Programme Information and Contact
This week-long live-in Challenge Camp matches approx 25 physically disabled young people 16-24 years, with our International Exchange Students as caregivers and buddies for the week (numbers depend on how many exchange students are here in NZ). Facing the many challenges together proves to be a highly rewarding growth experience for all.



The purpose of the camp is to provide an environment that will physically, intellectually and emotionally challenge young people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to attend such a camp. Personal development and interaction of youth who experience special needs with the support of Rotary International Youth Exchange Student mentors.

Dates and Times:

Due to Covid-19, Challenge Camp has not run for the last two years.  This will be reviewed in the 2021-2022 Roary year


Location is Muriwai Surf Lifesaving Club, 100 Jack Butt Lane, Muriwai, Auckland

Registration fee covers:

All meals, accommodation, trips, activities, guidance and leadership by Resident Camp Mum and Dad & Rotary volunteers.


Applications will close on [a date to be advised]. This is necessary to allow time for assessment and final confirmation of accommodation and activities.

Organised activities include:

Professionally supervised participation in:

• Team Building Activities, High Wire course at Woodhill Forest, Thermal Pool visit
• Motivational speakers and visiting celebrities
• Social activities such as concerts, visits to exciting locations, etc


The basic qualifying criteria for selection of campers are:
• Age:16 to 24 years.
• Candidates must reside within Rotary Districts 9910 or 9920 and must not have been on a previous Challenge Camp.
• Applicants must have a physical and /or intellectual impairment. Such as: Spinal injuries (wheelchair bound), loss of lower limbs, birth defects (such as cerebral palsy and spina bifida), or have speech, hearing or vision defects.

Excluded are: 
This camp is for youth who have a physical disability and /or intellectual impairment. Unfortunately this camp is not suitable for people with higher support needs e.g. people with intellectual disabilities which need experienced caregivers and those who are incontinent, wet beds, or require regular toileting assistance.

Disabled participants must be self-sufficient enough that the partnered Rotary Youth Exchange students (remembering that they are only of senior school age, are living away from home and for some of them English is a second language) don’t have to do anything too intimate to look after campers.

Why should our Rotary Club support this Programme?

We are very grateful for the ongoing support of Rotary clubs across Districts 9910 and 9920 for the Challenge Camp Programme.

We know you have tough decisions to make when allocating your limited funding each year.

Some reasons that we believe that Challenge Camp is a very worthwhile Programme to support:

Excellent feedback from the Campers and their parents: Often these young people have not had an opportunity to be away from home, outside their comfort zone and meeting and becoming friends with a large group of people they had never met. They often come back from the Camp with a brand new outlook on life believing that if they are willing to try new things they can achieve anything. Their parents also appreciate the respite from caring for their children for the week.

A great opportunity for Rotary Youth Exchange Students: Many RYE students rate the Challenge Camp week as the best part of their year in New Zealand. It opens the eyes of the RYE students about how life is for someone who different to them and has grown up with a disability. The RYE students are buddied up and spend the entire week helping and encouraging their buddy through the experience. They make new friends and learn empathy and leadership skills.

Establish a link between your Rotary Club and schools and support organisations in the community: Often the Campers for Challenge Camp are drawn from Special needs departments of local schools, Deaf Education centres and other support organisations in the community. Helping students from those organisations is a great way to get involved and establish an ongoing relationship with organisations that can then be supporters of your Rotary Club not to mention a potential source of new members. (Don’t forget to ask staff from Organisations you support to come along to your Club meetings!)

What Options are Available for our Rotary Club to support the Challenge Camp?

We ask all clubs in District 9910 and 9920 to contribute the amount of $250.00 towards the cost of running the Camp.

If you can spare more than this, here is how you can help:

An additional $595.00 (total $845.00 including the $250.00 standard contribution)– pays for a camper to attend. We need to fund on average 23 campers each year.

We will source Campers or if you know of a candidate in your local area you can nominate them.

Some clubs team up with another local club and fund the additional $595.00 cost between two clubs. We are flexible and willing to entertain whatever arrangements you can negotiate between clubs.

Contact details:
For more information see


Matthew McLeod & Jessica Hendriks
Rotary Henderson and Rotalite West