Adventure Alternatives has 2 Education Centres located in Woodford and Kenilworth, Queensland. Our Contacts page contains the full addresses and directions on how to drive to each of the centres.
We also deliver outdoor education programs at a number of other locations such as Conondale National Park, Bellthorpe National Park, Bribe Island, Lake Weyba, Noosa Trail, and Glasshouse Mountains National Park to name a few. These may be centre-based programs or expedition programs or a combination of the two. For more information check out our Locations page or feel free to drop us a message.
We deliver School Camps. Primarily these are run over a 1, 3, 5 or up to 12 day duration with either a Centre-based program or an Expedition Style journey. We have run a huge variety of programs since we started back in 2000 and can tailor any program to suit your desired outcomes.
We run group ratios of 15 to 18 students in each activity group with an instructor and a teacher from your school. This group ratio enables a safe, enjoyable and practical balance between the management of group condition, behaviour, readiness, goals and school budgets. If there is any fewer than 15, safety and burn-out are an issue with any more than 18, the social cohesion of the group starts to break down (the ‘Tipping Point’ has been reached) and again safety becomes more difficult to manage.
Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Dinner and Dessert are supplied on all centre-based and expedition style camps. Supper is not supplied as we believe it keeps students up for longer, there is more disruption to sleep with the need for toileting and it gives students energy when they should be slowing down and going to sleep.
All our meals are fresh, wholesome foods that have been sourced from local providers and cooked onsite or cooked by the students under supervision. Breakfast consists of cereal and a hot meal such as pancakes or bacon and eggs on toast. Morning Tea consists of a piece of fruit such as an apple/mandarin or orange and savoury crackers with spread. Lunch is cold meat and salad sandwiches or wraps. Afternoon tea is a piece of fruit and sweet biscuits or slice. While dinner consists of meals which are traditional home style cooking that students will see as comfort food while still supporting all their nutritional needs such as Spaghetti Bolognese with garlic bread and toss salad followed by Apple Crumble and Custard for dessert. If you are keen to see an example menu, please contact us for a copy. If your child has food allergies, please see our FAQs on allergies.
Todd Samorowski is the Founder and Managing Director of Adventure Alternatives, which was established in 2000. Todd has a Bachelor of Arts in Leisure Management from Griffith University and has been working in the Outdoor Education Industry since 1997. He has been a board member of the Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation for 5 years and the President for 3 years.
We have long activity timeframes of 4 hours that allow ample time to enable the group to brief the activity, experience it and debrief the activity to extract the important aspects of why students undertake an activity and what learnings they can take to school, home and life. The activities chosen for each program are used as a tool to get to the “why” and not just as an adventure activity in its own right.
Food allergies are very common now days with at least 10% of people attending camp requiring some type of alteration to the general menu. You do not need to supply your own food as we are happy to make simple alterations to our menu to accommodate your child’s needs. Below is a summary of how we manage common food allergies:
Nuts: All of our camp menus are nut free – both tree nuts and ground nuts.
Gluten Intolerance: All breads, wraps, pasta, biscuits and cereals are replaced with gluten free options. We always have gluten-free ice-cream, bread, pasta, biscuits, crackers, mayo and sauces.
Coeliac Disease: All breads, wraps, pasta, biscuits and cereals are replaced with gluten free options. We always have gluten-free ice-cream, bread, pasta, biscuits, crackers, mayo and sauces.
We also take steps to ensure no cross contamination e.g. separate cooking pots and utensils and ensure that all of the spreads, sauces, dressings and coeliac specific food items are provided. As all of our meals are made on-site, with very little pre-packaged foods used so we know exactly what goes into our meals.
Dairy or Lactose Intolerance: Milk is replaced with soy, oat, or Zymil options and ice-cream, while custard, cream and cheese are left out of the meal. In some cases, a different dessert option is provided when a suitable alternative is not available e.g. cake (with milk solids) and custard is replaced with jelly.
Preservatives: As allergies to, preservatives are very specific. If you let us know which preservative you are allergic to, we will review each meal and ingredient to ensure it is not present or we will provide you with an alternative.
If your child has multiple food allergies or an unusual allergy, please let us know on your Medical/Dietary Form so that we can find the right solution for you. In the worst case scenario, we may ask you to supply some meals.
Please note that all specialised meals for food allergies will be supplied. We do however pass on the additional cost of providing these specialised meals for vegan / coeliac / gluten free and/or complicated combination allergy free meals to the school at a cost of $10/person/day of camp.
Please ensure you fill out the Medical/Dietary Form linked to your child's school camp webpage and identify your child’s needs. Adventure Alternatives will email the parent of a diabetic student 2 weeks out from camp the camp menu along with a breakdown of the macro nutrient values for each meal. This will assist your child in counting carbohydrates and managing their glucose levels.
Diabetic students are encouraged to bring any additional snacks they regularly use to keep glucose levels in check. Please ensure that these are nut free.
If your child has an insulin pump or continuous glucose monitors connected to mobile phone apps our Woodford Campus has full mobile phone reception across the property and internet access in the dining hall as well as mobile phone reception at our remote campsites offsite.
Our Kenilworth campus has limited mobile phone service both on the property and remote campsites. Depending on the type of camp program your child is attending, they can access the internet at the dining hall via a school laptop (upon arrangement with the school). We would highly recommend that your child seeks alternative ways to monitor glucose levels and deliver insulin injections at the Kenilworth campus that does not require mobile phone service.
We understand children can be very selective in the foods they eat. While we encourage students to try new things, we offer meals in a buffet style where they can select what they put on their plate e.g. hamburgers with cheese and salad (lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, pineapple, beetroot) the students do not have to eat all salads on offer but are encouraged to have at least 3 when they make their own hamburger.
Some children who have medical conditions or disorders with limited diets may need further consideration. If you have any serious concerns about your child’s restricted diet and identify that you might need to supply additional or supplementary food, please add this information to your child’s Medical/Dietary Form and contact us directly for a copy of the menu and to discuss options.
If your child cannot swim or is a poor swimmer, please let us know on your Medical/Dietary Form. We will review your specific camp timetable and see if this poses any risk in the type of activities your child will be doing on camp. For activities such as raft building all students wear a PFD. On rare occasions, where swimming, or participating on a waterslide, or a deep water crossings are part of the program, your child can wear a PFD or participate in the activity to a depth they are comfortable with. The instructor and the teacher present with your child’s group will be aware of your child’s swimming ability and will monitor and assist your child as needed. Your child’s swimming ability will not prevent him or her attending camp and having an awesome time.
If your child cannot ride a bicycle or is poor rider, please let us know on your Medical/Dietary Form. We will review your child’s camp timetable and see if this can be managed by simply providing enough time during bike school which is done before every biking activity to ensure your child has time to learn and get comfortable. Another option maybe is to have your child in a group which does not do bike riding.
If you know that your child’s camp does involve bike riding and you want them to be involved, we highly recommend that you take the time to teach your child to learn how to ride before coming on camp as it will make their camp experience much more rewarding. As a guide, your child should be able to ride unaided for approximately 5km.
We have children of all different abilities attending camp. Please let us know any existing injuries or disabilities that may influence your child’s ability to undertake certain activities on your Medical/Dietary Form. We will review the information you have supplied and may seek further clarification if needed with either the Teacher at the School who is organising camp or by emailing or phoning you. Most activities can be run for any ability or, if required, altered to suit the individual. We have had children attending camp who are blind, deaf, have cerebral palsy, autistic, spinal issues, broken body parts and the list goes on. There are numerous ways these children can still attend camp and have an awesome time with their friends.
1 in 4 girls will have their menstrual period on camp. It is very common and can easily be managed by the child and if required, with assistance from their instructor or teacher with their group. Access to toilets is provided everyday and, whilst on a centre-based camp, showers are also available everyday. If your child runs out, forgets or suddenly has her period, feminine hygiene items are carried at all times by the instructor in the group’s toileting kit, together with brown paper bags and plastic snap-lock bags for easy and discrete disposal. If your child is on an expedition camp and showers are not supplied everyday, she may choose to bring baby wipes (or similar) to maintain hygiene. If pain or cramping is an issue, nurofen and panadol are available from the school’s teachers, given you have authorised the school to allow them to be given in your Medical/Dietary Form. There is no need for your child to miss out on an awesome experience of attending camp just because she has her period. She wouldn’t stop going to school, playing sport or going out with friends or family, so why miss out on camp? It will build her resilience and she can feel comfort in knowing that 25% of her other girlfriends on camp are also in the same position.
We have a detailed Risk Management Plan for each of the activities and locations that we run and effective Incident and Emergency Response Procedure. All of our built initiatives and equipment used accords with the Australian Standard, the Queensland Adventure Activity Standards and Education Queensland guidelines. We have clear and appropriate Standard Operating Procedure for all of our activities.
All of our staff are appropriately qualified and trained holding a minimum of a Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation, Remote Area First Aid, CPR, Blue Card and internal training once a year. The Instructor-to-participant ratio for our built initiatives accords with the Queensland Adventure Activity Standards. A first aid kit is carried by all instructors, vehicles and base camp. Everything we do is carried out as per our staff manuals to ensure everybody’s safety. We also hold 20 million dollars public liability insurance and work cover insurance.
Should your child get sick during camp they will be assessed by the instructor and teacher of the group as to whether or not they will remain with the group or whether they will be taken to the base camp. Their condition will be monitored and if, after appropriate first aid, medication and/or rest, a decision will be made whether or not they can continue on camp or if they will need to go home. You will be contacted to advise of the situation and what decision has been made.
If your child is injured during camp, we will implement our Incident and Emergency Response Procedure. Firstly, the instructor will administer first aid and decide whether or not the child needs any further medical attention. If so, depending on the urgency, the camp teacher will take them to see a local doctor or they will be taken by the teacher or ambulance to the local hospital. As per the school’s reporting procedures, you will be notified of the incident and kept informed of any outcomes as they arise. Depending on the incident and the severity of the injury, the teacher, instructor and Operations Manager will decide if the child is able to return to camp. If not, arrangements will be made to reunite you with your child.
Quality programs and safety procedures are paramount to the operations of Adventure Alternatives. There are a range of risk identification, assessment and reduction measures implemented on our programs together with safety procedures, staff training and equipment selection, inspection and maintenance that make up our sound and effective Risk Management Plan. If you would like to discuss any specific concerns, please contact us.