Monday morning at Camp, the sun is shining, everyone is busy sprucing up the camp for the next school group.
One of our team calls out “the bus is coming”! All the staff head to the car park to greet the school arriving at our camp for 3 days of fun and adventure. Located just 7kms from the local town of Alexandra and less than 2 hours’ drive from Melbourne CBD, our facilities are surrounded by scenic farmland and overlook our beautiful lake, which is the first thing the students see as the bus pulls into the car park.
Excited kids and teachers spill out of the bus. Calming everyone down enough to get their bags off the bus and listen to our welcome instructions is no easy task as the students can’t wait to get started to experience everything there is to offer at camp – and all are eager to start exploring! But always safety first – we get their bags into their rooms before everyone heads to our huge undercover BBQ area for more instructions from our Outdoor Education team on rules of the camp, including meeting the camp dogs and sometimes even the owners, Brooke, Chase and their 3 young children!
Since taking over the camp in camp and facilities so we can now accommodate over 200 people plus we have amazing new activities, huge new hall and undercover BBQ area, and upgraded swimming pool, tennis courts and grounds in general.
Once all the information is shared, the students enjoy their packed lunch and as soon as that is over, head off on an orientation tour of the camp, showing the still excited students all the activities they will experience during their stay! Then the fun begins and it’s all go, go, go from here! Everyone gets into their groups for activity time! The kids are all looking forward to their activities – some with a bit of trepidation, but all are eager to get started.
School groups come to camp to encourage their students to challenge themselves, develop new skills and interests, as well as to build new friendships! Part of the experience is enjoying lots of activities, of which we have over 16 onsite, and we program them for the school to make life easier for the teachers.
In each group, there will be students who love the challenge and will try anything, and others that are fearful and lack confidence. They get to step outside their comfort zone, try new things and if at first they don’t succeed, try again! All with the support of other students, the teacher’s and of course our experienced Outdoor Recreation team.
Today’s adventures include the high ropes course where students will push their limits and face their fears, the flying fox which glides over the lake and the giant swing which sees the students work as a team and encourage each other to take on the challenge. After several hours of activities, a tired but happy group of students head back to their rooms to get ready for dinner. Our Chef has been busy preparing delicious, nutritious food for the group as he knows only too well that they will all be ravenous after such a busy first day! Part of the camp experience is giving students responsibilities so before each meal, a team work together to get the dining area ready for everyone’s meal, as well as clean up afterward.
Once dinner is over, it’s time for some more fun before bed! Some evenings the students will enjoy a camp fire where they toast marshmallows, other nights might be a quiz night or disco. Whatever they do, they will all sleep well in their comfy bunk beds and get ready for all the new adventures that the next day will bring. And the teacher’s have the opportunity to put their feet up and have a bit of quiet time if they are lucky, in the beautiful teacher’s unit! With coffee machine, luxury king single beds, kitchen, lounge area with television, it’s just like home!
The staff head home for the night although the owners live on site so can be available if needed.
Lights go out in the camp, and the only ones awake now are the plentiful wildlife around such as Kangaroos and Wombats, as well as the cows on the surrounding farm land. The camp is quiet and everyone is getting the deep sleep that only the fresh country air can provide. Tomorrow is another day!
“My name is Lincoln Barnes, Camp Coordinator for Ballarat High School. This has been our first year at Alexandra Adventure Resort and has surpassed all expectations. We have 3 camps here over a week and a half week block (250 students) and all students and staff have absolutely loved their time here. Accommodation for both students and staff is exceptional. The highlight is definitely the facilities available and the activities for the kids. The staff are all amazingly caring and the food is great. We were a little bit worried about the distance from Ballarat however we now know that it is definitely worth it as they have been the best year 7 camps we have had in over a decade.”