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
Leaders' Training Weekend
Arrive: Friday evening 3 December 2021 (between 8pm and 11pm)
Depart: Approximately 3pm on Monday afternoon 6 December 2021. We highly recommend staying for the entire weekend to ensure you gain as much training as possible, but we understand staying until the Monday may not suit some people. If you need to leave on Sunday evening, please confirm this in your availability in your application and the Program Directors for the weekend will follow up with you.
Leaders arrive: Not later than 12.30pm on Wednesday 29 December 2021
Leaders depart: Around 4pm on Friday 7 January 2020
(Campers arrive: Friday 31 December 2021, Campers depart: Friday 7 January 2022)
Leaders are welcome to stay at the site until 11am on Saturday 8 January for a social dinner and debrief with other leaders.
Leaders arrive: Not later than 12.30pm on Tuesday 11 January 2022
Leaders depart: 11am on Friday 21 January 2022
(Campers arrive: Thursday 13 January 2022, Campers depart: Thursday 20 January 2022)
Leaders are asked to stay overnight to help with the big close down and clean up of the property at the end of the summer. As with Camp 1, leaders will have a social dinner and debrief once the campers have departed. Those leaders who need to leave on the same day as campers can negotiate in advance to leave about 5pm.
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.
Food Safety Handling Training
We require all leaders to complete a free online food handling course prior to attending Leader Training Weekend. This will take approximately one hour of your time to complete. You can access the course here, and there will be a space in the application to indicate the date you completed the course and to upload your certificate (or you can update this after you apply).
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 leader to think carefully about attending Cooinda this year.
It may be that we have to cancel camp before it starts. Or have to stop partway through (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 to participate this year, then we look forward to welcoming you back next year.
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!
Frequently Asked Questions
We've put together some FAQs regarding plans for this year, please visit the FAQs page.
For current leaders, check out the bundle of goodies below - You can grab the 'What to Bring' checklist, Leaders' Manual and big list of training resources.