The bonds of buddies beyond camp
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Celebrating ability

The bonds of buddies beyond camp

Camp Sababa and Flying Fox are two initiatives which facilitate camps and social opportunities for those with disabilities, allowing for some very special friendships to blossom.

Steve Gluckman (left) with pal, Mikey Sarif.
Steve Gluckman (left) with pal, Mikey Sarif.

Steve Gluckman first met Mikey Sarif when he volunteered at Camp Sababa in Sydney. From there, the two have become good mates.

Steve:

I FIRST met Mikey at Camp Sababa in 2010. It was his first camp, and he was only 15 years old. Mikey was a confident kid and was on a mission to meet and make friends with as many people as he could.

Back then, one of my roles at Camp Sababa was to dress up in the wackiest outfits I could find, and help generate a fun and playful energy during the camp. This would always start with a clown-like welcoming committee – and when Mikey got out of the car to arrive at camp, his parents in tow carrying his bags, he ran towards me, stood by my side and began greeting other campers and volunteers.

He wasn’t here to observe, he was here to help lead and create a fun atmosphere too. And that’s defined Mikey and my relationship ever since.

Mikey Sarif (right) hard at work in the Friendship Bakery kitchen. Photo: Ingrid Shakenovsky

Mikey is really witty, and will often greet new people with a joke. Beyond his jokes and outgoing nature, Mikey is a really sensitive guy, and he has an incredible ability to connect with people.

Mikey and I have become great friends, and have appeared on stage fundraising for Camp Sababa, MC-ing end of camp functions, and more recently appearing together in the Choice Foundation’s interview series on social media.

Mikey’s jokes don’t ever get old, and he always seems to make me laugh with new ones he’s learnt.

I hope that more people get to hear him too, and realise like I did, what an awesome guy Mikey really is.

How do make someone else feel valued?How can you make a big difference in someone else's life today? Its so simple…..

פורסם על ידי ‏‎Steve Gluckman‎‏ ב- יום רביעי, 18 בספטמבר 2019

Mikey:

I MET Steve at Camp Sababa in 2009 or 2010. I can’t remember. I thought he was nice. He’s cool, and he understands me. I said, “What is your name?”, and we chatted from there. I thought he was really funny and he understood about disabilities and how nice it is to work with us.

We speak about life and how everything is going when we see each other at Camp Sababa or sometimes, we go out for dinner. I love food.

Best buddies … Mikey Sarif and Steve Gluckman.

Many people think people with disabilities don’t understand a lot of things about the general world, but we actually do.

When I say to people, “Hey, what is going on?”, and they say “Nothing”, I find that really upsetting because they think I can’t understand.

Steve is good and he does understand some things that I talk about, and whenever I want to ask him something he tries to answer me. Whenever I ask him how everything is going with the family, he tells me. He is so easygoing.

TWO years ago, Nixy Antmann attended a Flying Fox camp in Melbourne, where she met her buddy, Rebecca Adler. They immediately hit it off.

Nixy:

I’VE been on four Flying Fox camps. I was the first ever person to be Bec’s camper, but she was my fifth buddy. I love Bec because she surprises me all the time. She loves to go out for dinner and getting dessert afterwards as well. She also doesn’t mind going anywhere in Melbourne to find awesome food.

Nixy Antmann (left) with friend, Rebecca Adler.

We’ve done some cooking together too. Over at my house we made delicious mac and cheese and the fudgiest brownies you ever did see. Even though it wasn’t as much fun, we did all the cleaning up as well.

Since our first camp we have gone on Flying Fox Shortz weekends together, in Shoreham and Boneo. It has been really enjoyable having a good friend of mine come on these weekends with me. It has given me an opportunity to explore other parts of Victoria, make new friends and do fun activities together.

One time we did Yoga in Merricks. That’s when we found out that I had a lot better balance than Bec. Bec’s done a lot of travelling and has been to all three places I’ve been to. I was able to give ideas to Bec about where she should go in those countries, which she really liked. It’s fun sharing stories from our trips.

I also like to meet Bec using public transport now, although she always tries to offer me a lift. I look forward to seeing Bec more and more.

Rebecca Adler (left) and Nixy Antmann.

Rebecca:

I MET Nixy on my first Flying Fox camp in January 2017. Having been on a couple of camps before me, Nixy was a pro, knew the ins and outs of camp life, which camp food she liked and was there to make sure I participated in every activity, no matter how terrified I was (very big waterslide). Nixy has an incredible way of working numbers and an even better memory for birthdays. Soon I realised that not only did she remember my birthday but also my parents’ birthdays and had worked out how many days I had been alive! That’s when I knew not only had I just made an awesome friend, but my new friend was also going to try and teach me some impressive mathematical skills. I can’t say I’ve improved much, but I still get as excited as ever to see Nixy work out any maths problems.

Being of similar age, post-camp we began to do what every early 20s girl does when she catches up with friends, that is, go out for meals in trendy places. We like to explore Melbourne and Nixy always has a plan for which restaurant we will go to and even more important, where dessert will be afterwards. I often end up with order envy, as Nixy usually manages to order the best and coolest thing on the menu. Just last week she ordered a wonut (waffle x donut) from a café in Richmond.

It’s three years since Nixy and I met, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us. So many adventures to go on!

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