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Celebrating #NSVW20

Celebrating National Student Volunteer Week 2020

As we celebrate National Student Volunteer Week, Edmund Rice Camps Victoria is blessed to have

many students who volunteer on our programs; their youth, enthusiasm, creativity and

energy help bring our programs to life!

Engaging students continues to be a cornerstone of our programs and not only do we create impactful experiences for participants, the value volunteers derive from the experience can also be profound. When participants take their experience further to become volunteers with us, the experience can be life changing.

Here’s Hazel reflecting on her volunteer journey to date and the impact it’s had on shaping her vision for her future….

"I have been involved with the Edmund Rice Organisation from a young age. Due to the incredible

experience, I knew I needed to volunteer. My first camp at age 16 was the Indigenous Kids

Easter Camp 2019, it was an incredible camp but presented a lot of challenges that new and

experienced leaders found quite difficult. Each leader showed resilience and pushed through the

week to keep the kids entertained, happy and making sure they left with a smile. Going into my

first camp I wasn't sure what to expect with my first little buddy, but when I met her she ran like

the wind and found myself chasing her around the whole of Amberley (with another leader of

course). I knew as a big buddy that it was my responsibility to provide safety and love to the

participants. And ensuring the kids buddied with me found self-worth and recognised their

resilience through finding their own confidence and allowing themselves to trust in me and this


These camps presented me with so much truth, it showed the hardship some of the families face,

and even with this they are so grateful and kind-hearted. The trust the participants placed on me

allowed me to gain more confidence in my abilities with the program and my life outside

camps. These opportunities to give back to people on the margins have allowed me to see

the world differently and grow as an individual. This also inspired me to get involved with other

social justice activities and with these experiences and Eddie Rice Camps, has shown me I want to

dedicate my life to being a to support and being there for those who are in need. I've seen the

world differently and I've seen that I have a voice and the potential to change and help the world

around me. When talking about Edmund Rice Camps with others, I found it hard and I am unable

to get the words out to explain the power, happiness and strength the participants, leaders and

this organisation has. I would find myself just being in awe with the bonds we make with the

participants and emotion that is placed on us 

My high school is involved in a lot of social justice activities and I knew this organisation would be

great when connecting them with the students at school. However due to COVID-19, we were

unable to connect, but hopefully, soon we are able to share the experience with the students and

allow them to engage and volunteer. When thinking about the future, it's hard to shape but I

hope I'm studying at a university, possibly ACU, with a bachelor of nursing, and then hopefully one

day this journey takes me to countries that need the support and I want be there both medically

and mentally especially for mothers and children. I’m so grateful to have Edmund Rice Camps in

my life, they have given me friendships and memories to last a lifetime and it's something I'll

cherish forever"

Hazel, ERCVIC Volunteer

Hazel with her first buddy (2019 Indigenous Kids Camp)


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