You can make a difference in the heart of a child

About Us

Southern Cross Kids' Camps is a unique organisation designed to provide assistance to child victims of abuse, domestic violence and neglect. Our programs are specifically planned to bring fun and laughter back into the lives of these children, to provide a time for them to forget about their "experiences" and just enjoy being a child again.

We are a registered Australian charity with DGR and tax exemption status and was established in 2000. In 2017, 13 camps will operate; seven in Victoria, three in New South Wales, one in Queensland and now one in South Australia. Our organisation is run almost entirely by volunteers, with the exception of 5 part-time administration and accounts staff. 

In 2016 alone, with the assistance of more than 500 dedicated volunteers, 300+ children participated in camps. Enjoying a week of activities that encourage fun and laughter, they left with a fresh perspective for dealing with their past, with life skills for the present and hope for the future.

SCKC operates in conjunction with organisations working with disadvantaged children, such as Anglicare and Anchor foster care agencies, Department of Human Services and other social welfare groups who refer children to attend our camps.

Many children attending our camps live in foster care and often move from home to home. Growing up in a stable, home environment is not always an option for them. A significant number have encountered horrendous experiences and struggle with multiple issues. Almost all have counselors or social workers. During the course of their short lives, these children often lose the opportunity to just be children, to have fun and to laugh.

Unfortunately, abused children often experience a diminished quality of life and are frequently unable to attain their potential. They are at greater risk of encountering problems in later life including: suicide attempts, anxiety and depression, dissociative disorders, post traumatic stress disorder, drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness and juvenile delinquency.

Inviting children to return to a Southern Cross Kids' Camp every year, enables us to build on the foundation of the previous years, as well as continuing to develop their confidence, self esteem and trust. We provide the children with a positive event to look forward to during year with many counting down the months until camp.

At Southern Cross Kids' Camps we aim to make a significant difference in these children's journies towards wholeness and believe that disadvantaged children deserve to be given every opportunity of growing up to become resilient and productive members of our society, despite the adversity they have encountered.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about what we do, and it is our hope that you can partner with us and make a difference.

The Significance of the Starfish

This story is based on an event reported to have occurred somewhere along the east coast of Australia.

A jogger out for his morning run stopped at the top of a cliff overlooking an ocean beach. As he caught his breath, he noticed that way below him, hundreds of starfish lay stranded on the sand, and that with every wave, more were being left behind. While he watched, he saw a boy amongst the starfish, bending down and throwing them back into the waves one by one. Jogging down the track to the beach he watched for awhile before talking to the boy. "I can see what you're trying to do," he said. "But don't you see what is happening? What difference do you think you can make?" The boy looked at him and then down at the starfish in his hand. "Well, I don't know",  he said, "but I think it will make a difference to this one".  And he threw the starfish back into the sea. 

And so the starfish has become the emblem for these amazing camps for children who have been doing it tough. Most of our kids have been abused  emotionally, physically or sexually  and they know what it is to feel stranded . SCKC has been patterned on the Royal Family Kids' Camps that are held each year across the USA and we are indebted to the vision and excellent training by founders Wayne and Diane Tesch. SCKC also acknowledges the passion and commitment of Tom and Margaret Turco who direct the RFK Camp in Boise, Idaho and who have helped train many of our staff and buddies by allowing them to participate each year. They are helping us make a difference to our "starfish" one child at a time.

News and Events

All Sorts Opportunity Shop

SCKC has partnered with All Sorts Opportunity Shop in Boronia. We just love being apart of such a great team. If you have any items that can be sold and you no longer need, All Sorts would be happy to take them off hands. All proceeds go to the ongoing work of Southern Cross Kids' Camps. Read more...

Carolyn's Legacy

On Saturday the 14th February 2015, our Founding Director, Carolyn Boyd departed this life to be with the Lord. Words fail to express our feelings of loss and grief, as Carolyn was a true servant and ongoing volunteer. She was not only our Founding Director, she was a Writer, a Leader, a Teacher, and she was also our friend. Read more...

Certificate of Recognition 2016

The City of Dandenong recently held a presentation evening where 4 SCKC representatives attended. At the event, SCKC received a Certificate of Recognition presented by the Mayor of Dandenong, Cr Heang Tak. The Endeavour Camp was supported by the City of Dandenong by receiving a community support grant in 2015. Read more...

Make a Difference

At Southern Cross Kids' Camps we believe that the greatest calling on earth is to take part in the challenge of raising a generation of children who have a hope in the future. Read more...

Our Camps

Our annual camps offer specialised programs for children who have experienced abuse. Each child participates in enjoyable activities ranging from sports, obstacle courses, group games, craftwork and we aim to bring some joy and laughter back into the lives of these children.

Camp Dates