Children from Geelong’s northern suburbs were among a group of 80 who experienced the Lions Village Licola children’s wilderness camp, thanks to the Lions Club of Geelong Corio Bay.

Licola is a former timber town located 54 kilometres north of Heyfield and at the gateway to the Alpine National Park. The children’s village comprises was purchased by Lions clubs of southern New South Wales and Victoria in the late 1960s.

Camp organiser Brian Edward, who is a retired police officer, said: “The purpose of these adventure camps is to provide children aged 8 to 11 an opportunity to live in a community setting and to participate in challenging outdoor activities designed to promote self-worth and to allow them to rise to their full potential.”

“This is a big ask of some children who are away from home and challenged to make decisions about first-time participating in a variety of outdoor activities,” he said.

“The children are always in the care of child-safe volunteers, and they take advice from outdoor activity specialists. They are encouraged to listen to instructions and to make decisions about, for example, being fitted into a harness and taking that first step off a platform that sends them flying down the flying fox zip line. Their after-activity smiles and reactions are unforgettable.”

Brian said the children participated in activities from arts and crafts and indoor games, to being harnessed and lifted to great heights and then pulling a pin on a giant swing.

“Many children overcame their fear of heights. Mini golf, disc golf, the trampolines were popular and they all participated in a last night camp concert. They talked to one another, encouraged one another and made new friends”.    

The 80 children who attended the camp were jointly sponsored at $400 per child by the Dawn Wade Foundation, The Howard Glover Trust, West Carr and Harvey (Accountants) and Geelong Community Foundation.  

The next Lions Village Licola camp is programmed to take place in January 2024.

Share this news!