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Over The Wall - an introduction

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by

Zoe Grant

on 16 December 2015

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Transcript of Over The Wall - an introduction

Where children affected by a serious illness get to "raise a little hell"!
Over The Wall
Who are Over The Wall and
What do they do?
Where is this magical environment and how does the magic happen?
* Serving Nationwide

* An Intentional Programme

*Therapeutic Recreation

*Challenging labels

.....
Volunteers!
Everything we do at Camp is
'
Camper-focused'
This means that everything from the activities on offer, the teams created, the lanugage used and the songs sung have been purposefully chosen to create an environment that encourages Campers to grow in confidence.
FUN
Challenge
Success
Reflection
Discovery
Throughout the day and at all activities, individual challenges are set for
Campers.
The Camper's success at these challenges is highlighted and specifically
praised.
Campers are encouraged to spend allocated time reflecting on their successes so their achievements, and how far these might stretch, can really sink in.
Then...later that day, two weeks down the line or even in a years time, Campers realise the full impact of their achievements at Camp. This can be hugely significant and is called a Discovery Moment.
And of course everything we do at Camp is based around good, old-fashioned fun!
Therapeutic Recreation
is
used subtly in everything we do at Camp. It is
presenting things intentionally in a way that allows
Campers to recognise
the best in themselves
and track their own
growth.
Everyone picks up 'labels' in life from what others tell them or what they think of themselves. It is too easy for one of our Campers personality to be hidden by becoming known as "that sick kid" or "that kid with the sick sibling". At Camp we remind them of all the amazing things they can do. We do this using
"Specific Positive Labels".


"Hey Ben, you are very kind, you always let others go in front of you in the queue. What a good friend!"

Labels can last a lifetime...let's make them worth keeping!
But who makes all this
magic happen?...
Over The Wall depends on passionate and dedicated volunteers, with around 60-75 attending each summer Camp!

This commitment is hugely appreciated by Over The Wall and Volunteers can expect to feel supported throughout their time with us, from emails and full training before Camp, to support and guidance during Camp, with the occasional cup of tea and biccy!
Volunteers at Over The Wall come from a wide range of backgrounds and experience. This is because different people suit different roles.
Volunteer Roles At Camp:
Team Mate
Activity Leader
Team Leader
Camp Recorder
Safeguarding Officer

Volunteers are then grouped into "Teams" with around 6 - 8 Campers of one age group and gender.
Your Team becomes your family for the week.You support each other, eat together, laugh together and grow together.
How do Teams spend a "Typical Day"?
A Typical Day at Over The Wall!
(as though there is such a thing!)
Wakey wakey!
Give Campers a wake up call and help to get ready in time for 8.30am songs before brekkie!
After breakfast it's time for the fun to begin with 2 activities. These could be anything from climbing, to fishing or arts and crafts to drama!
Then it's back to the Dining Hall for a well earned lunch before an hour of important relaxation time called "Rest Hour".

N.B This hour is a rest for the Campers, however it is important that you also get an hour off each day - you will arrange this with your team.
Once everyone is rested up, coats are grabbed, water bottles filled and it's off for another 2 activities. Will it be canoeing, or archery; music or maybe team building games??
A fun filled afternoon could only be followed by a slap up meal, a quick change of clothes or trip to the Beach Hut (medical area) and off to the Evening Programme. This might be boogying at the disco, or shining like a star at talent night...but whatever it is, its always fun!
Sleepy heads leave the Evening Programme at 8.30 - 9pm and head back to rooms to get washed up and ready for the wonderful Cabin Chat (a magical part of Camp with sharing and hot chocolate), before Campers head to bed and Teams have a meeting.
ahhh... and then we do it all again tomorrow!
Over The Wall serve children, young people and families affected by a serious illness nationwide.
Although the office and warehouse is in Havant, Hampshire, we pack up all the Over The Wall magic into a big lorry and take it with us to camps in Dorset, Staffordshire, Fife and Perth (and that's not including the Family Camps!)

This traveling means we can reach Campers as close to their homes as possible.
Tying up a few loose ends...Some things you should know...
You will never be alone with a Camper- Over The Wall have a 2 adult policy that means you must always be in eyeshot of another adult when with a Camper or a group of Campers.
You will be provided with full training for a day and a half before Campers arrive. This occurs on the site of the Camp and is a fun time of learning and getting to know your team so you are fully prepared when your Campers show up!

Camp is jam-packed with fun and activities, which can be physically exhausting. It is important that you arrive to Camp at your physical and emotional best so you can give your all to the Campers and also get the most out of your own experience.
If you feel at all unwell in the weeks before Camp please inform Zoe (zoe@otw.org.uk). Due to the high risk of infection, this includes letting us know if you have/ had a cold sore, and symptoms of illness (the sniffles, sore throat, cough, temperature phlegm etc).
Physical Fitness
2 Adult Policy
Preparation
Campers look up to Volunteers, often striving to fill this role when they leave Camp and are old enough. This is a massive privilege to be so highly regarded by THE coolest people we know. With this priviledge comes the responsibility of being a good role model. This involves the appropriateness of the clothes you wear, the language you use, how you treat others and your general attitude. It is important to remember this during all times at Camp, never underestimate the effect your actions can have. A little bit of positivity or negativity goes a long way!
Role Modeling
The Results?
See for Yourself...
"I never laughed so hard in my life, I laughed until no noise came out" - camper
"Thank you so much for the most amazing week ever!" - camper
"You all made me feel like a normal boy, and I loved that because at my school the kids don't treat me like that. I'd love camp to last forever, if my Nan could come too." - camper
"We don't know how you did it, but you've given us back the daughter we had prior to her diagnosis...We can't ever thank you enough!" - Parent
In the late 1980s Paul Newman had a radical idea - to let kids be kids. These kids however were affected by a serious illness and spent much of their time in hospitals and doctor's offices. He decided the best thing for these kids was to get the chance to "raise a little hell". He created the camp "Hole in the Wall" in Connecticut to let them do just that. Turns out, it was a fool proof theory!
Since then these magical camps have spread across the globe into Africa, Europe and in many States of America. These camps all have the same mission; to create opportunities for children and their families to reach beyond serious illness and discover joy, confidence and a new world of possibilities, always free of charge.
Together they are called the "SeriousFun Network".
Over The Wall is the SeriousFun Camp in the UK, helping hundreds of children, young people and families affected by a serious illness "raise a little hell"- if only for a few days each year!
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