Blue Mountains Getaway
For teenagers, the summer holidays are a time to get out of the house and hang with our friends.
From Nicole Phillips
This summer, the Friendship Circle embarked on an unforgettable four day Blue Mountains getaway which provided a unique and fun holiday experience for teenagers with special needs and their buddies.
The getaway kicked off on a beautiful sunny day with swimming in the sun and warming up our vocal cords with our favourite ruach songs and dances. We farewelled parents and set off to the picturesque Blue Mountains. A treat of luxury came our way our cosy apartment accommodation and gourmet meals to say the least. We explored the area with a scavenger Hunt through Leura village where the locals were more than happy to participate in our game. Asking questions, searching for clues and completing tasks were both fun and effective for demonstrating social skills. The breathtaking cascades bushwalk was enjoyed by all. We soaked up the fresh air and eucalyptus scents as we marched on through lush bush land with the flowing cascade waterfall alongside us.
We got a dose of action filled adventures at Scenic World. We glided between cliffs on the Skyway, gazing at the panoramic views through the glass floor, and rode the steepest railway in the world that shot down beneath the rainforest canopy. Ascending back up the mountain on the Cableway, we were thrilled with breathtaking views of the three sisters, Katoomba falls and Orphan rock. We loved hearing the splashes and squeals of joy at the Springwood Aquatic Centre, with some conquering their fears and going down the waterslide and others spinning in the whirlpool. It was great to help each other go beyond our own limits. On day 3 the circus came to town. We all tried our hand at a new skill. Some picked up juggling as easy as 1,2,3 while others enjoyed the wonderment of ribbon twirling. From plate spinning, flag tricks, hoola-hooping and even some acrobatic tricks, the circus was a great way for everyone to try something new, get involved and show off our newfound skill sets.
Our evenings were filled with talent nights where everyone got up on stage to have a turn, with us all eventually dancing together. We also got our competitive spirit out with some contests and relay races followed by wind down time, watching movies and snacking away. Between all the funfilled adventures, we discussed our valuable Jewish traditions and ideals, with Jewish themed Pictionary, trivia and discussions. Since some of the teens aren’t fortunate enough to receive a Jewish education, it’s important that Friendship Circle can instill in it’s members the importance of a Jewish heritage. This truly makes the Friendship circle feel like a family and not just an organisation.
The Blue Mountains getaway was a wonderful escape from our daily routine to a beautiful holiday destination in which we fostered an atmosphere of friendship and communal inclusion. We thank all the participants who took part plus a special thank you to our committee, Karen and Gary Lazarus, Jayne Gescheit, Ricky Glezerson, Marc Kopelowitz, Maxine Lorge, Leah Lazarus, Shoshi Lazarus, Simone Nerwich, Shayna Wolman, Chana Kavka for all their hard work and dedication for making the getaway happen.
Friendship Circle also runs regular social and recreational activities throughout the year for young people with special needs. If you are keen to make a difference and join our community get in touch with Rabbi Sender Kavka 0430093670