Putting things into perspective: Anna’s companion story
Knowing how important support is during cancer journeys, Anna wanted to give back to kids and families going through an unbelievably tough time. Last summer, she joined Camp Quality Wellington/Central Districts as a first-time companion – and loved every minute of it!
An opportunity to give back
When one of her friends posted about a fundraising raffle they were doing for Camp Quality, Anna’s interest was immediately piqued. She knew this would be a way to help and give back, as well as an awesome way to spend some of her summer holiday.
Plus, she has a personal connection to what our campers are going through. Her mum battled cancer several years ago, and the community rallied around her family, with people always lending a hand and coordinating fundraisers. Anna saw volunteering as a companion as an opportunity to give back in the same way to kids and other families going through a similar battle.
It’s a match
After training, Anna was paired with her camper and on her way to camp before she knew it. While she and her camper were slightly different, that only meant they brought out other sides of one another.
“While I’m quite extroverted and always on the go, my camper was a bit more introverted,” Anna recalls. “It meant that we both had goes at things we might not have considered alone.”
A highlight of camp was the beach day, when Anna’s camper got in the ocean and had fun in the waves. When getting out she spotted a calmer lagoon, and remarked that normally she would have never gotten in the waves if she’d known there was calmer water. It was awesome for Anna to see her camper get out of her comfort zone and try new things she enjoyed.
“When camp came to an end, neither of us wanted to go home!” says Anna. “I loved camp and found the whole experience so humbling. It really puts things into perspective and takes you back to your own childhood, as well as making you realise how the small things can make a huge difference.”
Thoughts on being a companion
Anna loved her experience as a first-time companion so much that she’s already applied for the upcoming summer – and she’s got her twin sister to apply too! Not to mention she’s encouraged many of her fellow real estate agents to get involved in donating.
“You can’t put a value on a kid’s happiness,” says Anna. “The campers have been through more than many of us will experience in a lifetime, so it just feels great to help them have so much fun over camp.
“If you’ve got the free time over summer, then definitely give volunteering as a companion a go,” says Anna. “Everyone is so focused on having fun, and there’s such a sense of community amongst all the campers, companions and staff.”
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a companion, it’s not too late to express your interest for summer camps!
Find out more here.