800 students, parents and staff braved inclement weather to take part in Sheldon College’s annual Fathers’ Camp Out on the evening of Saturday, September 10.
Open to students and fathers of students from Kindergarten to Year 6, the event raised funds for a young Kenyan girl to attend the Sunrise School of Africa.
Despite the weather, kids and adults alike took part in sports, swimming and running the gauntlet on a giant obstacle course.
Originally the idea of Sheldon College’s Primary Head of Sport, Mr Scott Easdown, the first camp out was held in September last year, one weekend after Father’s Day, with plans to run the event for a third time in 2017.
Fathers play a very important role in their children’s lives,” said Mr Easdown. “They provide a concrete foundation for the children in their growth and development as a person.
“A positive male role model can have many positive effects on their children including being central to their emotional wellbeing. Studies have shown that if a father is positively involved in their child’s life then that child’s cognitive, language and social development are greatly improved.”
The event is considered successful by Mr Easdown and the school purely in its ability to bring the students and their fathers together in a meaningful way, solidifying the bonds of paternalism beyond the home. However, Mr Easdown also saw a broader community spirit being engaged.
“By sponsoring a child who is less fortunate, as fathers we are able to teach our children to recognise that not all children are as privileged as they are.
“We also saw some fathers were able to encourage their children’s friends, who are without fathers for one reason or another, to join them for the Camp Out. It’s this kind of generosity that’s so powerful for students to witness and very humbling to be a part of.”