Camp Braveheart and Camp Teen Beat
Fun-packed and adventure-filled, Heart Kids NZ Camps are the highlight of the year for many heart children and teens.
22 January – 26 January 2024, Woodend Camp, Woodend
Heart Kids NZ Camp 2024 will be held at Woodend Christian Camp, Woodend Christchurch. Woodend is a 20-minute drive north of Christchurch Airport.
There will be 80 heart kids and teens attending camp from across Aotearoa NZ.
Thank you to all those that submitted an application for camp. These are now being processed and we will be in touch soon.
Summer camp is a rite of passage. However, many heart children miss out on their school camps because of their conditions or hospital stays.
Our Brave Hearts and Teen Beat camps brings heart children and young teens together for a residential camp. For many, camp is the highlight of the year: a space to be themselves and connect with others who have had similar experiences.
With activities like high ropes, a confidence course, archery and a formidable flying fox, camp provides safe ways for children to challenge themselves and grow.
For some, that means a step outside their comfort zone.
Staff, volunteers and parents talk about a transformation that happens during camp: shy children making a gang of new friends or shedding their rash vests to show off their scars. Conquering fears of heights, water or new situations.
Time at camp contributes to a heart kids physical, emotional, social and intellectual development. They are encouraged to undertake challenges by choice, to explore, take responsibility, and make decisions in a safe environment supported by other young people and adults. All of this has a notable impact on confidence, self-esteem and resilience.
Heart kids get to learn about and enhance their own skills and abilities and to benefit from meaningful participation in a community that has a common bond. This develops their social skills, decision-making skills whilst experiencing communal living and great outdoor activities.
There are two camp groupings within each camp, Brave Hearts 8-12 years and Teen Beats 13-17 years. The groups undertake camp activities and challenges together in their age groupings but also have time to connect across the ages which is hugely beneficial for campers as they are able to meet others at different places in their heart journey and provide and receive support and hope from others.
For camp to be possible and successful we rely on a huge volunteer component which is often made up of previous heart kid camp attendees, our young adult heart kids, adult heart kids, heart kid parents, staff and most importantly a medical team for each camp.
Those that have attended camp talk of camp being one of the most meaningful and fun experiences of their life and frequently seek to attend again.
“When I first came I was this little nine-year-old, just not knowing much. Now I’m here, 13 years old and I’m just growing into myself really well.” Joseph
The magic of camp is that heart kids and teens can connect with peers who understand the challenges they face, often forming lifelong friendships. Campers get to experience new activities and challenges in a safe and fun environment, with caring people who understand what it is to be a heart kid.
“I didn’t want to come because I haven’t been before. But since I’ve been here for a couple of days it’s been great: all the fun and friends and all the food.” Leighton.