CanTeen runs programs varying from week-long or weekend camps to recreation day activities. The programs, regardless of the length are all about building peer support networks.
This happens through meeting others in similar situations whilst sharing experiences along the way. Activities on a camp range from recreational based activities such as abseiling, jewellery making, surfing lessons... to psychosocial based activities such as discussion (support) groups and reflection sessions.
There are a range of different programs on offer.
Division programs generally run for four or five days with the aim of getting together young people who are going through a similar experience to share their story and support each other. There is also a strong recreational based element, with lots of activities and encouragement to trying new things. Division Programs occur on a seasonal basis and can include hanging around on the beach in summer, or hitting the snow in winter, Members enjoy a fabulous week of socialising and creating lasting friendships with other young people living with cancer.
Recreation Days (or Rec Days as they are known) are all about fun! These days are held regularly in all of CanTeen's Divisions so there is usually one on just around the corner. At each Rec Day, Members typically try something new like sailing, deep sea fishing or ice skating. Meeting and sharing experiences build on support networks during the activity and well into the future.
Patient, Sibling, Offspring and Bereaved Programs
These specialised weekends away are held specifically to cater for the needs of Patient, Sibling and Offspring Members, as well as Bereaved Members. These programs are designed around the issues that are commonly faced by each group and allow Members to come together with other Members who are experiencing similar things, to discuss and ask questions, learn new coping strategies, build new friendships, join in heaps of activities and of course, have fun.
These camps allow young people to feel supported by others who have an understanding of some of the issues they are facing through first hand experience, to learn about what may be coming up on their cancer journey and to reflect on how far they have come. It is also an opportunity to voice concerns and issues they often feel uncomfortable raising in front of family members.
Many of our young people face significant issues around grief and loss as a result of their cancer experience. This may be due to issues such as bereavement, but also losses associated with a change of lifestyle.
This program is specifically designed to facilitate learning for young people about their experience and provide tools for coping.
Through a range of activities, experience and discussions, this program increases their knowledge and develops their awareness and understanding of the issues surrounding death, dying, grieving, and bereavement. It provides a safe and supported space where our Members can identify with peers and normalise their own feelings, thoughts and behaviours. This program assists Members in identifying the processes and different types of responses that maybe experienced by themselves and those around them in times of loss and stress. It teaches them a range of coping strategies and ways of adjusting to stress and change. Members identify practical support options and healthy patterns of behaviour.
This program is all about relaxation, rest and balance. Members have the opportunity to experience techniques and strategies for a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle. Healthy Living offers a variety of balancing techniques including meditation, nutrition and stress management strategies whilst also enjoying each others company and having a great time!
The Healthy Living program is designed to provide a break for Members from the stresses of a world often filled with hospital and treatment appointments.
The program teaches Members a range of techniques and strategies for obtaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle. There is a particular focus on emotional and physical well being, relaxation techniques, nutrition, exercise and coping strategies for stress. Members are able to participate in different sessions discussing these topics, as well as take some time to indulge in some complementary therapies. Members are given the knowledge, skills and information to allow them to cope with stressful situations. They are provided with the time to focus on themselves and their needs.
Gender Specific Programs
Programs like Girlz Aloud & Boyz2Men, focus on building the self esteem of young people so they feel more confident in their world. These programs provide a safe and supportive environment where Members can ask sensitive questions within a gender specific environment. For example, many of our Members with questions around fertility and sexuality (often resulting from cancer treatments) are too shy to ask them in a mixed environment. This program provides a safe forum to explore such issues. Other topics that may be covered in the program include eating disorders, bullying, self esteem, expectations and what does it mean to be a guy/gal in today's world?
CanTeen's more experienced Members may be interested to develop and build communication skills allowing them to feel a little more at ease meeting new Members. TeenLink is an educational program teaching communication skills, empowering young people to feel comfortable to visit in hospital or at a local cafe, newly diagnosed young patients and their siblings, as well as young people with a recently diagnosed parent.
The role of the TeenLinker is to welcome and support new CanTeen Members and provide that all important first link through a buddy system. This generally involves undertaking visits to hospitals and homes to meet new young people who are isolated by their cancer experience. TeenLinkers encourage new Members to come on programs, call new Members before or after programs to check in, and attend TeenLink meetings or teleconferences. TeenLink also allows Members to develop their leadership skills and confidence through running activities and sessions on camp
This program began as acknowledgement of some of the unique issues, such a work factors or fertility, facing older CanTeen Members in their cancer journey. A range of activities and program are now held across all Divisions to meet these needs. They range from information sessions and casual gatherings, to specific camps. A strong focus is on the Members driving their own programming and being involved at all levels of planning and delivery.
This program provides the opportunity for Members to develop knowledge about, and skills in, leadership. The program is educational in focus and has the concept of empowerment as a basis for all activities. It is delivered at both a national and local level, for the Member Advisory Council (MAC), the Division Committee Group, and to the broader Membership. This style of program gives young people the chance to learn and enhance practical skills for use within CanTeen and also for application in their own lives.
Contact Canteen to find out more about any of these programs.