CAMPS BACK AND WE’RE HEADING OUTSIDE…

EXCITING NEWS – from June 1st regional travel and campgrounds are re-opening and I’m happy to announce that so are the Catch-All Camps.

The first camp will be the weekend of 13-14th June operating from Port Macquarie/Taree and then 27-28th June operating from Coffs Harbour.

In light of the “new normal” we have made changes to ensure that we are working responsibly to keep campers and camp leaders safe. As per government medical announcements “children are highly unlikely to be affected by COVID-19” and have returned to school with little or no social distancing. On camp social distancing between camp leaders, as much as is safely possible, will be maintained and with other community members we may come in contact with. We will limit visiting high traffic general public areas. We will continue to ensure extremely high levels of hygiene are undertaken by campers and camp leaders. Any camper (or camp leader) booked on for a camp that has flu-like symptoms must be kept at home.  (For further information regarding the COVID-19 protocols we will be adhering to visit this document released by the Outdoor Council of Australia)

As another precautionary step we have decided at this stage to keep the camps for local children only on the Mid North Coast.

To ensure that we still service our campers from the Newcastle/Hunter/Sydney area we will be operating a camp out of Newcastle in August. We will post more information as we work through logistics and local procedures. It will be an exciting new area to explore! And an opportunity to offer a local camp to children in the metropolitan areas.

We can’t wait to get back outdoors and on camp with all our camp friends. An email has also be sent out to all our camp families with camp dates. Regulars are already booking on so please call or email to book your child in for the camps they would like to attend.

Find upcoming dates here.

Tamara

 

Happy Mothers Day

Hi Campers and Families,

Wishing you all a Happy Mothers Day!

I’ve put together a few tips and tricks that I have been using to keep life on track.tammy in hoodie

The past month has been hard in so many ways, although there have been positives as well. It’s been great seeing more people outside exercising, taking time to engage in outdoor recreation.

Time outside in the beautiful sunshine is a great way for children and families to get the blood flowing, activate the senses and create an atmosphere for laughing and play. If your struggling for ideas, ask your children to share camp games with you. Red light Green light, Bullrush and Poison Letter are a few simple games that kids love and can be played in the backyard or the hallway if necessary.

Maintaining bedtime routines has also been important especially now that the school term has started. I know my children think they are still on holidays. As you may already know children need at least 9-11hrs sleep to maintain healthy development. No one is at their best when tired and lacking sleep. If you are struggling to get your child’s bedtime back on track focus on the wake-up time instead. Getting them up and out of bed earlier will ensure they are tired by the evening.

Behaviours are presented in a wide range and I’m sure that you have all seen a few over the past month. My suggestions and what I keep reminding myself is that most behaviours are to fulfill a need, focus on the need first and then have a discussion about the behaviour. Sometimes your child may only need a cuddle. Conflict between siblings may be a result of competing for attention. As a parent or carer distributing attention between all the people that require it without becoming completely drained yourself is a challenging undertaking. My suggestion would be to regularly ‘check in’ with your children preempting conflict and praise any positive behaviours.

Home Schooling is new to lots of us, especially if you are working from home. Be proud and encourage. Everyone learns at different stages and ages, forget about “keeping up with the Jones kids”. Whatever your child achieves is enough.

The last and final thing to remember during this time is your own self-care. Make or find time to sit out in the sun with a warm drink and a book, go out for an early walk before the house wakes up and give hugs, to family members only of course.

Stay safe, I’m hoping to have the camps back up and running by end of May/June. We will see what next weeks announcements bring.

If you would like to get your children back on camp ASAP send us an email or message so we can pencil them in.

Enjoy your day, to all the Mothers out there!

Talk soon

Tamara

 

 

Easter Inside???? We have a video for you!

Happy Easter everyone, no Easter egg hunts from us this year but a video full of memories from us to you.

These school holidays are usually one of our busiest  times of the year and it was shaping up that way only a few short weeks ago with all our camps booked out with waiting lists.

How quick life can change in the modern world, sometimes it feels like there is nothing you can do to be prepared for what may come next. On reflection I have come to value how our camp programs have prepared our campers for these times. The camps target much more than peer socialisation, they build resilience, resilience to changing environments. Independence, independence to achieve daily tasks with minimal assistance. Self confidence, to believe in oneself and have the courage to move forward and try new things and self-esteem, valuing, appreciating and respecting who we are and how we contribute to our community.

These attributes are the building blocks for successful socialisation and over the past two years we have seen many of our campers develop and build these character building traits in abundance.

Yes, we must all be cautious at present and be conscious of our actions and when this threat has passed let’s hope that as a global community we have built resilience to our rapidly changing worlds. The one thing I can promise is that when we can safely leave our houses again and visit our beautiful outdoor world without restrictions, we will be inviting all our campers to come join us.

Happy Easter Campers and Families, and support networks we miss you!

Please enjoy and share the attached video with the people you care about.

Tamara

 

COVID-19 Update – we can’t go outside and socialise but it won’t be forever!

Hi campers, families and supporters

I hope you are well and keeping safe during this uncertain time. We must all remember that this time will pass and we will all get back to “normal”.

What does a business do that promotes socialising as a core part of its program when the Prime Minister is out there telling and then enforcing us to stop socialising!

As far as we can ascertain our service has not be closed by the current restrictions in relation to COVID-19. After consultation with NSW Health representatives the areas of concern are with the social distancing. It’s the time traveling on our bus and the shared sleeping quarters that the risk would be increased. With this in mind we have decided to err on the side of caution and postpone the upcoming April Catch-All Camps and School Holiday Tour Camp in an effort to be socially and professional responsible.

What I want to ensure is that Aussie Kids Adventure Camps does not spread COVID-19 or put any campers, staff, family members of campers or other community members at risk of the contagion!

I know for a lot of families that the Catch-All Camp is more than socialising, that it provides respite for parents and siblings, that the children are building self-confidence and resilience as well as learning key socialising skills. It is outdoor physical activity, getting into the natural environment and where the kids have made friends. It’s getting the kids off their devices and they are doing it with a smile. We will get back to this point some time soon in the future.

In regards to the next few months we intend on keeping you updated and once it is safe to operate the camps again we will be ‘ready to go’. We will ensure that all children wanting to come on camp can get a place on camp as soon as possible.

We understand that sometimes being restricted to the home environment can be especially hard for children with special needs and so we are offering a one on one service with children on our pre-camp program. We have been approached by a few families and providers for this program so if you are interested please let us know and we can provide more information.

Here are some photos to share with the kids to remind them of the amazing time we have had and will have again in the future on camp. Take care and remember to enjoy the day and don’t stress too much about home schooling, the most important thing is that you are all safe, healthy and together.

Tamara

 

 

Camp Protocols COVID-19

Hi all weekend campers and families,

In an effort to alleviate any concerns and cut through the sensationalised media, rumors and opinionated announcements (one of our children came home from school yesterday announcing that the coronavirus was in the grass and a child in Sydney was suspended for rolling in the grass at school).

There are currently no alerts from the Australian and NSW governments that would impact the camps at this stage. Recommendations from NSW Health encourages people to:

  • stay home and not attend if you are feeling unwell
  • stay home and not attend if you have travelled overseas in the past 14 days
  • practice good personal hygiene including:
    • cleaning your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub
    • covering your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or a flexed elbow.

ABC Mid North Coast stated yesterday that:

“At this stage, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the Mid North Coast Local Health District, which spans from Woolgoolga to Port Macquarie.”

As an organisation we have:

  • ensured our emergency management plans are up to date
  • briefed staff on how to practice good hygiene and making it easy for staff and attendees to practice good hygiene
  • have adequate hand washing facilities available

We have also completed the NDIS recommended online training module for infection prevention and control for COVID-19 from the Australian Government Department of Health.

During the camps we have very limited time in contact with the general public, we will be prompting and supporting children to practice good hygiene and hand washing practices within perspective of the current situation.

If anyone has any other concerns please feel free to contact me directly. We are all looking forward to getting out on camp and increasing our holistic health.

Tamara

illustration-washing-hands

A social playground!

“The desire for children to socialise, interact and feel like they are accepted and fit in with their peers is so strong. It is heartbreaking to watch them fail or too anxious to try. Providing children with the opportunity and support to learn and practice skills and strategies to socialise positively with peers and the community is a underlining theme of the ‘Catch-All’ Camp”

Happy New Year and welcome to what is warming up to be an amazing 2020. Wow what a fun school holiday camps program we started the year with.

The three day ‘Catch-All’ School Holiday Camp with campers coming from all directions to attend.

A three day Summer Sanctuary School Holiday Camp with lots of our regular school holiday campers attending plus some new faces.

AND THEN; The Tour Camp to Tasmania. Unbelievable sights, experiences and adventures.

All campers returned with new friendships and memories to last a lifetime. Well Done!

During the school holiday program thirty nine campers participated in a range of outdoor activities with their peers including; surfing, kayaking, hiking, rafting, horse riding, snorkeling, body surfing, swimming, team games, board and card games, creative art/craft, sand art, sandboarding, Bruny Island boat cruise, a 1000 stair hike through the amazing Freycinet National Park, cave tour and a swim in water warmed from deep within the earth.

The personal achievements that these campers made were amazing. The resilience built from climbing a mountain and reaching it’s peak when you didn’t believe that you could do it. Experiencing what the other side of not quitting feels like. The self esteem gained for these children and the look of success on their faces is why I love leading camp.

Of course there were challenges on all camps, some of the children learnt the value of patience, tolerance and understanding, some of them experienced the difference between including and excluding peers. All campers socialise and interact with their peers differently, some with positive outcomes some with negative. What’s important is that they started to understand and gain empathy around the effects of their actions.

Yes, at times this was tough for some children, socialising when you are a child is a learning process and if we don’t guide them and expose them to these experiences how can they ever learn.

Congratulations to our ‘Catch-All’ campers who attended their first school holiday camp. You are all so brave; being with other children for an extended period of time, being physically tired and away from the comforts of home, carers and digital screens takes courage. They all tried something new, laughed, played creatively and learnt new things about themselves and socialising whilst engaging in the program and activities. A great foundation to build off this year.

We have highlighted areas to focus on for 2020, building on the successes achieved so far. Providing children with the opportunity and support to learn and practice skills and strategies to socialise positively with peers and the community is a underlining theme of the ‘Catch-All’ Camp. Increasing independence, resilience, endurance, self esteem, self confidence and the adventurous activities, exploration, memories, laughs, friendships, respite and overall improvement to wellbeing are all a bonus of the camp programs.

We have exciting itineraries planned for 2020 and some new camp locations to explore. Look out for updates!

The Aussie Kids Adventure Camps team can’t wait to see our campers again, catch up, get outside and have some fun.

Tamara

Upcoming Camps:

PMQ  1-2 Feb

Great Lakes 8-9 Feb

Coffs Harbour  15-16 Feb

Book Now: 0422 089 635 or aussiekidsadventurecamps@gmail.com

Christmas Party Camp A Hit

The Port Macquarie December Catch-All Camp enjoyed the first of the Christmas party camps last weekend. The campers enjoyed kayaking and horse riding as well as all the camp games and a special Christmas dinner. We had three new campers join the ranks of campers and they fitted straight in to the camp celebration. All the children took home amazingly creative Christmas craft decorations for their families Christmas trees and the Christmas costumes were great, thanks parents for assisting with that.

Congratulations Port campers it’s been a fantastic year full of fun, laughter and adventurous outdoor activities, thanks for all the wonderful memories and friendships.

Another milestone celebration was also enjoyed over the weekend with our second camper reaching and exceeding 10 camps. Congratulations from all the team!

It’s is a great privilege to be able to think back to campers 1st camp and reflect on how far they have come. Due to the overwhelming requests from campers begging to know when they will reach 10 camps and receive their awesome shirt we will be sending through your child’s tally over the coming weeks.

We are gearing up and super excited  for this weekend’s Great Lakes Christmas Party Camp which is sold out and the 21st-22nd Coffs Camp has only one spot remaining.

NB: January Holiday Camp update– Only a few remaining places available on our Extended ‘Schools Out’ Catch-All Camp and a handful on the Summer Sanctuary Camp. Check out the website home page for further info or email me directly aussiekidsadventurecamps@gmail.com
or call 0422 089 635

Tamara

Camp News – 10th Camp Achievement T-shirt Revealed

It was great to be out with all our Coffs Harbour campers again over the weekend. We missed the two campers who unfortunately couldn’t get through from Armidale due to the fires, see you at the December camp guys and stay safe.

We had a nice mix of new and regular campers filling the bus Saturday morning and it didn’t take long for the singing, laughing and conversations to start. After a short bus ride we arrived at Never Never Ck Promise Land, a camp favourite location. After a short walk to explore everyone agreed the conditions were perfect for floating down stream on the air mattresses. If you haven’t visited this area it is spectacular, the kids had a blast.

The afternoon was packed full of team games and challenges back at the campgrounds, including an exhilarating game of Fox & Hound. We also marked a special occasion, a regular camper with a great sense of humour surpassed his 10th Camp. This particular camper always contributes well and makes new friends on every camp and was very proud to receive his 10th Camp Achievement T-shirt and proudly wore it on Sunday. On behalf of the Aussie Kids Adventure Camps team “Well done and thanks for everything you bring to the camps”.

On the next Port Macquarie camp we have another camper also receiving her 10th camp shirt, look out for the pictures in the coming weeks.

It’s great to see our regular campers achieving on camp, building month after month on the experiences they are having, forming and maintaining friendships and getting outdoors and having a good laugh.

It’s a combination of the effort our celebrated camper and his family has put in and the trust that we have built that allows us to continue to invite him on our extended Tour Camps. We are so excited to have him and his sense of humour joining us again on the January Totally Tasmania Tour Camp.

Keep on being  brave and adventurous campers. There is only one spot left on both the December Port Macquarie Camp 7-8th and Great Lakes 14-15th and a few on the Coffs Harbour 21-22nd camps.

Email me know if you want those spots.

Tamara & the Team

aussiekidsadventurecamps@gmail.com

0422 089 635

Aussie Kids Adventure Camp Bush fires Update.

 

Hi All,

Well it’s been an emotional roller coaster ride for us at the Aussie Kids Adventure Camp headquarters over the past 7days. We were lucky to escape the fire storm while trying to rescue belongings in vain from Ian’s property in the Hastings valley. Unfortunately his dwelling and infrastructure was all lost in the fire. After witnessing the destruction possible by a fire storm we decided to urge on the side of caution and evacuate our residence in town last Tuesday. It has been an interesting time of reflection deciding what to take and what to leave behind (the camp equipment was the first things packed, after the kids and animals of course). Thankfully no more has been lost and the yard looks much better without all the dried leaves we have now cleaned up.

On the camp front a few of our camp locations and providers have also been affected, with power outages and fires to their boundaries. We have been busily re-shuffling camps that have been postponed from last weekend and this one coming and thank the families who have happily supported those changes. We expect everything to be on track by next week and are all excited to be back on Camp the 23rd and 24th of November in Coffs Harbour.

If you haven’t yet secured a spot on our December End of Year Christmas Celebration Camps  we have a few spots remaining. We have some great activities and adventures planned to cap off the year. See dates below. 

To all those who have been adversely affected by the bushfires are hearts go out to you, it is important that we are not afraid of our forest and bush lands and make the time to connect and understand how better to manage them. To rebuild we must go outside, work together as a community and create a lasting connection with the natural environment that is so essential for our existence.

We can’t wait to be on camp again, supporting brave kids in the safe place that camp provides, sharing adventures and creating new memories with all the wonderful children that are achieving amazing outcomes from our camps programs.

December Camp Dates:

Port Macquarie – 7-8th

Great Lakes – 14-15th

Coffs Harbour – 21-22nd

Kind Regards

The Aussie Kids Adventure Camps Team

Gum tree regenerating

Proof is in the pudding… ok the research.

This year has been a big year for Aussie Kids Adventure Camps & yes I know it’s only March.
We have started our weekend ‘Catch-All’ Camps and we are operating out of three locations. This has a huge positive impact for a lot of families. I’ve also recently embarked on a research Masters degree and my thesis question is “What is the holistic effect on children’s academic outcomes and personal well-being from participation in an outdoor education program.”
This is a passion of mine! Children need to be outside – I just know it. And so now I get to prove it.
All of my beautiful friends and supports have been sending me readings and research that they have been coming across and I just had to share some.

The findings from the EACH Wild Report (http://www.each.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/EACH_WildReport-4-June-2018.pdf) states that

literature attests to the success of wilderness therapy. There is overwhelming evidence in regards to the value of wilderness programs and their transformative effect.

Transformative – I love it. We see this all the time on camp; children arrive anxious and refusing to try new activities, by the time they leave they have tried things beyond their expectations, made new friends, found new confidence, greater self esteem, more independence and the list goes on.

In January we took 52 campers away and all of them said they wanted to come again. I’m looking forward to this weekend camp to explore and share the great outdoors and the learning, mindfulness and endless possibilities it can provide.

Enjoy your week 😊🌳