Police officers play with children on inflatable slides, while others marvel at old fashioned police cars and run around with coloured snow cones in their hands.
Meanwhile, some children and their carers are seeing Ballarat from above in small aeroplanes, riding in motorbike sidecars or enjoying the thrill of a ride in a police car with lights and sirens.
The feeling of pure joy and fun is infectious, caught through the smiles on the faces of 60 buzzing children.
Welcome day two of the Cops N Kids camp at the Ballarat Airport held last Saturday, one of the highlights of the four day camp for five to eight-year-olds who are diagnosed with cancer and their siblings.
Sometimes a hospital regime can take them away from the everyday life of being a kid.Sarah Legg, Challenge
The wombat from the Ballarat Wildlife Park is on site, so is face painting, crafts and an artists who draws portraits of the eager children.
It is clear the day of fun means a lot to the children, many who have never been away from home before, but also to the volunteers who are just as excited to have fun and give them this opportunity to escape the challenges of their everyday lives.
The Cops N Kids camp has been running for more than two decades in Ballarat, originally established by members of the Ballarat Police who wanted to provide an entertaining and invigorating experience for children with cancer.
Co-founder of Cops N Kids John Moloney continues to organise two camps a year for children supported by not-for-profit organisation Challenge, 24 years after the dream began.
Talking to John at the Ballarat Airport on Saturday, he looks exhausted, but so genuinely elated to be surrounded by 60 children with smiles on their faces.
"Here we are 24 years later and we still continue to achieve the same results," he says.
"When we started this in late 1995 at no stage did we anticipate what it would be today.
"I would never have dreamed it would be the greatest thrill you could have in your life. Some of the people have been doing this for 24 years and are as keen now as they were then."
The 60 children on the four-day Ballarat camp are supported by 35 Challenge volunteers who undergo training to become carers for the children while they are away from their families and home.
"Sometimes a hospital regime can take them away from the everyday life of being a kid, so a camp like this gets them to hang out with other kids who are going through the same thing and experience new things they would not have done before," Challenge Camp Co-ordinator Sarah Legg says while watching youngsters run past.
"The children love the activities. Going in helicopters and planes are not things they would do in their everyday lives so they are experiences and memories they will cherish forever.
"For the parents, when we take their kids away for the weekend they get a chance to catch up and spend some time without the kids and that is really beneficial to them as well."
Two young girls with painted faces jump up and down with excitement while they wait to board a small aeroplane at the Ballarat Aero Club.
They get a tour of the city from above with one of the 20 pilots who have volunteered their time for the day - including some who flew from Barwon Heads to participate.
Watch a video of Ballarat from above below.
Ballarat Aero Club President Eddie Kuyper says it is one of the only times in the year the club takes members of the public on private flights.
"It is a big thing. We have been doing it for a long time - I would think around 20 years," he says while watching one of the planes take off.
We watch another couple of children talk about their plane ride with wide eyes as they get off.
I can understand their excitement. I was generously taken up in the air by the Ballarat Aero Club's flying school grade two instructor Rory O'Hehir for a trial instructional flight.
Apart from the smiles, what else stands out on the day is the generosity of community - from the pilots who volunteered their aircrafts, the police officers, volunteers taking children on trucks and motorbike rides, the face painter, the artists and the businesses who donated their time and produce to feed and entertain the children.
"It is fantastic the Aero Club members can volunteer their time," Ballarat Aero Club Vice President Sean Duffy says.
"We get as much out of it as they do... This is a great way to give back to community and a great way for people to volunteer their time. We have been doing it for years and will continue to do it."
Watch a video of Ballarat from above below.
I speak with Challenge volunteer Cindy McIntosh as she gets off the plane with one of the children.
It is Cindy's third time volunteering on a Cops N Kids camp, something she describes as 'the most amazing experience'.
"It is great to see the smiles on all the children's faces when they are trying something new," she says.
"We are getting to see and do so many different things. I think everyone loves being involved and being able to be a part of it because it is such an amazing thing to do for families that need a little bit of extra help and being able to give the children a break from the norm."
John says the lovely thing about the camp this year is the support from the police officers.
"A lot have come on their day off to help and a few have travelled from Geelong," he says.
"The effort they put in to making the day special for the kids has been the highlight so far."
It is the first year volunteering with Cops N Kids for Ballarat Uniform Police Acting Sergeant Tracey Atkins.
"I am just loving it and loving seeing all the smiling faces," she says.
"Not many children would get an opportunity to be exposed to this sort of environment and I just love seeing all the happiness.
"The children tend not to talk about their illnesses or issues that are going on for them which is great. It is a good day for them to forget about all that and just have fun. We really just focus on them having fun and being exposed to different things."
It is young police members like Tracey and others volunteering at the camp John hopes will continue the legacy of Cops N Kids - John has now been retired from the police force for eight years.
"One police officer has his partner with him who now wants to become a volunteer and a police officer to be able to put the smiles on the faces of kids," he says.
"The benefits far outweigh the time and effort you put in. It would be fantastic to have someone to continue on the dream. That is the best part of having all these young police members here. They will be the ones to run it in 10 or 20 years."
Saturday afternoon the children go on to see a movie, play at Fun Bugs and experience Aura at Sovereign Hill. On Sunday they spend the morning at Sovereign Hill, see a magician and take a ride on the paddle steamer on Lake Wendouree. The camp finishes on Monday with ten pin bowling and a visit to the Ballarat Wildlife Park.
"It is a real community effort," John says.
"We work hard to bring it all together but it is so rewarding because you ring businesses about next year and they will say it is already in the calendar. Plus there are a whole heap of people who spend time throughout the year fundraising."
John is emotional reflecting on the significance and the impact of the camp and the major role it has played in his life throughout the past 24 years.
"To me the ultimate thing of life is sharing each others experiences so we can look after each other.
"I often think there aren't many things in this world you can control. This is one that we can and it is one of the greatest feelings you will ever have in your life.
"By the time Monday afternoon comes we have made the world better for 60 kids."
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