FAQs

At Camp Sababa and Camp Sababa Senior, we understand that new families have many questions about our camp.  We hope that we can answer your questions here.  If not, please email info@campsababa.com.au for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions
What are the roles of Staff?

Who will be responsible for looking after my child?

What qualifications do Personal Companions have?

What training do Personal Companions receive?

Why do Ex-Companions attend camp?

What are the roles of Parent Volunteers?

My child has complex needs/medical problems, can they still attend camp?

What happens if my child gets sick during the camp?

Can I phone and speak to my child during the camp?

What sort of activities do you take the children to?

My child has specific dietary needs, can you cater for these at camp?

What are the roles of Staff?
Staff at Camp Sababa and Camp Sababa Senior make sure that everything runs to plan and provide support, guidance and assistance to Companions, Buddies, and Ex-Companions. They are also there to make sure that all the peripheral volunteers are organised and know what tasks to perform.

Staff are responsible for:

  • Providing both emotional and physical support for the Companions and Buddies by way of guidance and advice
  • Confirming transport and venues for activities
  • Sleeping at the camp and being prepared to be awake at night to assist the night nurse or Companions and Ex-companions with any disturbance or emergency, and
  • Being directly responsible for five to six Campers and their Companions so that the Companions will feel supported at all times.

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Who will be responsible for looking after my child?
At Camp Sababa and Camp Sababa Senior, there is a large number of staff responsible for the care of campers including nurses and medical staff, teachers and associates from the three organising schools and most important, Companions and Buddies.

Companions and Buddies provide responsible care for a camper during the four days of the camp.

Provision of responsible care will require a Companion or Buddy to accompany and supervise their camper throughout the daily activities and to sleep beside him/her at night. Where there are two allocated Companions or Buddies, they will share this responsibility and schedule breaks between them.

A Companion’s or Buddy’s daily responsibilities, dependent on the individual needs of each camper, may include the following:

  • Emotional support
  • Feeding
  • Ensuring specific dietary requirements are met
  • Dressing
  • Showering/Bathing
  • Toileting
  • Assisting nursing staff in the delivery and compliance of medications
  • Recreational activities
  • Mobility
  • Accompanying camper to hospital if necessary

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What qualifications do Companions and Buddies have?
None. Companions are Year 12 students who have just finished school. They are enthusiastic and compassionate but they don’t have any qualifications. However, we have a range of experienced staff at the camp every day to support the companions. There are staff who have experience working with children with disabilities, nurses and teaching staff from Moriah College, Masada College and Emanuel School.

Similarly, Buddies may not have prior experience or qualifications in disability care. It is one of our main objectives at Camp Sababa Senior to try and expose the wider community to the disability sector and therefore do not require qualifications by our Buddies. Like Camp Sababa, Buddies on Camp Sababa Senior are supported by a dedicated staff.

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What training do Companions and Buddies receive?
Companions receive two days of training provided by experienced staff who work with people with disabilities. They learn about a range of disabilities, how to communicate with children with disabilities, how to manage difficult behaviour and particular medical conditions such as seizures. In two days they cannot learn everything there is to know but they do get a good overview of the issues and they also learn that they should ask if they are ever unsure – there is always someone around who they can ask for help. In addition to this, Companions take part in school visits to a number of schools dedicated to children with disabilities as a part of their training.

Buddies receive a similar training but in a more intensive one-day workshop.

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Why do Ex-Companions attend camp?
Ex-Companions are to assist all companions and members of staff by providing assistance, advice and guidance where required. They will also be responsible to see that activities are set up and cleared away and help at meal time. They will be required to guard areas that require supervision for safety purposes.

Ex-Companions are responsible for:

  • Providing both emotional and physical support for the Companions or Buddies by way of guidance and advice
  • Assisting the Activities Coordinator with the setting up, conducting and clearing up of all activities
  • Assisting the caterer in setting up the dining areas at meal times and also assist in cleaning up in the kitchen
  • Supervising campers during the night, to assist the night nurse and to provide safety for all the companions and campers

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What are the roles of other volunteers?
Our other volunteers are friends, families, and people from the community who assist the staff and volunteers at camp by helping to keep rooms clean by making beds in the mornings and organising the washing of campers’ clothes. They also assist the caterer to set up and clean up and assist in settling the campers at night.

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My child has complex needs/medical problems, can they still attend camp?
Yes – we have nurses at camp 24 hours per day. We take children with a range of medical problems and complex needs. Our nurses will speak with you before your child comes to camp and make sure that they understand what your child needs. If necessary, our nursing staff can also speak to your child’s doctor. There are a number of medical forms that we ask families to fill in (including some by your doctor) according to the types of medical issues for your child.

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What happens if my child gets sick during the camp?
If your child gets sick, we will call you to discuss. For some children, this might mean that they do need to go home but we will speak to you and negotiate this with you. Our nurses are there 24 hours per day and will discuss any concerns with you and then work out what to do next.

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Can I phone and speak to my child during the camp?

Yes you can phone one of the staff and speak to your child. Sometimes you might just want to speak with a staff member or a companion and find out how your child is doing – that is also fine. We are there to make sure that your child has a good time and that you have a good rest.

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What sort of activities do you take the children to?
We arrange many activities at our base. These vary from year to year but include swimming, art and craft, a bouncy castle, dressing up, singing sessions and drumming. We also take the children on outings – usually one per day. We have been sailing, to the farm, to an indoor play space, and to a swimming pool at a leisure centre. These outings are carefully planned to make sure that all the children can participate and have fun.

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My child has specific dietary needs, can you cater for these at camp
Yes we can cater to any dietary need. The camp is fully kosher but our nurses and cooking staff work on specific dietary needs for any children that need it. Some of our campers are fed via a PEG tube which our nurses administer, others need soft diets or have particular food allergies. The needs of your child will be discussed by the nurse who will call you prior to the camp and then the nurse will arrange with the cooking staff to make your child’s required meals.

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