Barbara Robertson steps up to the plate for Camp Quality South
Camp Quality South is thrilled to have Barbara Robertson leading the way for more fun and stronger volunteer support as the new Regional Manager.
Barbara’s husband Peter got her involved with Camp Quality twelve years ago, and since then she’s never looked back. From volunteering as a cleaner to helping as a camper nurse to eventually raising her hand to take over as Regional Manager this year, she has been an integral part of making Camp Quality what it is today.
“Watching the kids is the best part,” says Barbara, who’s well-known around camp for always having a pair of knitting needles in her hands.
“They start out being little and shy and missing Mum and Dad – and by the end of the seven days, they are leaping into things! It’s like a big family. We see them get off the bus, returning to camp after coming for several years, and they are so excited to be there and to see everyone.”
Becoming a Camp Quality leader
Barbara is no stranger to taking on new challenges. With a long and varied working history, Barbara has been a nurse, a farmer, Duty Manager in a Te Anau hotel, a business partner with her husband, a mother, and a student. After finishing her nursing degree in 2013, she spent years working as a prison nurse and then at Fiordland Medical Centre. She also helps Peter run their engineering company, Engineering Services Te Anau, and works hard to manage their busy farm – talk about a busy life!
Stepping into an organisational role is a new experience for Barbara – but it is the culmination of all her experience supporting better lives for people in need. “The most important thing is to keep camp going. I believe in succession planning and in everyone being involved. And of course, I believe in the kids.”
What’s next for Camp Quality South?
Volunteers this year can expect to enter a camp full of fun with plenty of space for communicating their needs, ideas, and expectations.
Barbara says, “There are so many people doing a hell of a lot of work here – and that needs to be celebrated. We want to bring forward a stronger voice from the volunteers. We want them to feel involved, to speak out, to know what’s going on behind the scenes.”
So far, Camp Quality South has had some fantastic feedback from volunteers, and Barbara says the whole team is already looking forward to camps in 2024.
“No one should feel like they’re slogging along. We’re all about just encouraging real fun – for both the campers and the volunteers. That’s what our focus is going to be.”