New to camping? Need help getting started?
By Don MacDowall
Going away in groups provides great opportunities for fun, for learning and for just taking a break.
We've got plenty of resources to help you
Whether you're planning a
• Getaway weekend with a group of families
• Painting weekend for budding artists
• Relaxing weekend for your social club
• Recreation program for older adults
• Pack holiday for Cub Scouts
the benefits (PDF 650KB) of getting outdoors and trying new activities are enormous for all of us. A new environment, remote from the usual routine can be truly refreshing whatever your aim. You can relax and stare at the horizon, try canoeing or bushwalking, take a ride on a flying fox or just be with friends and family.
You can choose the sort of facilities to suit your needs venues where you do your own catering through to more elaborate facilities that offer catering, program advice and equipment and even program staff.
Family groups will find it an inexpensive holiday with comfortable accommodation in delightful settings. Clubs and special interest groups have a chance to focus on their own specialty from art to zoology, from abseiling to Zen studies.
What can we do there?
• You can just laze in the sun or visit nearby attractions
• You can use the skills in your group and arrange your own program and activities
• You can, if you have the necessary skills, hire activity equipment from the venue
• You can utilise the staff from the venue (usually for a fee) to run key parts of the program for you.
More on planning a camp program
More on safety
What you can expect to find?
• Sleeping accommodation is typically four to eight or more to a room in lodges or cabins, usually bring your own sleeping bag or sheets and towels
• Indoor recreation spaces may be carpeted and heated or more basic with simple and hardwearing surfaces suitable for vigorous use
• You may be adjacent to bush, beaches, lakes or national parks and they can be used in your programs and activities; or skilled staff at the venue may be able to lead activities
• Accessible facilities are often available for people with wheelchairs, walking frames and prams
• A dining room will normally be adjacent to the kitchen and may also provide additional recreation space or be the only recreation room
• Fully catered venues can provide all meals and snacks to suit the needs of your group. Self catered venues provide facilities for the group to prepare and serve their own meals
• Most venues have a minimum number for their hire or can offer accommodation in two separate buildings for two different groups
• Toilet and shower facilities may vary from en suite facilities to separate amenities blocks for females and males
• Managers can help you to design a program that makes best use of the venue and its surroundings
• Some groups have special needs - catering, access, etc. Check with venue manager about how your needs can be met.
More on venues
More on catering
Discover Camp is a project of the Australian Camps Association, with support from Sport and Recreation Victoria, to build community awareness of camp opportunities and to provide assistance in planning a camp program.