HUNDREDS of families camped overnight at a Karrinyup school as part of an initiative.
More than 250 fathers, solo mothers, a couple of grandparents and children slept under the stars at Newborough Primary School on November 16 for its inaugural Big School Camp Out.
There were no protests from students about the extra hours spent at school thanks to a variety of activities including a bucking bull, sumo suits, silent disco, barbecue dinner, a late night movie shown on a huge screen and cooked breakfast the next morning.
The event was organised by the school’s fathers’ group Newbros, which is part of the nationwide The Fathering Project that helps fathers and father figures become more active in their children’s lives and the school community.
Organiser Wade Freeman described Newbros as “a bunch of dads who want the absolute best for their kids”.
“We want our kids to run, play and have fun with their mates – just like we did when we were kids,” he said.
“And we want to be there with them, supporting them every step of the way.”
Mr Freeman said research showed when father figures played an active role in their child’s lives the children were happier and healthier.
“You only had to look around the oval on Saturday night to see that,” he said.
“And for us blokes, we’ve created some new connections.
“Individually and collectively we now have stronger ties to our school, our neighbourhood and our community.”
The group hosted a range of events during the year including daddy and daughter hairdressing workshops, a bush camp and weekly running and beer appreciation group Dads on the Run.
They will be hosting a sausage sizzle fundraiser and Christmas craft activities at Bunnings Balcatta on December 5 from 6pm to 8pm.