Planning outdoor education and group camps

Many camp planners find it really helpful to speak with our team about how to best integrate a tailored outdoor education program into their camp. QCCC have expert and highly experienced staff who can help you achieve great experiences, great memories, and quality educational outcomes for your camp.  We recently sat down with one of our expert staff members – QCCC Outdoor Education Supervisor, Jonathan, for a quick Q&A on outdoor education at QCCC campsites. Jonathan shares his observations on the QCCC outdoor education program and some of his thoughts on the large group camping experience for your school, church, or group. Jonathan is passionate about outdoor education and the benefits of outdoor education programs for young people who attend camps. 


Interviewer: Thanks for sitting down with us today Jonathan, so tell us a little about your role at QCCC?

Jonathan: My name is Jonathan and my role here at QCCC is the outdoor education supervisor overseeing all the outdoor ed programs over QCCC that’s looking after the staff making sure the staff are continuing to grow develop and become better as outdoor instructors and to do the same with the programs to keep the programs moving growing refreshing and really making sure that there’s no stagnation there’s a great program here at beautiful across all the sites but we never want it to be a stagnant thing we wanted to keep growing and becoming better and that’s my one of my big roles here.


Interviewer: What is it about outdoor education that you are most passionate about?

Jonathan: I love seeing someone start at maybe they don’t know how to canoe at all and in a couple of days they’re loving canoeing they’re getting so much out of it they’ve grown in a skill set I also love seeing people grow inside so I think outdoor education is an incredibly powerful tool for the growth of somebody and not just skills and what we do physically but internally as well I think it’s it is the most the perfect storm for growth in a person when you get outside when you’re having an adventure you’re having fun it’s the perfect environment for growth and learning and to be able to to learn and have fun at the same time means that learning sticks around for a while so I love being a catalyst in that I love being playing a part in that and the humanness of it of bettering oneself and that’s what’s very exciting to me.


Interviewer: What’s different about QCCC to other campsite providers?

Jonathan: QCCC is an incredibly professional organization it’s very efficient I think we can get over 300 odd kids in a night at Mapleton that going over 600 with all the other sites and I think around 2009 they did between 20 and 25 000 kids in a year it just works like such a well-oiled machine and that’s not unlike other centers what makes it stand apart from other centers like that is that there’s still a wonderful personal experience here there’s a warmth there’s a family vibe if you like somehow QCCC has managed to amp itself up in a professional era whilst maintaining that lovely home feeling that warmth and usually I found it at many outdoor centers it swings one way or the other you’ve got a really warm place but it’s it’s a little bit run down and maybe not so professional but folk are really friendly it’s the other way it’s it’s super professional and well-run but very cold and to have both of those so wonderfully intertwined in one one organization is for me what really sets QCCC apart.


Interviewer: If I have never camped before, why should I consider it?

Jonathan: The the big thing that’s overlooked besides all the obvious reasons for going camping is the power of of relationships I think when you go camping and you come into a temporary community where you get to spend hours in a row with other people there is an opportunity to really grow personal relationships with others personal relationships even with kids with their teachers kids with instructors kids with each other and even with yourself that relationship you have with yourself you are free of a lot of the the trappings of of normal life and normal grind a lot of that has fallen away and you find yourself in a space in an environment where you can actually work on these things and and develop relationships and that includes a relationship with with God if it’s the program is facilitated that way and you have that time and space you can really work on that relationship as well so besides all the fun and the adventure and and the obviously marketable things about um outdoor education the relationship building in this modern world where most people have a relationship with a screen rather than than people i think is a really really really important part at the moment.


Interviewer: What’s your top tip for someone planning a camp?

Jonathan: For a new camp planner somebody who’s maybe got a school group or a youth group or just a bunch of people and they want to go camping my first tip and my first question would be what what are you trying to achieve so it’s a work backwards sort of scenario what outcomesare you trying to achieve and then work backwards from there okay what activities can we do to meet those outcomes and then even more importantly how do that does that fit into a program or an actual journey from the moment someone gets out the car or the bus to the moment they get back onto it whole entire journey is a process so instead of picking and choosing oh I’d like to do this activity and I’d like to do that activity because it looks good on a brochure I’ve heard it’s fun to actually go hey what would be great to walk away with for me or for my kids my students what do we want to leave with and then speak to the professionals and say how can we achieve this often we know ways and we have activities that don’t look amazing on a brochure but have incredible outcomes and to work with someone who is running a campsite together and design a program together and work on all those outcomes together instead of picking and choosing activities like a supermarket I think is my number one tip because then you have fun the kids are challenged they learn but there’s that growth and it’s really really obvious even a short space of time of two days or three days in a camp because of the the tour that is camping and the environment that’s created through through camp environments.


planning outdoor education into camp