Grey nomads having a ball on the volunteering trail

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Grey nomads at Wandoan Showgrounds
Enjoying a beautiful sunset while camping at the Wandoan Showgrounds

Many grey nomads choose to volunteer at community events as they travel and, more often than not, they find the experience to be an enormously rewarding one.

Certainly, Claire Slattery has nothing but wonderful memories of her time helping out at the Wandoan Camel Races a few weeks ago.

Answering a call for volunteers, she, her husband and her sister set up camp at the showgrounds in the small town in Queensland’s Western Downs region … and the rest is very happy history.

“We were welcomed with open arms,” said Claire. “After setting up, we wandered across to meet the organisers and were soon helping with setting up marquees, fencing, tables, chairs and anything else that needed doing.”

The following day, Claire was rostered to help out in the canteen serving food, and her Fitbit later informed her she had walked a whopping 12 kilometres in doing so. But, while getting a bit fitter was a welcome bonus, it was helping to make the community event such a success that was the real reward.

And there were other upsides.

“We met so many other grey nomads and travellers while camped there,” said Claire. “And everyone shared so many amazing stories.”

Besides camel races, the event incorporated piglet races, moo poo lotto, market stalls, food vans, and a whole range of family entertainment.

“What a hoot the camel races were,” said Claire. “After being led to the start line by experienced handlers, the reins are dropped and the camels decide which way they are going to run … one camel always had to do a 360-degree turn before racing, and they are so fast!”

The community certainly showed it knew how to have a good time and there was much eclectic fashion on display, as well as incredible support from local businesses.

Still, it was hard work and the volunteers worked up an appetite.

“When a wood-fired pizza vendor arrived at the campground one night they ended up selling 65 pizzas to the hungry and very cold campers!” said Claire.

So, does volunteering add to the Big Lap experience? It’s a no-hesitation ‘yes’ from Claire. “This was so much fun to be involved with,” she said.

  • What are your best memories from volunteering?
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2 Responses to Grey nomads having a ball on the volunteering trail

  1. BlazeAid is the most satisfying thing that we have done, helping people in real need just makes you feel good, hard work but so rewarding!

    • Also Care Outreach based at Coolum, Qld.

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