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MSWA Bulletin Magazine Summer 17

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CAMPS AND RETREATS SUMIT SANDHU, MSWA COORDINATOR OF CAMPS We had great success in our 2017 camps program with record breaking numbers in our first Members camp at Guilderton, with a lot of newcomers taking advantage of the camps and retreats for the first time. Carers Camp, Rottnest Island This was our first Carers retreat of this year. We had an eightbedroom and two six-bedroom oceanview villas booked to give our Carers a great Rottnest experience. Cooking was amazing by our champion cook Justine who is now one of the most favourite people on our camps and retreats. Members Camp, Moore River In May we had our first Members camp for the year with 20 Members attending and 10 staff and volunteers making it one of the biggest camps I have ever attended. Highlights of this camp were the food, BBQ at Moore River, River Cruise, Jan’s Quiz Competition, and warrior games. It was great to see some of our Members travelling all the way from Bunbury and Albany to attend this camp. I am sure all the attendees went back with great memories. Members Camp, Treendale Gardens For the first time we organised a Members camp at Treendale Gardens, our Respite facility in Australind, during August. A three nights stay was organised for Members who were not able to attend the Rottnest camp due to limited accessibility on the Island. It was good fun as we went out to the Busselton Jetty and Harvey Dam for lunch. We did a bus tour of Bunbury and had a lot of fun with quiz nights and games at the Respite facility. We have received a lot of interest for future Treendale respite camps. Please contact me if you are interested. Members Camp, Rottnest Island We finally organised a Members camp at Rottnest Island. I was surprised with the amount of interest we received for this camp. Unfortunately, we were restricted with the number of attendees we could take due to limited number of beds available. We had 20 participants, including 14 Members mostly attending for the first time, four staff and two lovely volunteers, Rosalind and Kim. Cooking was the highlight with a few Members requesting to take our cook, Justine, home with them at the end of camp; their requests were however declined! Dawn and Kutriya did a great job as usual keeping everyone entertained with activities. The dress-up dinner was a hit. We also had a bus trip around the Island, coffee at Dome, lunch at the townsite and a picnic lunch. Family Camp, Woodman Point The annual Family camp at Woodman Point was held in September. This was my first family camp. I enjoyed every moment of it as we had some fabulous families enjoying this great getaway experience. One of our occupational therapists, Chloe, facilitated with the help of two OT students from Curtin University. Activities organised for kids included a flying fox, high ropes, kite making, archery and a movie outing. The family camp is suitable for our Members with primary school aged children. Families value meeting other families and making new friends. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in future family camps. 22 | MSWA BULLETIN SUMMER 2017

Carers Retreat, Safety Bay The second Carers retreat was divided into two groups as we could take only eight Carers at a time to Safety Bay due to the capacity of this beautiful venue. This was by far one of the best accommodations we have had. The newly refurbished building had ocean views from each bedroom, an ensuite, comfortable beds, air conditioning and a TV available in every room. A professional chef cooked all the meals. Both the groups loved the venue and food, and requested to rebook the venue for next year. Activities included ten pin bowling, a canal cruise at Mandurah, movies in Rockingham, and a visit to Penguin Island. It was an extraordinary experience for Carers who appreciated catching up with their friends and getting a short break from their caring role. Southwest Members, Denmark The Southwest Members camp was held at The Cove Denmark from 13 – 16 November. We enjoyed catching up with our lovely Members living in the South West. Please contact me if you are living in the South West region and would be interested in a three nights camp experience in Denmark next year. Note of Thanks These camps are only made possible through a grant from Lotterywest and of course the support of our staff and volunteers who stay away from their families and work significant volunteer hours to make it happen. Thank you on behalf of MSWA and all the participants. Keep camping, keep challenging yourself. For 2018 camps dates please contact me on 9365 4888 or by email A DAY TRIP TO NORTHAM SARAH LORRIMAR, MSWA COORDINATOR OF HEALTH EDUCATION AND PEER SUPPORT MSWA Counsellor Cherry Chapman and I recently set out for Northam to facilitate the November support group meeting. Joining us there were six Members and their partners along with MSWA Nurse, Dee Menzies and Massage Therapist, Jenna Ryan. We began the session with an open group discussion and questions for Dee to address. These included queries about the latest MS medication, management of muscle spasticity and strategies for managing the heat. Following a break for morning tea, Cherry gave a presentation which involved creating awareness on the importance of selfcare, what may impact self-care, and establishing boundaries. Group members were engaged in a small exercise which allowed them to reflect on their own self-care practices. This opened up an opportunity for people to share their experiences and how they incorporate self-care into their daily routine. One Member shared that she goes by the mantra “good music and bad singing” and to create a positive day she enjoys singing nostalgic songs to her dog! There are various ways people can engage in self-care, whether this be singing to your pets, meditation, walking in the bush, or becoming aware of your own limitations and allowing yourself to say no. The session concluded with the group being introduced to a short meditation exercise combined with a sound escape. We engaged in an interesting dialogue and there was curiosity around the sound instruments and the impact of sound. It was interesting to observe the varying response from group members to this new experience. We all had a great time and look forward to meeting the group again in the new year! MSWA BULLETIN SUMMER 2017 | 23

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