Whanganui kids had the chance to go caving, play sports, and do activities with the fire service, police and army in the New Zealand Red Cross Rise Up camp last week.

Whanganui Fire station officer Shane Dudley, who was one of the firefighters volunteering his time, was "excited as" to help out with the kids' activities, saying the camp was "awesome".

"We do all sorts of stuff . . . It's for pretty good kids in our community that could just use a little bit of a positive second week of the school holidays.

"It's a really good opportunity for these kids to kind of get out of home."


Children are nominated for the camp. It is targeted at children who live in low socio-economic environments, who lack positive role models, or who are otherwise struggling in one way or another, among other things.

Mr Dudley said the fire service was showing the kids the trucks, and the police and army were also joining in with activities.

The children also had the chance to go caving and check out glow worms, and play sports.

He said there were "lots of outdoor activities" involved.

"You see kids coming out of their bubble."

Kids could also do "a little bit of reflecting on things that they can kind of change in their home lives a bit."

He enjoyed seeing children who were shy in the trip over to Palmerston North come out of their shell.

"The van ride was what sold it to me . . . On the way back they're like best of mates."