Aiden Johnston and Jacob Stiles.
Aiden Johnston and Jacob Stiles. Contributed

Scots PGC only regional school to host special event

Over three days and nights, from November 24-27, 19 local children with special needs from Warwick State High School, Warwick East Primary School, and two home-schooled children, enjoyed a host of activities around the district while based at one of the Scots College boarding houses.

SONY Foundation, the charity division of the huge Japanese-Australian electronics and media corporation, financially support some 28 holiday camps around Australia every year.

In its third year, Scots PGC College remains the only regional school to have been awarded a grant to offer this prestigious event.

SONY aims to give incredibly committed and devoted parents a break for a few days, and have their children, the Campers, looked after, primarily by Year 11 and 12 students who are their buddies for the entire time.

This year, in addition to some 30 Year 11 and 12 students from Scots, we welcomed 14 senior students from Assumption College and two from Warwick Christian College, referred to as companions in SONY parlance.


During the weekend, the group of around 80, including staff from Scots, travelled on the Southern Downs Steam Railway from Warwick to Stanthorpe, picked strawberries at Ashbern Farms in Stanthorpe, feasted and then made their own desserts at the McDonald's restaurant there. 

They enjoyed hours of water slide fun at WIRAC, rode horses with the Warwick RDA, played their socks off in the Scots Gym Olympics and learnt how to use spray paints responsibly in making amazing Christmas pictures with local artist, Jess Welsh.

If that wasn't enough, the children also played bagpipes and drums in the Scots PGC College Pipe Band, honed their skills as young firemen and firewomen with the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service, danced the night away at a Western-themed disco and, as they had all been extremely good this year, received gifts from Santa Claus on the last day.

Scots staff are already planning for the 2018 SONY Camp and hope to welcome even more local children with special needs next year.

It is a testament to the wonderful hospitality and warmth of the companions, who played the leading roles in caring for the special needs children, that not a single camper showed any sign of homesickness during the three nights away from their home.

In fact, a few tears were shed about the camp ending, such was the fun and friendship experienced over the weekend.

If any parent of a special needs child reads this and would like to be included in our 2018 SONY Foundation Children's Holiday Camp, please contact Scots PGC College on 4666 9811 and ask to speak to either Beverly Hobbs or David Proudlove.

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