Have you ever travelled somewhere to raise funds for something that needs your help? Maybe something like cancer research? Cancer is something that has touched every one of us; it doesn’t discriminate against rich or poor, English speaker or non-English speaker, white skinned or dark skinned. It is something that tears families apart but some families are choosing to create a legacy for the people they have lost to this terrible disease.
In May this year, I travelled to Wee Jasper to the Billy Grace Reserve in New South Wales, Australia for a night of camping. I haven’t been camping in many years but it was really worth it. The night of camping at Billy Grace was to raise funds for both the Cancer Council and Can Assist Yass in honour of Duncan Waters. In 2013, Duncan was diagnosed with stomach and testicular cancer. Sadly, just over a year later, Duncan lost his battle with cancer. He was only 20 years old. I didn’t know Duncan but his cousin is one of my good friends. I have known her and her family since I was 13 years old.
This night of camping at Billy Grace Reserve was a fundraiser to help Duncan’s legacy to live on; plus it just sounded like a fun night! 5 of us packed my car and made the trip to Wee Jasper (about 1.5 hours drive from Canberra). The drive there isn’t that exciting but when you are travelling with family and friends than it is always better.
Once we got there, we found the perfect camping spot and set up our two tents. My sister got a tent in a can for Christmas last year so it was pretty cool to watch this tent just pop up! We set up our little camp and got prepared to bunker down for the night. It was getting quite cold so we also had quite a few layers of clothing on as well – think marshmallow like.
We brought our own little picnic of a roast chook from Coles that we could just rip up and put on bread rolls (this is delicious by the way). After we had dinner, we wandered up to the local food stalls to see what they were offering (lots of warm foods- sausage sizzles, hot chips etc).
The food stalls were being run by lovely members of the community and they were just the sweetest people out. You could tell that they generally cared for the event and the Reserve itself. We kept walking up to the bon fire and picked up some sparklers along the way. We spent the evening just chilling by the bon fire and talking rubbish. It was fantastic.
Next up was the fireworks display; it was a great show to watch. After that we grabbed some hot chips on the way back to the tent as it was freezing and we just needed a bit of warming up. The rest of the night was spent in the warmth of the tent playing card games before we hit the hay.
The night was very cold but when the sun rose the next day it was so beautiful and peaceful. We spent most of the morning in the sun in an attempt to warm ourselves up.
Putting the tent back into the can was also not as easy as we anticipated and it involved a lot of laughing at each other. What should have taken one person to fold it up basically took all of us to work it out! It must have been hilarious to watch.
After we packed the car, we went down to explore the Reserve. The Billy Grace Reserve is quite big and has a lot of natural bushland with a beautiful fresh water stream that runs down the bottom. It is just so crystal clear and is perfect for skipping rocks.
I think this fundraising event was brilliant to get people out to nature and to sleep under the stars. For only $5 per person to camp and a further $5 to watch the fireworks, it is definitely worth every penny to try and find a cure for cancer.
For more information on Billy Grace Reserve click here.