Frequently Asked Questions

Adventure Alternatives

Where is Adventure Alternatives Education Centre?

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Adventure Alternatives has 2 Education Centres located in Woodford and Kenilworth, Queensland. The links below provide a full description of the campus, address and travel factsheet.

We also deliver outdoor education programs at a number of other locations such as Conondale National Park, Bellthorpe National Park, Bribe Island, Noosa Trail, Glasshouse Mountains National Park and Maroochy River 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 Our Facilities page or feel free to drop us a message.

Adventure Alternatives Education Centre - Woodford Campus

Adventure Alternatives Outdoor Education Centre - Kenilworth Campus

Who is Todd Samorowski (our founder & director)?

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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.

What services do you provide?

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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 specialise in providing outdoor education programs for Grade 5 to 11 connecting to the National Curriculum. 

Client Benefits

How many students can you accommodate?

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Adventure Alternatives have designed and purpose-built 2 Outdoor Education Centres.  Our Woodford Campus has accommodation in cabins for 128 students and 12 teachers. Our Kenilworth Campus has accommodation in cabins for 90 students and 18 teachers.

Each Campus has four on-site campsites with cooking shelter and composting toilet and four remote campsites in the adjoining National Park/Campgrounds.

Both of our Woodford and Kenilworth Campuses can accommodate 144 students at each camp by incorporating a one-night campout. For larger groups up to 288 we can split your cohort across both of our campuses. So no matter what the size of your cohort, by incorporating a one-night campout, we can accommodate any sized cohort.

The Camp

How does Covid-19 restrictions impact camp?

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It is with great excitement that I inform you that the Queensland Education Department has given the go ahead for school camps. Their website FAQs has been updated with the following information:

"Are camps and excursions able to proceed?

School camps and excursions are permitted to locations or businesses that have an approved COVID Safe Industry Plan or to Department of Education Outdoor and Environmental Education Centres.

For overnight camps, a business will be expected to have a facility-specific, risk assessment and mitigation process in place to manage the risks posed by COVID-19. Mitigation factors may include:

  • reducing attendance
  • revising sleeping arrangements
  • minimising the use of shared bathrooms
  • staggering dining times
  • maintaining physical distancing of adults
  • adhering to effective hygiene measures and cough / sneeze etiquette
  • implementing frequent cleaning of high touch surfaces such as door handles and light switches.

Principals may approve a camp or excursion to a location or business not covered by an approved COVID Safe Industry Plan, as long as all departmental and Chief Health Officer's requirements such as physical distancing and cleaning and hygiene measures are adhered to." (https://qed.qld.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media/novel-coronavirus/frequently-asked-questions-for-parents)


Furthermore, there is 2 Industry COVID Safe Plans approved by the State Govenment that allows us to operate our activities and our facilities as part of school camp. They are: 
 
 

Adventure Alternatives will opt to comply to these plans. In response we have prepared a detailed COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedure that outlines how we are addressing these plans in the operation of our facilities and activities. A copy of the Adventure Alternatives COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedure is available for our clients on your Teacher camp webpage.
 
We are open from the 13th of July 2020.

What will you do if our cohort is larger than 100 people with COVID-19 restrictions?

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Under the Industry COVID Safe Plan for Queensland Outdoor Education Providers groups larger than 100 people will be accommodated by using different zones of the property. That is a cohort will be split into A and B.  The different zones will enable groups to remain separated.  

Adventure Alternatives standard practice is that only one school will be present on site at any one time.

How is social distancing being addressed for sleeping and eating?

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All cabins and dining areas have been measured to clarify their capacity to operate within prevailing social distancing ratios for adults. 

At Woodford Campus teachers will use the designated teachers cabin with only one teacher per room.

At Kenilworth Campus teachers will use the designated teachers cabin with only one teacher per bunk bed with a maximum of 6 teachers per cabin.

Students, teachers and instructors will remain in the same cabin and same bed for the duration of their stay.

Food collection points will be set up with 1.5m spacing markers on the ground for Adults. Tables and chairs will be set up to ensure 1.5m separation and 4m2, where required for adults.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and Approved COVID Safe Work Plan has provided guidance that social distancing (i.e. 4m2 per person in an enclose space) is not necessary for school aged students (similar to school classrooms). Students will use bunk dormitory style cabins. Students will remain in their allocated camp group where possible. 

What additional cleaning are you doing prevent the spread of COVID-19?

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All facilities will be cleaned as per the guidance provided by Safe Work Australia for frequent high touch areas, daily routine cleaning and after each serving of meals: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-05/cleaning-table-covid19- 26May2020.pdf

Hand sanitiser is available at the Dining Hall and is carried by each instructor to be used by all participants before each meal.

Signage promoting good hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, signs of COVID-19 and social distancing is provided at the Dining Hall, Amenities Block and Accommodation.   

How are you addressing COVID-19 management in relation to activities and camping?

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An audit of all Outdoor Education Activities has been conducted in relation to COVID-19 management and Standard Operating Procedures have been adjusted where required.

  • Each student, teacher and instructor will be allocated to a specific camp group of maximum of 20 people and will remain in this camp group for the duration of camp. The camp group will stay together at all times for meals, activities and sleeping arrangements. Programming of activities will make all reasonable attempts to ensure Camp groups do not cross over one another to limit interaction outside the camp group.
  • All students/teachers/instructors will use the same tent for the duration of their stay. A register of their allocated tent will be documented
  • All teachers and instructors will have their own tent.
  • Students will use tents at a ratio of 2 to 3 students per tent. 
  • There is no sharing of personal items (e.g. water bottles, hats etc).

  • At the start and completion of each activity all students, teachers and instructors shall sanitise their hands. The hand sanitiser will be placed in an easy to reach and central location at each activity so that all students / teachers / instructors may use it to ensure respiratory and hand hygiene.

  • Instructors and Teachers will practice social distancing with each other at all times.

  • Equipment will be cleaned and disinfected as required in accordance with the manufacturer manual and manufacturer specific Covid-19 advice.

How are meal times different with COVID-19 management?

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Day Program Meals:

All participants will supply their own meals and will be conducted in their small activity groups (max. 20 people)

Expedition Program Meals: 

All meals will be prepared by the camp group as per the Standard Operating Procedures for Cooking, Cooking Recipes and strict Food Handling Procedures as outlined the Adventure Alternatives Instructor Manual and supervised by the allocated camp group instructor and teacher.

Students will continue to cook and serve other students their meal as the designated servers (all aspects including cutlery, crockery and condiments), having washed and sanitised their hands and wearing plastic gloves (as normal). All food will be served by a designated servers to ensure no cross-contamination from shared use of utensils and serving implements. Strict respiratory hygiene will be practiced (as normal).

Centre-based Program Meals:

Tables and chairs will be set up to ensure 1.5m separation and 4m2 per diner, where required for adults. The Program Coordinator shall ensure the venue density rule is adhered to by way of locating and restricting adult seating. All Adults (teacher, cook, instructors) will ensure 1.5 meter spacing at all times, when collecting meals and seating. Floor markers will indicate adequate spacing distancing when queuing for food. Collection of meals will be staggered to reduce queuing. All food will be served by a designated servers. No communal drink dispensers will be used. All rubbish bins will have touch-free lids. Each food service area and dining space will be cleaned at the conclusion of each meal.

What time frames are your activities?

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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.

What are your camp group ratios?

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We run camp 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. We can cater for school cohorts of up to 300 across 2 locations.

What is meant by giving permission for the Consent Question on my child's Medical & Dietary Form?

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This questions is present in all of our medical/dietary forms and has been since we have been running camps for over 20 years and is similar to permission forms provided by your school for excursions.
 
The intent of the question is to gain consent by the parent for their child to participate in camp and to understand that adventuring in the outdoors has risks. Risk can be in many forms such as from tripping in a hole due to uneven ground, getting a tick bite, or falling from a mountain bike for example. This question is not a waiver of liability. Signing a waiver of liability does not have any credible standing in court if the company is found to be negligent in their duty of care. This question is purely here to raise awareness and manage parents expectations.  

We take our duty of care of students on camp very seriously and safety is paramount to our operations otherwise we would not be in business for the last 20 years nor be a leader in our industry having won "Outstanding Organisation" in 2016 and 2012 for Queensland from our Peak Body the Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation. 

Are your staff appropriately qualified?

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All of our Outdoor Education Facilitators hold a minimum of a Certificate 4 in Outdoor Recreation or equivalent, Remote Area First Aid Certificate, CPR, and Blue Card.

All of our Outdoor Education Facilitators are qualified in carrying out all of our camp activities as per the Australian Adventure Activities Standards and annual staff training is provided.

A Staff Qualification Register & Blue Card Register is maintained and administered to ensure compliance and renewal of qualifications.

What is your risk management procedures?

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We take safety very seriously. Adventure Alternatives was founded 20 years ago for the enjoyment and safety of children to experience the wonders of the outdoors. We have always, and will continue to  put the wellbeing of the students who come on camp with us first. We do this by having 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 Australian 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 appropriate work cover insurance for all of our activities and camp locations.

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. A copy of our Risk Management Document is supplied to all participating schools. 

Is your High Ropes Course safe?

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The design of our High Ropes Course and the equipment used accords with the Australian Standard (AS2316.2.1 and AS23162.2), the Australian Adventure Activity Standards and Education Queensland guidelines. We have a clear and appropriate Standard Operating Procedure for the high ropes course, and Emergency Incident Response Procedure.

Our staff are all appropriately qualified and trained. The Instructor-to-participant ratio for our High Ropes Course accords with the Australian Adventure Activity Standards of one instructor to nine active participants.

Workplace Health & Safety Queensland have concluded their investigation of the High Ropes incident at our Woodford Campus on 23/05/18 and have determined not to proceed with any further action.

Adventure Alternatives takes safety very seriously and is paramount to our operations and reputation. Through our investigation of the incident and further validated by our independent expert advisor, the use of equal length safety tails (lanyards) for static self-belay high ropes course was the causal factor of the entrapment.

Adventure Alternatives has been working very closely with State and National Industry representatives and can confirm that the recent update of the Australian Adventure Activity Standards now includes technical specifications for use of only different length safety tails for self-belay high ropes courses.

Adventure Alternatives has also held an industry workshop to assist in the education and implementation of these new Australian Adventure Activity Standards to prevent similar incidents occurring again.

We would like to reassure you that this incident has been taken very seriously and although was not foreseen at the time, now the industry has corrected its procedures to ensure it never happens again.

We would like to personally thank the Petterson Family and the Leadership team of Marist College for their unwavering support and ongoing understanding during this time. We would like to thank our fulltime and casual staff for their commitment, perseverance and support. We would like to thank our Clients who have all stayed with us and supported us through their commitment to safety and quality programming. We would like to also thank the Marist School Community, friends, family and the greater Outdoor Education Industry for their kind words of support and for believing in the powerful benefits outdoor education has to offer.

Over the past 5 years we have had over 15,000 students participate in 200 camps. Of these, 7,000 students have participated in our High Ropes Course without incident. Adventure Alternatives was founded 20 years ago for the enjoyment and safety of children to experience the wonders of the outdoors and we will continue to ensure the safety of all of our activities and our camps. School camps have an incredibly positive and powerful impact on students. In a world where people are increasingly disconnecting from each other and the natural world, we value the team building, resilience and personal growth that school camps bring to students.

Are you insured?

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Yes, we hold 20 million dollars public liability insurance and appropriate work cover insurance for all of our activities, camp locations and staff.

Your Child

What happens if my child is a poor swimmer?

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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 are part of the camp 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.

What if my child cannot ride a bike?

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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 to have your child in a camp 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.

What if my daughter has her period while on camp?

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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 while on camp, 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.

What happens if my child is sick on camp?

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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.

What if my child has an existing injury or disability?

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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.

What happens if my child is injured on camp?

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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, 1. the camp teacher will take them to see a local doctor or 2. they will be taken by the teacher to the hospital or 3. an ambulance will take them 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 and the Camp Coordinator will decide if the child is able to return to camp. We will make all reasonable attempts to enable your child to return to camp so that they may continue enjoying their camp experience. If not, arrangements will be made to reunite you with your child so that they may return home.

What happens if my child is diabetic?

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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.

Food

What food is supplied?

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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 your child has food allergies or restricted diets, please see our FAQs on allergies and restricted diets.  

How do you cater to people with food allergies?

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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 we ensure that all of the spreads, sauces, dressings and coeliac specific food items are provided. 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 some specialised meals being for vegan / coeliac / gluten free and/or complicated combination allergy free meals to the school at a cost of $10/person/day of camp. 

How do you cater for limited/restricted diets?

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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 please add this information to your child’s Medical/Dietary Form. We will review this information and if there are any concerns we will contact you for further clarification and to discuss options. If we do not contact you this means that your child's diet considerations can be easily managed within our existing menus and alternatives. 

Success in the Classroom starts in the Outdoors!

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