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Choosing A Camp

A critical factor in the success of your camp is the site. You need to select it with care and ensure it matches your needs and can deliver the outcomes you want. The questions below will help you make the appropriate choice.


In addition to using these questions, the Australian Camps Association offers two services that can be of immense help to you. First, there is afree booking servicethat can help you locate a camp that meets your needs, for your particular date and within your locality and price range.


A second service is that ofaccreditation. Accredited camps will have answered many of these questions as part of the accreditation process.
A key resource at the planning stage is the camp operator – they’ll be happy to discuss your group’s requirements and how the camp may be best utilised. Plan to meet the manager well ahead of your camp so adequate arrangements can be made. A visit to the site well before the camp and preferably before making a final booking will ensure things go smoothly.


Do we know:
• how many people the camp can accommodate?
• how many people are likely to attend?
• if the site has a minimum number or minimum fee for booking?
• if we need to share with another group?
• if the site will meet our special needs?
• if the site has many cabins or one large lodge, perhaps under one roof?
• how many people will share a room?
• what bedding is provided (e.g. doonas, blankets, pillows)?
• what bedding we’ll need to bring (e.g. sheets, pillow cases, pillows, sleeping bag)?
• what type of heating/cooling is available and in which buildings?
• what facilities help accessibility (e.g. single beds, plenty of floor space)?
• if the buildings and surrounds are suitable for people with disabilities?


Do we know:
• how many toilet and shower areas there are?
• if there are any en suite facilities?
• if the toilets and shower areas are adjacent to the accommodation or in separate buildings?
• if the toilets and showers meet our special needs (e.g. wheelchair accessible)?
• if there are clothes washing or drying facilities?


Do we know:
• if we want catering provided or if we want to do our own?
• if skills or training are needed to do our own catering?
• if there will be morning and afternoon tea and supper?
• if there will there be a continuous drink supply?
• if the meal times suit our program or if they can be changed?
• if the storage and cooking facilities are available if we do our own catering (e.g. fridges or cool room)?
• if there is a BBQ area?
• if the campers are required to set tables, collect dishes, help with the washing up?
• if meals can be provided off-site, if required?


Do we know:
• if the campers have duties during the camp (e.g. cleaning, dishwashing, table setting and clearing)?
• if the responsibilities and duties of campers are provided in writing?
• what are the clean up procedures for the end of camp?


Do we know:
• what activities are available on-site?
• which activities our staff can conduct?
• what training we need to conduct activities?
• if the camp will brief our staff on the conduct of certain activities?
• if any activities require us to use camp staff?
• if there is an additional charge for camp staff?
• if camp staff are available for other assistance?
• what activity equipment is available for our use?
• if there is a handbook which describes this information?
• if the camp has information about nearby attractions and resources?
• if we need to train some staff before the camp?
• if the activities are outsourced by the camp?


Do we know:
• the total cost per person?
• if there are any concessions (e.g. 1 in 10 free for schools)?
• what additional charges (if any) apply?
• how much the deposit is and by when it must be paid?
• when we need to make our final payment?
• if we pay a bond?
• the timing of payments, confirmations or cancellation, and deposit payments?
• under what circumstances we get our deposit refunded?
• if the conditions of hire are provided in writing?


Do we know:
• the travel time to the camp by coach?
• if the camp can organise transport?
• if we need a coach while we’re at the camp?
• if there is a local coach company for local use?
• precise directions to find the camp?


Do we know:
• if the manager resides on-site?
• the telephone number for booking?
• our special dietary needs and when we must tell the manager?
• our special program needs and when we must tell the manager?


Do we know:
• if there is a public telephone available for emergency use?
• if the emergency numbers are displayed next to the telephone?
• that emergency procedures are displayed at the camp?
• if there are any fire or water restrictions?
• the telephone number of the camp for camper use?
• if the camp has public liability insurance?


• do we know if the camp is accredited?
If the answer to this is ‘yes’, an independent check will have been carried out at the camp. You should discuss accreditation with the camp operator. The requirements that must be met to attain accreditation are available from the Australian Camps Association