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Kids Outdoors 2030- Conference Wrap Up

DPKidsOutdoors2030We had a great conference last weekend on the Gold Coast in Queensland. The program content was first class. The general feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive.

There were many highlights, Dr Judith Locke (The Challenge of Building Resilience) gave a very insightful and entertaining overview of issues around overparenting and the problems this creates. She also gave some great advice about dealing with anxious parents.

Rachael Sharman also delivered a keynote (How to Grow a Successful Human) that was insightful and informative in relation to developing our young people better. We will share some of the research she talked about in the coming weeks.

There was also a very interesting and useful session on branding and media and sessions on various research projects.

It would have been great to have more of our members in attendance to take advantage of the knowledge shared by speakers and also the opportunities to catch up with other camp and outdoor program operators and to find out what they are doing.

We will send out a survey in the coming weeks to try to find out what we can do in the future to attract more members but in the meantime we would welcome your feedback about what we need to do to get you to the next conference.


Kids Outdoors 2030
Hosts: Australian Camps Association, QORF, NaturePlay QLD

Event partners: PFD Food Services and MAP Italian Coffee
Conference satchels: made by ACA Commercial linen Preferred Supplier, WH Amad
Sponsors listed below:
I can’t give you any review into the NaturePlay QLD day pre-conference on the Friday, as I didn’t attend it, as I had very enjoyable pre-conference camps bus tour. We had 13 of us on this tour, with five Australian States represented on board the bus of whom all had different camps they represented. Most had never been on a specific camps tour before.

In all, a great mix of people and not a single quiet moment was to be on the bus. Get 13 like-minded people in a confined tin can like this and the sharing of ideas and swapping of knowledge was brilliant. We had a few good laughs too. In the coming weeks I’ll go into more detail about the individual camps. I will go as far to say that the camps chosen for the tour where all very different in size and offering; QCCC Tamborine, PCYC Bornhoffen and CYC Burleigh. A big thank you to all these camps. They shared everything with the group and were happy to answer all and any questions asked of them.

I was really blown away by the quality of the speakers at the weekends conference. With a program so full, it was absolutely impossible to get around to everything. Some smart camps operators brought several staff so that they could spread themselves around and then collectively share the findings. I can not recall going to an Industry Event that was so relevant to us all. People spoke with real passion and concern of what we may be facing in the future. The focus of the conference was of course was “our future”.

We are all in the camps sector together and should be concerned for the health and future of it. It is no good sitting on the fence and hoping that others are going to fix potential problem for us. In fact, in the ‘The Skills Alliance Great Debate” key industry spokes-people discussed, who are our future staff? A real eye opener. I personally took away so much from this discussion. So many of the keynote speakers and presenters really focused on our children and the desperate need to get them outside and inspiring them through natural play. We need to take action now as we all have the responsibility to keep our Government focused and aware of the health benefits that camps bring to us all. As our current Industry Leaders start to stare towards potential retirement from the sector, who is going to stand up? ​


MurrayStewartKidsOutdoors2030Dear all,

What an inspiring and poignant couple of days at the Kids Outdoors 2030 conference. People, we have some serious work to do!!!!!! The breadth of speakers and real world examples they provided gave everyone in the audience some immediate actions to make a difference to kids’ experiences over the next 15 years. This was very different to the usual event with experts from outside the camps and outdoor recreation sector identifying how important is what we do. Dr Judith Locke encouraged us to stay true to our beliefs and not be swayed by over-parenting. Norm Hunter continued his unpacking of multiple intelligences to show the benefits to getting kids outdoors and Dr Rachael Sharman showed us the benefits of letting kids fail. I could carry on for hours but will wrap it up by saying if you were not there then you missed a life/business-changing event.

While there are hundreds of thank yous in relation to the event I do want to just highlight a couple of people who went above and beyond. Bec Fox, from Exceeding Expectations, delivered a diverse and inspirational program; Mark Squires, from QORF, managed all the registration and operational aspects of the conference which worked seamlessly; all the QORF, Nature Play and ACA staff and volunteers thanks for your help; and the Queensland Recreation Centre team thank you for ensuring everything ran smoothly.

For those of you who attended, the conference videos and presentations will be available soon. For those that did not attend you will be able to purchase copies of the presentations shortly. Keep an eye on the QORF website for details.