Sent Out To SOAR!

  Wednesday 4th December, 2019
  Categories: Outreach Stories

Sent Out to SOAR!

In July, 17 SOAR Adventure participants were given a unique opportunity to serve - a first-time experience for many. The students, with eight leaders from Castlemaine SOAR Adventures, took part in an eight-day Make a Difference Camp. They travelled to Byron Bay - with a stop in Parkes to visit the Observatory on the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing -and stayed at the Salvation Army.

The kids spent a day working to make a difference in the local community. They made some outdoor furniture out of surfboards for the Salvos Drop in Centre. Some kids went to the Op Shop and some helped out a woman who runs an equestrian therapy program. They painted her toilet block, mucked out the stables and pulled out weeds. Just about everywhere we went, the people who hosted the kids said they did much more than they had expected.

"Just about everywhere the students went,
they did much more than was expected."

We are seeing increasing levels of risk-taking and mental health challenges for young people in our community, along with family breakdown, violence and some really troubling behavior. Trips like this are life-changing. The school says there is a significant difference in kids who are part of the program. A couple of parents say SOAR Adventures is the only thing all year that’s worked for their kids. We’ve had some parents in tears as they talk about the difference in their children. Trevor, my co-leader, and I were at a funeral about three months ago and saw a number of boys from our very first program in 2016. They were in Year 8 then, now in Years 11 and 12. They’ve grown tall and strong, but what struck us most was that back then they were a handful, but now they are clear-headed. One kid, when asked what he’s going to do in the future, said, ‘I’m not going to get on the beer. I want to have my head straight.’ SOAR Adventures really does bring measurable transformation.

Dave, Northern Victoria Regional Coordinator