Camps and Conferences

Over the past couple of years, there have been increasing opportunities for families to participate in SMS-targeted camps and conferences.

Camp Breakaway SMS Camps

Camp Breakaway is a registered non-profit charitable organisation, a registered service provider for the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) and a member of NDS (National Disability Services) that specialises in providing respite care for people with disabilities and their carers. Breakaway’s Smith-Magenis Syndrome (SMS) Camps enhance the lives of children with SMS and their families by holding a four-day respite camp every two years. At the last camp in 2016 we welcomed over 30 families, with children with SMS and their siblings, from all over Australia and Professor Ann Smith from the USA. Professor Smith conducted a research clinic and provided the families with valuable information and recent research updates. The next camp is expected in 2018.

THE KEY OBJECTIVES OF SMITH-MAGENIS SYNDROME CAMPS:

  • To celebrate the achievements of all SMS children
  • To give children and the siblings of children with SMS the opportunity to meet
  • To create an atmosphere where parents feel comfortable to discuss their situation with other parents… This often leads to the establishment of a support network that continues long after camps end
  • To create a nurturing environment where the families of children with SMS can enjoy a respite break together
  • To pamper the parents and allow ‘parents only’ time, whilst providing entertainment and activities for all children… Caring for a child with SMS can be very demanding and parents are often burnt-out. The aim of parents only time is to allow them to recharge their batteries (so-to-speak) and give them much need time to themselves
  • To provide a research opportunity for the world-leader in SMS research, Professor Ann Smith, to run a research clinic at the camp
  • To provide volunteer opportunities to people who want to make a meaningful contribution to the community in which they live.

Please make sure to contact Camp Breakaway if you are interested in participating in the next SMS Camp.

S.N.U.G SMS Camps

In January 2015, Smith-Magenis Syndrome (SMS) Australia began partnering with The Family Action Centre of Newcastle University pertaining to one of their Programs, the Special Needs Unlimited Group (S.N.U.G.). S.N.U.G. provides a number of supportive camps each year for families living with rare diseases or disorders – often for those with multi-Category diagnoses.  Since this partnership commenced, we have held three camps to-date specific for SMS Families within Australia! Funding for these Camps is proudly sponsored by The Steve Waugh Foundation.
HOW DO THE CAMPS WORK?
The 4-5 day SMS S.N.U.G. Holiday Camps are held at Myuna Bay Sport and Rec Centre in the Hunter, NSW. A number of recreational activities with an instructor are provided. Activities include, challenge ropes, rock climbing, archery, mini golf, bushwalking, canoeing etc. These activities will be available and chosen to suit each individual group and ages and abilities. As this is a Family Camp and not a Respite Camp, it is designed so that the parents, siblings and your special needs children participate together as a family. There will also be free time activities available, including the 25 metre pool, multi-purpose hall, sports oval, cricket nets, netball and basketball courts, just to name a few. The SNUG coordinator has also planned activities such as music therapy, sensory play, parent discussion, bush dance, rock and water program and an excursion such as ice skating. The S.N.U.G. volunteers are students at Newcastle University studying Special Education, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Psychology, Speech Therapy or related subjects. They will assist with activities during the camp.The Camp includes accommodation, food, activities and excursions. Camps are currently limited to 6 families per camp due to accommodation requirements. Families will have 1 – 2 rooms depending on size of family and special requirements. There are only 2 disabled rooms per accommodation dorm which can fit enclosed beds, however all rooms do have a shower and toilet.

Please Contact Us via this website if you have any interest in your family attending a camp in the future.

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