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What Giving Back is All About: Life Lessons from Camp Volunteers

In honor of Nelson #MandelaDay—a day dedicated to changing the world for the better—we’re shining a spotlight on some of the incredible volunteers who make the world brighter for thousands of kids. 

In South Africa, SeriousFun partners with Just Footprints Foundation to carry out Camp Footprints, a very special camp focused on bringing joy and empowerment to the lives of children living with serious medical conditions, mainly cancer and HIV. In the spirit of service, we asked Camp Footprints volunteers one seriously BIG question: What does giving back mean to you?

Here, in their own voices, they answer just that. And it’s the perfect inspiration to get you through the week! 

 

Crew 2-1

 


Camp Footprints has given me chance to work with the most inspiring and fearless of children and I have learnt many a life lesson from the children at camp.

Live everyday to the fullest—even if you had thirty minutes sleep that night because you were up whispering with your new camp friends.

Don’t care what anyone thinks of you—always be the first person to jump in the circle and shake it out! And, most importantly, laugh because it really is contagious.

– Louise


 

Camper and Crew Members 3-1

 


Being a part of Camp Footprints has made lots of changes in my life. Truly speaking, there was a time whereby I lost hope because I lost my mother. Then I had a chance to volunteer with Just Footprints Foundation. That’s where I realized, that in life, you strive to achieve your dreams.

Seeing all campers with a smile everyday gives me strength and hope for my future.

– Peter


 

Camper and Crew Member 1-1

 


Camp Footprints is an amazing organization that really makes it possible for everyday people to touch the lives of the special people they deal with everyday.

The love that surrounds these children on these at camp is a truly humbling experience.

– Tracy-Lee


 

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Camp Footprints has taught me countless, invaluable lessons: how kids living with serious illness can have the most fun (and get into the most trouble!), how to wash up nearly 70 plates in under half an hour, good communication skills, what a giraffe foot print looks like, how to keep 10 excited children in one place, songs to go to sleep to… wake up to… and so much more!

Since coming home to the UK I have completely changed my degree; I’m now going to study Occupational Therapy, with hopes to specialize in pediatrics because of my experience at camp.

– Jesse


 

Camper and Crew Members 2-1

 


Volunteering at Camp Footprints is one of the most memorable events of my life. I have learned a lot from the camp, especially from the children:

Nothing can stop them from having fun, no matter their health condition.

– Kabelano


 

Crew Photo-1

 


Ever since I become a volunteer at Camp Footprints the children themselves have played a major role in shaping my life. The campers we look after have a way of making the inner child in you come out and express himself.

The volunteers at Camp Footprints have become more than just friends or just a group people. We become a family.

– Bonga


 

Are you feeling inspired yet? One tenant of #MandelaDay is that no act of service is too small. So, what are you waiting for?! 

To learn more about SeriousFun Children’s Network, visit www.seriousfunnetwork.org or contact us at info@seriousfunnetwork.org. To get involved at a camp or program near you, visit www.seriousfunnetwork.org/get-involved.

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