Sony Camp 2023 

Posted 27 October 2023
Senior School

On Saturday 30 September at 5.00pm, 16 St Peter’s College boys and 16 Wilderness School girls arrived at the St Peter’s Boarding House ready to commence one of the most challenging and meaningful service experiences of their lives – the 2023 SONY Foundation Children’s Holiday Camp. The Sony Camp aims to provide respite for families of children with disabilities all across Australia, with our camp being the only camp currently run in South Australia. The camp guests arrived on Sunday morning (1st October) and stayed until Tuesday afternoon (3rd October).  

This year we had 16 children attending the camp, who were looked after by 32 Year 11 companions, 12 crew members from Year 10 and 11, 25 teaching/staff members and 12 nursing staff/volunteers from both St Peter’s College and Wilderness School. During the camp, one SPSC student and one Wilderness student worked together to provide 24-hour care for their child living with a disability. This provided their families a much-needed break from the fulltime care they usually provide.  

Throughout the camp guests were involved in a variety of activities, including swimming in the Burchnall Sports Centre, attending the Sony Camp Blue and White disco, cupcake decorating, canvas painting, pot plant making, ball sports, karaoke, dancing sessions, and a visit from the emergency services department, where guests got to operate the fire hose (and be sprayed with the hose). This was all topped off with a farewell party on the final day involving face painting, mini golf and balloon making, where families came to enjoy time with their children and the companions who had taken care of them over the camp. 

The experience was a truly meaningful one for our students and they should be immensely proud of they way they upheld themselves during the camp. Some of our companions reflected on their own experiences below: 

The time I spent on the St Peter’s College/Wilderness School Sony camp was one of the most incredibly rewarding and enjoyable experiences of my life. On camp I felt that each second I got to spend with my buddy taught me more and more about children living with a disability and allowed me to create a strong connection with him – Archie Young (Year 11). 

Participating in Sony camp provided me insight into the daily challenges faced by parents. Over four days, I gained a newfound appreciation for the little things we often overlook, despite the demanding and worthwhile experience, made easier by my compassionate companion who faced the challenges of being away from home – Kevin Dinh (Year 11). 

I think my experience can be summarised as a difficult by incredibly rewarding experience – Harrison Sheridan (Year 11). 

Sony Camp was an unforgettable and unique experience that allowed me to provide respite to parents who often don’t get a break. I thoroughly enjoyed working with my buddy, understanding him as a person and having lots of fun – Bailey Kerr (Year 11) 

I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the staff and parents that were involved in Sony Camp this year from both St Peter’s College and Wilderness School, including the staff who volunteered time during the camp to supervise and the parents who volunteered their medical expertise. I would especially like to thank the key staff members involved at Wilderness School – Ben Manifold, Melissa Foster and Isabella Cansdell, and those at St Peter’s College – Tim Angus, Barnaby Eaton and Ash Day. This camp could not have run without their valuable input in the months leading up to it. 

Louise Firth 
Sony Camp Coordinator