Uniting Church Camping, the largest owner of school camps in Victoria, has today welcomed the announcement of the Education for Life program.
The organisation, which delivers school camping experiences to hundreds of state and private schools from across Victoria, also manages the three temporary bushfire villages on behalf of the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority.
UC Camping Director Andrew McGuckian said he was happy to work with anyone who promoted outdoor education for young people and the benefits it provided.
“There are so many people from all sides of politics that look back on their school camps as the highlight of their school lives.
“We have been part of this discussion through our representation on the board of the Australian Camps Association for about the last two years.
“We’re happy that the community is having this discussion and we hope that regardless of the election results we can move ahead with what will be a terrific opportunity for Victorian youth,” Mr McGuckian said.
School camping is not necessarily a “boot camp” experience. UC Camping works with schools to tailor programs to meet learning objectives.
“If a school is working on geography, for example, we gear the program to work on those learning objectives but really our work provides team development, communications skills and values education regardless of the activity.
“School camps are a great way to help young people open their eyes to new ways of behaviour,” he said.
UC camping has hosted more than 8900 students from more than 160 schools this year. Programs are conducted at seven locations throughout Victoria and include a wide range of activities designed to create opportunities.