Well the good news is that you can shake off your city-centric, over-scheduled, device-overloaded ways to reconnect yourself and your children at Victoria's first Wild by Nature Village Camp. This is on in the second week of the school holidays from Wednesday 4th October to Sunday 8th October at Rowallan Scout Camp in Riddells Creek, about an hour north of Melbourne.
In the bush you can learn curiosity, communication, problem-solving, and so many more transferable skills. Maybe you want this for your kids, or maybe you want it for yourself or your family as a whole.
How does it work? You arrive with your tent and camping gear to a warm bush welcome. For five days you will have the opportunity to explore the natural world, create fire without matches, make baskets and other earth crafts, play games, share stories around the campfire, sing, laugh and take a much needed breath of fresh air.
Each day the kids, youth and adults will embark on their own separate adventures, exploring, playing in and learning from the natural world. Children will be able to venture into the bush with experienced nature connection mentors, while the adults stay at the camp to learn earth-based skills and practice nature observation and awareness.
For the kids: Each morning with the camp mentors, children older than 4 will venture into the bush to experience a free flowing exploration of the surrounding bush. The mentors will guide the children's play in a safe way, to enable each child to connect with the natural world around them. The purpose is to create a supported space in which the children can listen to their own creativity, so the activities will be adapted to the interests of those in the group. There will be the opportunity to play games, tell stories, sing songs, wonder at the marvels of nature, find animal tracks, and learn wild skills such as fire, shelter and craft. Through this play and exploration, the kids will drop into a new awareness of the wild world around them, connecting more deeply with the plants, the earth, the animals, and importantly, with each other.
Yes, there is a way to chill out, have fun and even learn something without the use of technology. My kids might not be so sure of that, but maybe they should put it to the test!
Photo credit: Wildcraft Australia
Younger children (up to 3 years old) will stay with their parents/carers, with an optional 'roo and joey' program for them to participate in, too. Alternatively, young kids can stay with their adults while they participate in the adult program.
For the adults: While the kids adventure out into the wild, the adults will stay closer to camp and will be able to discover earth-based skills and crafts such as fire-by-friction, string making, coal burnt spoon crafting and basket weaving. You will be able to explore the Core Routines of Nature Connection through skills of observation and awareness, bird language and natural movement. The archetypal 'wild child' will come alive through games, nature play and connective activities. There will also be time to share and listen in circle.
Participation in all activities is optional, individuals are encouraged to listen to their own needs and follow their own curiosities.
The kids will return from their adventures and re-join their families for lunch and a free flowing afternoon. There will be time to play with new friends, practice new skills, share talents or just chill out. You can head off for a bush walk or a wander or just take some quiet time to rest and relax with your family.
What about food?
Photo credit: Indrani Perera
You'll need to bring your own breakfast, lunch and snacks. There will be some space for campfire cooking, but if you have your own camp cooking equipment, it would be best to bring that to use.
Wholesome dinners will be cooked and enjoyed around the campfire in the evenings. There will be a space to share stories from the day full of adventures, sing songs and relax in the atmosphere.
How good is that, you get to go camping and you don't even have to worry about cooking dinner!
The scout camp provides toilets and hot showers. There are limited cooking facilities and campfire cooking, but villagers will need to bring their own camp cooking equipment. Cars will be parked nearby and some campsites will be available for car campings.
The costs for this Nature Village Camp for 4 nights are:
Adults (childfree) – $350
Parents and carers of participating children – $250
Children aged 4-16
For 1 child – $300
2 siblings – $450
3 siblings- $550
Younger children 1-3 $50
These prices include camping accommodation, dinner each night and materials for workshops.
Ideally, village members will stay for the whole camp, relaxing deeper each day into the village rhythm. However, for this camp, there are a limited number of Wednesday to Friday and Weekend only tickets available, please check here for details and booking availability.
For more information you can check out www.firekeepers.com.au/ or call Melissa 0421 343 073 or Claire 0466 523 326.
In our busy urban lives, we often don't have the opportunity to deeply connect with each other, and with nature. This Village Camp is the perfect opportunity to learn nature-based skills and to rekindle our innate connection to nature.
So why don't you get your kids out into nature for a camping adventure and a load of fun before they have to go back to school