Very Special Kids. Sunday 2nd October, 2022
3rd October 2022
By Rab Smith
Very Special Kids
Sunday 2nd October 2022
Due to Covid, it’s been nearly three years since our last visit to the VSK camp down in Somers, so this one was eagerly anticipated by all.
The day started off with everyone required to be at least double vaccinated, with an added request from VSK Camp Leader Georgie, that all who enter the camp, complete a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) prior to leaving Harley Heaven, and I was trusted and tasked with policing and checking all. This went off without a hitch, with everyone complying, and those passing by Harley Heaven would have wondered what was going on with lots of Hogs sticking little sticks up their snouts.
We took off on time with me leading and Captain and Tennille bringing up the rear as Tail End Charlie, with the amazing sight of all 24 bikes carrying 32 Hogs strung out in perfect staggered order. Wes and Mandy took off in their car ahead of us and captured some excellent footage of us passing by, and further along, Timo (who sent me pics of him doing his RAT), joined in with his convertible.
On entering the oval at camp, all the volunteers, Mums, Dads and kids were there cheering us in, which I’m sure brought out the goosebumps in a few as we circled and parked up. I knew already from my trip down on the Saturday, that they were all ‘Buzzing’ to see us, as it’s been so long, and when all came to a stop, they had morning tea ready for us in the shape of drinks, muffins and little pastries.
As the traffic’s becoming quite heavy in that area, I decided that we would take over the marshalling duties ourselves, and six of us covered the most dangerous spots on the route, and what followed was an endless procession of bikes and cars carrying passengers who were obviously on a high.
When the rides were over, we all took to the auditorium for ‘Reflections’, which is a time for the families to have a say in their camp experiences over the weekend, and from my own experience, it can sometimes be quite emotional. It’s not the first time I’ve looked out from the stage to see a couple of rows of Hogs all wearing sunglasses.
When it was my time to be called up to the stage, I hopefully lifted some spirits with some light banter, and this time I was delighted to hand over the sum of $3,473 to help with their camp finances. This money was raised at our ‘Scottish Night’ back in June, and privately, Camp Leader Georgie told me afterwards, that this money helps pay for the food, and allows them to raise the standard of activities provided at camp over the weekend, and it’s hugely appreciated. Incidentally, all the volunteers, and there were 87 of them there this camp, pay for their own food, so all monies donated allows the families to attend camp free of charge, and when the kids are put to bed at night, nightshift volunteers are there looking after them, while the Mums and Dads can enjoy a beer or wine, as they have a night time bar for them to relax in. For some of them, it’s the first time that they have been able to have some down time without having to be there to see to the needs of their child, and speaking to some of them privately, it’s not the first time that some of them have broken down during my chats telling me that this is the best thing that they take away with them.
Our members never cease to amaze me, and this time was no exception, as a cheque for $1,000 was passed to me in the morning before we took off, to hand over to Georgie as a private anonymous donation from a Hog couple. I’m of the belief that doing someone a good turn and not being found out is the greatest gift of all, as you seek no recognition, so a huge ‘Thank You’ to you both (you know who you are).
Further to that, we were donated a voucher to Village Cinemas to the value of $50, and prior to the rides, I asked Georgie to give me a name of the kid that she assessed as having the best time on a Harley. That kid was 'Charlotte’, and when I called her name and passed over her ‘award’, the smile on her face said it all. I know that Tennille, was interacting with this family during the day and it was an emotional experience, so a worthy recipient of the 1st DanHog Award for the Kid Who Had Most Fun on a Harley.
After reflections, we were treated to a magnificent lunch, and our chance to sit and have a chat with some of the families and volunteers.
I’ve been doing this for 22 years now, and for some reason (some might say it’s Devine intervention), the sun always shines on VSK day, and Sunday was no exception, it was the most perfect of days, and not just due to the weather. A Huge ‘Thank You’ to my fellow Hogs for their attendance and participation, and hopefully we’ll do it all again at the next VSK in February 2023.