Summer Camps

Photo of camper paddling

Summer 2022

After two very interrupted years, we hope to run programs this summer and are planning two COVIDSafe camps.

There are many unknowns as we come out of lockdown. We are limiting the number of camp places to maintain physical distancing as much as possible. We require all participating leaders and campers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. And there will be additional hygiene and cleaning requirements.

So it may feel a little different to the Cooinda you remember. 

What won't change is the Cooinda spirit. We are a place where campers can be themselves. Where you meet friends, challenge yourself in the outdoors, learn new skills, eat yummy food, and visit fantastic campsites around the Gippsland Lakes. It is such a special place, and we know you've missed it. We sure have.

Here's some information you need to know about this summer

Dates

Camp One: Friday 31 December 2021 to Friday 7 January 2022

Camp Two: Thursday 13 January to Thursday 20 January 2022

Who can participate?

Campers who will be between 14 and 19 years old on December 31, 2021 can apply for camp.

This summer, we will prioritise places for:

  • Campers who have attended Cooinda previously.
  • Campers who were booked in but missed out due to the Black Summer bushfires.
  • Campers who have been on our waitlist over the past two years.

Cost

$495 per camper, plus $75 bus travel from Melbourne to Banksia Peninsula and back.

A concession price of $360 (+$75 for the bus) is available for those who meet the concession criteria described on the application form. 

We also have some subsidised places for families who are doing it tough. You can request one of these in the application process. 

Because of the current uncertainty we won’t be asking you to pay for your place when you apply this year. We will require payment by 8 December 2021.

COVID-19 Vaccination

Campers and leaders must provide their COVID-19 vaccination record to Camp Cooinda. There will be an option to do this in the application, or - if you haven't yet received it - you can provide your record to us before attending a Cooinda program this summer.

Camp Cooinda takes the health, safety and wellbeing of our community seriously. We have a long history of providing outdoor experiences for young people. These naturally come with risk. We manage this risk through carefully considered policies based on the best available evidence, through rigorous training for our leaders, and the way we run our programs. We are treating COVID-19 risk in the same way.

A fully vaccinated program will reduce the risk of transmission, minimise the severity of any breakthrough infections, and reduce the likelihood of severe disease requiring hospital admission. 

Potential for change

We are planning optimistically but carefully for the summer. However, as the last two years have taught us, things can change quite suddenly.

We want you to be confident that Cooinda is serious about the responsibility of running a COVIDSafe camp. We will be fully compliant with all government requirements. But we cannot guarantee that there will be no positive case on our program. 

With a likely surge of COVID-19 in the community after lockdown ends, we encourage each family to think carefully about sending a camper to Cooinda this year.

It may be that we have to cancel camp before it starts. Or have to stop partway through and ask you to collect your camper early (we will follow the directions of the health department if that happens).

Cooinda has been successfully running camps since 1960. We'll be here for many years to come – so if it's not right for your family to send campers this year, then we look forward to welcoming you back next year.

If you have previously registered with us, look for your email to arrive in late October 2021 and get those applications in quickly as we expect the spots to fill quickly. 

We are all looking forward to getting back into the summer programs on the Banksia Peninsula and surrounds, and we hope to see you there!

More information

To learn more about camp, download the summer brochure and read a more detailed description of Risks and Safety at Camp Cooinda (PDF) so that you can make an informed decision about applying for enrolment. The document Is Cooinda right for you? will also help you decide whether the Cooinda program is right for you or someone you know.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions regarding this year's programs. For more general questions, please visit the FAQs page.

Q: Why can’t younger campers attend this year?

A: We know this will be disappointing for younger campers who hoped to come this year. We've had to make the tough decision to limit camp numbers this year so we can be COVID compliant and safe. We also know how important it is to keep patrol groups at a similar age. Therefore we have limited the age of campers this year to 14+. We are sorry if this means someone in your family misses out, and we look forward to welcoming back all campers in future years.

Q: Why have the camp fees gone up since the last time we participated?

A: The increased cost of attending Cooinda this year reflects our additional expenses for running camp within a COVIDSafe environment.

Q: My child hasn't previously been to camp. Will they miss out on a place?

A: While we expect places to fill quickly with campers from previous years (and are prioritising them this summer), send us your details on the Camper Enquiry Form, and we'll put you on a waitlist for any places that become available.

Q: My child has a digital exemption certificate for the COVID-19 vaccine. Can they attend camp?

A: No, not this summer. As explained above, Camp Cooinda decided to require vaccination to protect the camp community while there is a significant level of COVID-19 in the community. Our decision also reflects strong feedback about the importance of vaccination when we surveyed parents, campers, and leaders.

Q: How can I be confident Camp Cooinda will run a COVIDSafe camp?

A: Camp Cooinda ran two programs for leaders this year (when restrictions permitted), which has helped us test our COVIDSafe plan and practices. We will refine the plan further once sector guidance is available from the Victorian Government.