Frequently Asked Questions

Who will be responsible for looking after my child?

At Sony Camp, there is a large number of staff responsible for the care of
campers including nurses and medical staff, teachers and parents from the
two organising schools and most importantly, the Year 11 Companions. These
Year 11 Companions provide responsible care for a camper during the four
days of the camp.
Provision of responsible care will require two Year 11 Companions to
accompany and supervise their camper throughout the daily activities and to
sleep beside him/her at night.

A Year 11 Companion’s daily responsibilities, dependent on the individual needs of
each camper, may include the following:
Emotional support
Ensuring specific dietary requirements are met
Assisting nursing staff in the delivery and compliance of medications
Recreational activities
Accompanying camper to hospital if necessary


What qualifications do Year 11 Companions have?

None. These students 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 Shore and Pymble .

What training do Year 11 Companions receive?

Year 11 Companions receive at least 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
behaviours. 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.

Year 11 Relief Companions assist Year 11 Companions in providing responsible care for a
camper during the four days of the camp. They will also provide valuable breaks for
the Year 11 Companion by assuming the role of a temporary carer for a camper.
They will provide both emotional and physical support for the Year 11 Companions
by way of temporarily relieving them. They will assist the
Activities Coordinator with the setting up, conducting and clearing up of all
activities. There will be a roster which will require Relief Companions to help with
some general duties.


What are the roles of Staff?

The purpose of the staff at Sony Camp is to make sure that everything runs to plan
and to provide support, guidance and assistance to the Companions and Relief
Companions. They are also there to make sure that all the peripheral volunteers are
organised and know what to do.

Staff are responsible for:
Providing both emotional and physical support for the Year 11 Companions or
Relief Companions by way of guidance and advice

Confirming transport and venues for activities
Assisting the Caterer in setting up the dining areas at meal times and also
assisting in cleaning up in the kitchen
Sleeping at the camp and being prepared to be awake at night to assist the
night nurse or companions with any disturbance or emergency.


What are the roles of Parent Volunteers?

Parent Volunteers 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.


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

We do take children with a range of different medical needs and this will be evaluated on a case by case basis.  There will be registered nurses on site 24 hours per day to attend to the medical needs of campers.  If your child is accepted, our medical team will speak with your child's GP or Specialist to make sure that we understand your child's needs.  There are a number of medical forms that we ask families to fill in and we may also request a medical care plan from your Doctor if your child takes prescription medication or has medical needs that require close monitoring.


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.


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.


What sort of activities do you take the children to?

We arrange many activities throughout the four days. These activities include
swimming, art and craft, a bouncy castle, dressing up, singing and drumming,
petting farm and fair rides. We also take the children on one excursion this year's
excursion is yet to be confirmed. The excursion is carefully planned to make sure that
all the children can participate and have fun.


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

Yes we can cater to any dietary need. Our catering 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 catering staff to make your child’s
required meals.