Cowell's Canberra camp receives grant

COMMUNITY: Back, John Kirby (Franklin Harbour Button Club), Taye Chase, Rob McFarlane (Cowell RSL), front, Emily Walker, Ky Lewis, principal Julie-Anne Byrnes and deputy principal Colleen Peters.
COMMUNITY: Back, John Kirby (Franklin Harbour Button Club), Taye Chase, Rob McFarlane (Cowell RSL), front, Emily Walker, Ky Lewis, principal Julie-Anne Byrnes and deputy principal Colleen Peters.

Cowell Area School have received a grant of $11,000 to assist fundraising efforts for the middle school Canberra Camp.

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) donated the funds as part of the Tackling Tough Times Together grant program aimed at assisting volunteers in drought affected areas.

Every three years, all students from years seven to ten travel to Canberra to learn about Australian history, politics and art, with a stop at Perisher Valley to experience snow sports.

The tradition began in 2007 and is now a rite of passage for middle school students.

About 35 to 40 students will be making the trip in August this year, and fundraising has been a major priority.

Deputy principal Colleen Peters said student fundraising efforts over the past three years had raised about $15,000, with the school also able to contribute to the cost of the trip through the Country Assistance Program.

Funding the trip is always a community effort, with community groups and businesses assisting with school fundraisers or donating money of their own.

The Cowell RSL contributed $250 for this year's trip, and the Franklin Harbour Button Club has donated $1000.

Earlier in the year an ABBA tribute night raised $2700 for the trip.

Ms Peters thanked the groups for their support.

"We've got really good groups in the community that willingly give their time and finances for our kids' education," she said.

She also acknowledged the "in-kind" support of parents who have offered to come on the trip, the fundraising team and the local businesses that donated their products as part of school fundraisers.

The FRRR grant will now allow parents to contribute less than half the value of the trip for their child at a time where farmers and local businesses are feeling the pinch of dry times.

Ms Peters said it was a priority for the school to make sure the students would not miss out.

"Canberra Camp has become part of our school culture," she said.

"It was vital that we find a way for our kids to experience this."