Facilitated entirely by volunteers, and funded by donations from our generous supporters, Openlight has delivered programs for youth in need for over 80 years. The programs are designed to help young people from a wide range of situations develop self-regulation skills, form positive relationships with their peers, make healthy choices, build self-esteem, and develop positive community attitudes.
From all over South Australia, many have experienced trauma or hardship as a result of their circumstances. These hardships have social, emotional, behavioural, and financial impacts on the people involved, and the Openlight Youth Services Program aims to provide a respite opportunity to both the children and their families.
Sometimes family situations can be tough, our mission is to immerse our campers in a holiday experience of fun-filled activities, positive development and building confidence all while making new friends. The camps are facilitated by a dedicated team of volunteer Camp Directors and leaders with more than 25 years and 50 camps experience between them.
Our selection criteria are deliberately broad as our aim is to provide an opportunity to as many young people as we can.
In addition to the opportunities it provides children, the Openlight Camping Program develops the leadership and organisational skills of the enthusiastic team of volunteers who support the program in a friendly but challenging environment.
Many of our volunteers are studying or planning to study in areas such as Education, Social Work, or Psychology, and the Openlight Camping Program provides these young people with the opportunity to test their skills in the field. Leaders who remain involved in the program further their education by participating in First Aid, Mandatory Notification, and other professional development opportunities.
No specific background or training is required to volunteer on the program, however, all leaders are subject to a Working with Children Clearance.
Professional support staff working with young people such as school inclusion officers, family and welfare agencies, and social workers are invited to refer children between the ages of seven and eleven to the program.
Openlight Camps provide an opportunity for children aged between seven and eleven years old to “take a break” that they otherwise might not have, due to their financial, social, or other life circumstances. We encourage community service organisations and schools to identify families for whom they believe respite would be beneficial, and children who they feel would benefit from a new experience in a safe and supportive environment.
Openlight Camps are directed and staffed entirely by volunteers – many are practising teachers, psychologists or social workers, or are university students studying in these fields. Our volunteer Camp Directors have over 25 years and hundreds of camps experience between them. We are well trained to support children with a wide range of needs, however we do ask that agencies carefully consider their referrals to our service; young people with extremely violent or disruptive behaviours may inhibit our ability to provide a successful respite experience to other participants.
The costs are subsidised by sponsorship arrangements. There is a $50 administration fee charged per child to the referring agency or referring school.
Openlight offers a variety of Youth Services designed to help youth combat modern world problems and challenges faced today. Our programs are created to help local children and youth to tackle a variety of challenges including disadvantage, domestic violence and social isolation.
From all over South Australia, many have experienced trauma or hardship as a result of their circumstances. These hardships have social, emotional, behavioural, and financial impacts on the people involved. The Openlight Youth Services Program aims to provide a respite opportunity to both the children and their families.
Data shows 15 per cent of SA families (67,000) are involved with child protection systems.* Openlight is committed to providing opportunities for local children in your community to have a positive life experience at one of our Youth Services Victor Harbor camps. With the support of community groups and public donations we have been able to provide a safe and fun camp experience for over 80 years to South Australia’s most disadvantaged children.
Openlight runs youth camps designed to help disadvantaged and vulnerable children from a wide range of high-risk situations. These camps help the children to develop a variety of skills including self-regulation, building self-esteem, fostering positive relationships and developing a positive attitude to self and community. We reach many children from Adelaide and regional South Australia and our broad focus means we can accept children who may otherwise not be eligible for this type of program.
Together with the highly successful camping program Openlight offers a variety of targeted activities to help local youth across South Australia. Openlight is committed to implementing new projects along with other initiatives that make a real difference.
To continue to be a positive influence in the lives of these children we need your help. To ensure our camps are accessible and free of cost to the attendees we rely on donations. By donating to Openlight your donation will immediately help us create another opportunity for one of South Australia’s most disadvantaged children to secure a spot at one of our programs.
*Source: The Advertiser March 15, 2019