2021 Asia-Pacific Youth Camp Highlights
For over thirty years the Order of Malta has a tradition of hosting youth camps that bring together young people with disabilities, volunteers and carers for a once in a lifetime experience of fun, friendship and adventure.
In September, our attendees came together at a premier sporting facility on the Gold Coast for the 2021 Order of Malta Asia Pacific Youth Camp. The camp programme provided challenges, games and unique experiences for the participants who, as a result, have formed lifelong friendships.
“The preparation for the first Order of Malta Asia Pacific Camp in Australia has endured countless disappointments and frustrations created by COVID-19” said Danny Higgins, North Eastern Regional Hospitaller for the Order of Malta. “I am thrilled that it was all worthwhile as I see the excitement generated in our attendees. Many are experiencing their first time away from families who look after them faithfully. The freedom and excitement they are achieving is the pandemic we should all be exposed to.”
The camp, initially scheduled for 2020 was postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions, was scaled back due to the current outbreak in Australia.
“Despite the challenges COVID-19 presented, the 2021 camp was a huge success” said National Hospitaller John Murphy. “A special mention to the Camp Coordinating team for constantly adapting to pull off a camp that provided so much joy to all who attended.”
“We are so delighted with success of the camp and the impact it has made on the participants and their families. As a result we are committed to expand these works to become a regular fixture here in Australia in addition to participation in the wider Asia Pacific program.
We now will begin planning regular mini camps in addition to this longer format to bring this life changing opportunity to more young adults with disabilities and also give our OMV volunteers and wider membership the opportunity to serve others.
For those guests who, as a result of restrictions, were unable to attend we hope to be able to offer some smaller day camps in their regions as restrictions ease” John went on to explain.
The objectives of the Order of Malta Youth camps
- Help young people overcome personal barriers
- To forge a sense of community
- An opportunity to serve