The Theory Behind The Blank List Items
When I initially created my list, there were a few spots that I left blank. My thinking was that as I travelled I would stumble upon new experiences that I could then add accordingly. This happened for a few items (Number 27- Minister a Wedding) but with the growth of the journey came the realisation that the list was not just about achieving specific items but also promoting the philosophy behind it. With this in mind I decided that instead of adding items to my list as I travelled, I would sell off the remaining blank items on behalf of Camp Quality who would receive 100% of any money paid. Essentially this would allow more people to become part of the movement of 100 Things whilst at the same time benefiting a wonderful charity who I’m tyring to raise $100,000.
The Deal…. The Risk
The deal is simple; by buying a blank item from my list, the individual would then have the opportunity to choose what I do. It’s as simple as it is exciting. The bitter/sweet of this though is that by opening up the item to the minds and desires of a third party, they may, upon purchasing an item, choose that I do something embarrassing, outrageous, or death-defying (possibly all of the above!). Who though am I to control this? The blank items therefore, like the 100 Things journey, are there to be shared and experienced by others.
Number 93- The First Blank
With the news that a few items from the list were up for sale, I was soon contacted by a man named Jan. Jan was a German ex-pat, recently moved to Sydney with his fiance. Not knowing where in the world I lived, Jan emailed me and asked if he could buy (and choose) one of the blank items from my list. By sheer coincidence it turned out that Jan and I lived 500 metres apart in Manly (Sydney) and so we swiftly met up for a coffee. Being the first person to inquire about buying a list item, I was both excited and petrified.
Unsure of a) what amount if money Jan was willing to donate to Camp Quality for the opportunity of picking the item, and b) what this complete stranger would then ask I do in return, I must say that Jan blew me away on both counts. Jan as it turned out had decided to contact me because he appreciated the way the journey of 100 Things had developed in the direction of helping others and this is what he wanted to do. After donating a generous amount to Camp Quality immediately, Jan I continued to talk before I then asked the question that presented the great unknown;
“So what would you like me to do, Jan?”
Without a moments hesitation, Jan replied with sincerity,
“I’d like you and me to volunteer at a Camp Quality camp here in Australia”
People are amazing. Jan was selfless. I smiled from within happy that the true essence of 100 Things was being seen by others too and just like that I had a new item picked on my list- Number 93- Volunteer at a ‘Camp Quality’ Camp
In Jan’s own words, here is what then followed.
“Impressions from our day at the Camp Quality Junior Camp in Mt. Victoria, NSW
Roughly 1.5 years ago I approached Sebastian regarding one of the items on his list that are for sale/auction to the benefit of Camp Quality. During a first meeting we agreed that we will volunteer together at a Camp Quality event. After a long struggle trying to find a date that would fit both our schedules we were both excited to finally be at the Junior Camp in Mt. Victoria in the beautiful Blue Mountains on the 15th of April.
At this camp kids aged between 4 and 7 who either have direct or indirect (through siblings) experience with cancer get to spend a couple of days away from home and their parents in a fun and safe environment.
We arrived at the Camp right after the kids had breakfast and got into it right away. We started with a handball game (not our European handball though); it took me a while to understand the rules and get into it, but it was great fun and we could already feel the fantastic atmosphere and the happiness all around.
After a bushwalk activity the kids attended a Soccer clinic (here I understand the rules). So once the kids had completed the clinic we had a small exhibition match between Team Adults and Team Kids, which the kids won by a last minute goal 3:2. It was great fun.
Right after Lunch we had 1h of ‘Horizontal time” which everybody enjoyed and used as effective as possible (e.g.: napping to be ready for the remainder of the day). In the afternoon we had visitors from Taronga zoo: a snake, two lizards, a possum, an echidna etc. which the kids could touch and see from close distance. The rest of the afternoon was spend at a local farm where the Kids could do pony rides, feed goats, climb into a fire truck of the Rural Fire Service or just watch and pad animals. Main event of the evening was the Camp Disco with the theme True Blue. All kids and volunteers dressed up wearing something blue (Superman, Police officer, NSW jersey, Smurf,…) and we had a great time.
After the disco the kids went to bed and Sebastian and I fell exhausted into the car and drove home.
All in all I can say it was a fantastic day, everybody had so much fun, this includes the camp quality staff, the volunteers, the doctors & nurses, the staff at the facility and of course the kids. It is amazing to see kids having a good time and enjoying this friendly, safe, encouraging environment, where they can just be themselves, participate in the activities and have fun.
For me personally it was great to see how Camp Quality runs these camps and it is just remarkable how much effort everybody involved puts in to make it as special and fun for the kids as they possibly can.
Many, many thanks to everybody at Camp Quality and Seb for making this happen!
Now that I understand the rules of handball I will for sure be back at another camp as a volunteer.
Number 93- Tick!
I am over the moon to have not only met Jan, but also to have experienced a very special event in the camp.
With the tagline ‘Laughter is the best medicine“, Camp Quality have comprehensively and holistically changed the way that young children and families deal with cancer. They truly are brilliant and I am so proud to be raising money for them.
Thanks to Jan’s generosity, we are ever closer to raising $100,000 for Camp Quality and with a further 4 spots up for sale, I’m excited to see what happens.
100 Things… What’s on your list?