksley, Northern Victoria. The campsite was called “Bannister’s Place” and it provided the perfect backdrop for young people to take some time out to relax, explore their emotions and connect with others who are facing similar challenges.

The focus of this year’s camp was self-care and exploration, and included a range of activities designed to give young people strategies for how to care for themselves and deepen their awareness around their own inner strength and resilience.

Special highlights

Saturday’s highlights included cooling off in the pool with plenty of time for socializing and relaxing. That evening we harnessed the power of the group for a sing along to David Guetta‘s – Titanium. So much heart and soul went into belting this out as the sun set and lightening cracked over the fields.

On Sunday there was a Mind Body and Soul festival where adolescents had the opportunity to wander between six activity stations exploring themes related to spirituality, soulfulness, mindfulness, body mapping, writing and the power of nature’s talisman’s.

Another highlight was creating a beautiful group Mandala which young people were encouraged to contribute to across the weekend. The Mandala symbolized the shared connection with one another and reminded us that even though many things in life are impermanent, there’s plenty of beauty to be found in the present moment. Dismantling the Mandala at the end of the weekend taught us the power of letting go.

Special thank you

A special thank you to Mike and Jenni Bannister, the owners of Bannister’s Place who donated the use of their campsite, Matt Young from Melbourne Meditation Centre, Michelle Fisher our fabulous music therapist plus the 12 amazing volunteers who helped throughout the weekend.


“This camp allowed me to get away and spend time with people who really understand my situation. This camp was such a safe place and I felt so supported.”

“Camp is an opportunity to get away from everyday life and its struggles. But it’s also a chance to explore those struggles safely with so much love and support. It’s a chance to be involved and to be a part of something. It’s an experience like no other.”

“This camp is a great way to connect with people that have been through similar experiences, which brings you closer as a group and it ends up feeling like a family.”

“It means the world. I haven’t been to many camps but coming feels like freedom to me.”

“Camp is something I look forward to all year. It’s a place where I can be myself and not be judged. I always feels so supported.”

“This camp means making new friends, teamwork, talking about problems/issues and having fun.”

To find out more information about Very Special Kids Sibling Support Program, please call the Duty Worker on (03) 9804 6222 or download the Sibling Support Program fact sheet.