With threatening skies and the promise of gusty winds, a number of fathers and Year 7 girls drove up the F3 to Patonga last Friday. Over night, the promised wind arrived and a few tents started floating back to Sydney, before running repairs secured them for the night. Steadily the next day, they were joined by a convoy of cars carrying food, tents, fathers and daughters. By mid afternoon, 180 of the Loreto Year 7 family had arrived. Fathers set up camp, while our girls ran into the still chilly water.
Georgia Collins’ father, Michael, has been organising these camps for many years now. This year’s camp required more planning, more helping hands and more time to set up the mess. He managed all of this with ease, allowing the rest of us to connect with old friends and make new ones. We enjoyed a sunset dinner with sausages, chicken skewers and tortillas. After dinner the girls took part in the inaugural Patonga’s Got Talent. They were all winners and took their chocolate prizes to various tent parties while the fathers unfolded their chairs. It was after 11pm before the camp grounds fell silent.
I look forward to this camp every year. It is time time with my daughter, Olivia, that we will remember long into the future. For the girls it is also time away from the playground stereotypes, allowing them to mix and form new friendships. Already Michael has an eye on 2017, so if you are heading into Year 8 next year, look out for details of our next camp.
Father of Olivia Foda (Year 7)