MHSN's Stanwell Tops Sports Camp

One Door's MHSN Stanwell Tops Sports Camp  

06 Oct 2017

David Duval is a One Door consumer, he has shared his experience of the Mental Health Sports Network's (MHSN) sports camp at Stanwell Tops late last year. 

Monday, 5th December we left for the week long sports camp at Stanwell Tops. The weather was mostly sunny with a patch of rain.

Stanwell Tops is one and a half hours drive south of Sydney, towards Wollongong. We arrived at camp in style where we were greeted by fellow camp goers. The accommodation was what I would call first class, comprising of a newly furnished lounge room, dining room, exceptional dormitories, and the food they served was very appetising.

We started by being divided into two groups to conduct our activities. Some of the activities were quite demanding, but with the support of others, the challenges seemed a little easier. I received a lot of encouragement & appraisal from others and because of my efforts made a lot of new friends.

One activity held indoors was kite making, I liked that a lot as I've never done anything like that before. We also played cricket, basketball, swimming, some of us watched movies, games in the lounge room and a sort of Xmas disco.

All the activities were conducted by Camp Staff that worked at the camp. They were very friendly, respectful and very easy to understand. One activity involved doing an obstacle course with a partner being blind-folded. Another blind-folded activity meant that we had to work as a team.

Some other activities included Archery, Abseiling down a man-made wall, and the Vertical Cluster which used a helicopter ladder 15-20 metres high. This challenged me because it moved around & wobbled as I progressed up the ladder. Another challenge was walking across a tightrope 5 metres above the ground. The first step was the hardest and as I progressed I realised the key to making it to the other end was a matter of balance. I also had to attach safety hooks, which I think made it harder.

A favourite for everyone was the Bushwalk, everyone participated. It was short but immensely enjoyable, the weather was ideal, and everyone enjoyed being up close with nature.

There were prizes given out for different categories, they were given to people who were outstanding and exceptional in their efforts. Philippa and the other staff had organised the camp very well. I am staying in contact with Nina & Darko from the Inner West Commonwealth Respite centre.

Also, because of the camp, I realised talents I never thought I had. I've learned new skills and I realised that if I pushed myself I was very capable.

In conclusion, I'd like to give thanks to One Door Respite for being given this opportunity. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was a lot of fun and I left the camp feeling much better and refreshed ready to go back to work. The only thing I regretted was the fact that maybe I won't see some of the other campers again, but there is always next year.  


David Duval MHSN

David Duval - One Door Mental Health Consumer