New SAS Program

July 21, 2017

Print Friendly

School holiday camps and activities are a much loved part of the IOE recreation program and have given hundreds of children many fun and memorable experiences over the years.

But there is always a small group of children who, for various reasons, are not comfortable in the regular camp group environment which is often very busy, noisy, lacking in strict structure routine and predictability and attended by a larger number of participants . These large school holiday program camps and activities can cause significant anxiety for some children, meaning they are not set up for them to succeed.

Hence the creation of IOE’s new ‘SAS’ (Small and Structured) program, specifically designed with smaller, more structured school holiday activities for these children to attend.

IOE’s first SAS camp was held during the last school holidays at Caloola House in Port Arlington which was very successful, achieving the aims of the initiative. Visual schedules were implemented, and new camp routines were created, to assist children with their anxiety around the camp environment.
As with most camps there were lots of off-site activities for the children to enjoy at their own level of comfort. We visited Anakie’s Fairy Park where pushing the ‘do not push’ buttons which resulted in sprays of water, proved to be a hit! Then there were multiple trips to a local school’s playground areas, parks, bouncing on trampolines, massages, shooting the hoop practice plus for one participant drives where he was in charge of direction! We ended camp with a visit to Scienceworks for those who were comfortable in going. At all stages of the camp, the children’s input into what they did, what they ate, where they went and the extent of their involvement, were of prime importance, ensuring their anxiety was kept to a minimum

All the children who attended the first SAS camp flourished, and families look forward to future programs specifically tailored to children with significant anxiety and/or reliance on predictability and structure. Further SAS activity dates will be planned for later in the year.

Fantastic feedback from one family:

We just wanted to say the BIGGEST thank you for putting together the SAS camp and doing such a fabulous job of looking after our son. You and your team are absolutely amazing and we can’t thank you enough for all your hard work and the commitment you showed in ensuring he had such a good time. He has talked about camp and the various activities and excursions so positively. From the basketball hoop in the Macca’s playground to driving around and being allowed to navigate the directions of the car, he just had the best time. It was also lovely for us to have a few quiet days with our other kids, including the odd sleep in! There were no 4am wake ups here!!!!

It really is hard to put into words how much we appreciate what you all do. The genuine kindness and love you consistently show to our son is so precious to us. We know how much hard work and pre-planning went into this camp and we just wanted to say a HUGE THANK YOU!

Please thank all the volunteers who helped support our son, they have such beautiful (and patient) hearts. We also want to thank Fred, Belinda and Kimberley for recognising the need and supporting camps like these, both for the children and their families.

Thank you for everything you do,      Sharyn and Jason

Get Involved


Subscribe to the IOE eNewsletter



Subscribe to the IOE eNewsletter

Copyright © 2016 All Rights Reserved Interchange Outer East