When I was 10, I was scared of a lot of things. Deep water, heights, the dark. At home, I rarely went out of my comfort zone, I slept with the light on and never walked too close to the edge of a balcony or lookout. Then I went to Forest Edge Recreation Camp with my school, and for a whole week I was forced out of that comfort zone. I rafted in the Waroona Dam, flying-foxed across a giant valley and slept in dark dorms in the middle of the bush. That week taught me what I could be. I didn’t arrive home as the bravest 10-year-old in the world, but it showed me what I was capable of and how rewarding conquering my mind could be. But last week, camp operators faced financial losses and began laying off staff after camps were banned without warning by the McGowan Government in response to a number of COVID cases in students and teachers. I met Forest Edge Recreation Camp director Graeme Watson during the week, and something struck me as he talked about the disrupted plans of thousands of students and the devastation he faced as an operator. Besides the obvious loss of business and income, these decisions have a direct impact on children’s development. School camps teach independence, resilience and build confidence in youngsters in a way that a whiteboard, syllabus and a few books cannot. Yes, this pandemic has been hard for adults, businesses have been lost, lives too and peoples freedoms taken away — but this pales in comparison to the effect this pandemic is having on the young kids in our society. These children are missing out on fundamental and life-changing experiences which would help shape them into the adults of the future. I still have a folder of photos from my camp at Forest Edge — pictures taken on a disposable camera with friends who are still in my life to this day. That camp made me who I am, and I am better for it. When will we start to think of the children of today and the impact this pandemic and these decisions are having on them?