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School Camping Activities at Camp Coolamatong

Camp Activities - Enough To Make Any Camper Happy!

With such a varied array of activities to engage in at Coolamatong, your campers will never be bored. There is an activity at Coola for everyone - regardless of age, maturity, or skill level. Specific activities can be modified and pitched to individual groups. Whilst not all activities are appropriate for all age groups, Coolamatong staff are well experienced to suggest specific challenges, games and tasks that will stimulate children to get active and involved with their team mates.

The Activities

Safety Standards

All of the activities at Coolamatong are run by industry relevant, qualified and experienced leaders. Some of the specialised activities that are run at Coolamatong (such as sailing and waterskiing) have appropriately qualified professionals brought in to teach your group the finer aspects of that activity.

Every activity has a risk management plan to ensure that the highest detail is paid to the safety of your group. To view these risk management forms download the following PDF file.

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Abseiling

Abseiling at Coolamatong is a great activity for a range of ages. Climb your way to the top of our rock wall, then abseil back down to the bottom, under the careful eye of our qualified staff. All our safety equipment - harnesses, caribenas, ropes and slings, etc - are regularly inspected for wear and tear, to ensure the highest safety standards.

Campers will learn to overcome their fears and absolutely love the experience as Coolamatong leaders teach them how to climb, abseil, and belay correctly. Abseiling and climbing are great activities to develop trust, perseverance and strength of character as their initial fear is turned into exhilaration and campers' self confidence grows. A number of other activities including a bouldering wall, knot board and bocce keep campers busy whilst waiting their time to climb.

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Archery

There are a variety of archery options available at Coolamatong including target shooting in an open paddock to field archery conducted through a bush circuit that takes in a variety of targets located at varying height levels.

Campers learn all the safety and skills involved in archery, along with patience and concentration as they practice under the guidance of a trained Coolamatong leader. Usually learning curves for beginners is very quick, and self confidence grows rapidly as they experience increasing levels of success.

As with any activity at Coolamatong campers progress through the session under the supervision of a qualified leader who ensures safety guidelines and correct procedures are adhered to at all times

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3 on 3 Basketball Court

Coolamatong has a purpose built 3 v 3 Basketball court right near the cabins and dining hall / main auditorium. It is perfect for those 10 minute free time breaks in between scheduled times to get out for a quick round.

A must for the basketball mad!

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Beach Volleyball

The Campsite also has a beach volleyball court, just near the basketball court and main outdoor relaxing area.

Beach Volleyball is a perfect co-gender sport, providing hours of fun team entertainment.

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Billy Cart Racing

Here’s a good old fashioned activity that never loses its appeal.

Camp Coolamatong has 10 purpose built ‘carts’ all constructed from lightweight steel rolling on pneumatic tyres. In groups of 3 campers can pit themselves against each other or against the clock.

Circuit racing with driver changes at strategic intervals is a test of fitness and skill. Our slalom course is a flat out race against the clock.

Awesome fun for any camper!

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Boat Cruise aboard the SS Neill

A trip aboard the Campsite's boat the C.C. Neill, visiting local coastal National Parks and the iconic 90 mile beach is guaranteed to provide a lifetime of wonderful memories.

Playing ‘fox holes’ on the beach is one of those special camp activities loved by campers of all ages.

The C.C. Neill MB27, is marine board surveyed and licensed to carry 49 passengers.

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Bush Craft

Bushcraft at Camp Coolamatong is a highlight for all campers of all age levels. Set in the bush away from distractions, with its own mud hut and outdoor kitchen, it is almost like stepping back in time where the atmosphere is relaxed and the pace of life allows campers to soak in the very best of the Australian bush. The smell of the camp fire with damper roasting on bracken sticks and pancakes sizzling in fry pans has a way of bringing together the essential elements of being away with your mates on camp.

A bushcraft session at Camp Coolamatong is far more than just cooking over an open fire in the bush. It also provides campers with the opportunity to prepare an open fire safely, utilise bush materials to make useful kitchen appliances, follow the process of making eucalyptus oil, develop techniques of cooking in the bush that will have minimal environmental impact, and practice using different strategies for cooking effectively.

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Canoeing

Canoeing is one of the great school camp traditions. Coolamatong Canoeing sessions are conducted on flat un-demanding water either in 'Duck Arm' or Mason Bay. Sessions are pitched to meet the experience and age of the campers.

A canoeing session at Camp Coolamatong focuses on three important aspects:

  • Developing safety awareness in campers as they prepare and participate in the activity
  • Teaching basic paddling skills that enable campers to confidently manouvre their boat
  • Building a spirit of cooperation and teamwork within an atmosphere of enormous fun as they play a variety of games and complete various challenges

Sometimes dolphins swim in and around canoes in the bay, which is an amazing experience for anyone.

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Climbing Wall

The climbing tower at Camp Coolamatong is established in a bush setting well away from the camp site. This promotes the atmosphere of being outdoors as distinct from a rock climbing centre, whilst still being close enough to the campsite to have regular group rotation around activities.

Climbing at Coolamatong is a great activity for a range of ages. Climb your way to the top of our rock wall, then abseil back down to the bottom, under the careful eye of our qualified staff. All our safety equipment - harnesses, caribenas, ropes and slings, etc - are regularly inspected for wear and tear, to ensure the highest safety standards.

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Fitness Circuit

Camp Coolamatong has a 12 station small group fitness circuit. The circuit is a series of activities, each requiring different components of fitness, such as power, speed, coordination, upper and lower body strength and balance.

The activities are designed to be completed in small groups of 3-4 people. The fitness circuit has been purpose built to incorporate the wonderful camp environment of conquering challenges with friends.

The fitness circuit elements follow the perimeter of the back oval adjacent to the campsite. It can be accessed as either a structured activity with set rotations or as a free time activity.

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Frisbee Golf

Camp Coolamatong has an 18 ‘hole’ Frisbee golf course complete with score card and course layout.

With Par of 62 and holes ranging from par 1 to par 5 there’s plenty of variety. Frisbee Golf is a great free time activity or is often incorporated with the horseriding program in which 6 children go and ride while the others play Frisbee golf before swapping over.

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Geo-Cashing

Geocashing is a GPS navigational race.

Campers are taught how to use a Garmin Etrex GPS unit which they share with a partner. Geocashing at Coolamatong is a sequentially skill based activity in which children progress from introduction and basic understanding of how a GPS works, practice course, farm based race and bush course.

Geocashing is a very interactive and exciting activity as children locate items which are found by accessing waypoints stored in the GPS. Geocashing combines technology with physical activity as children race each other to complete various courses.

Geocashing is suitable for campers from grade 4 and above.

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Golf Driving Range

Camp Coolamatong has a designated ‘driving / chipping’ range in an adjacent field to the main campsite. The range allows for hits up to 150m in length. Nine bays provide children the opportunity to hit to three flags set at 75, 100 and 125m. Campers hit off golf mats with a choice of three sized graphite shaft irons.

The golf is a great free time activity and will also provide a good physical workout as children have to retrieve their own golf balls once they’re hit.

The golf range can only be accessed when a supervising adult is present.

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Initiatives

Camp Coolamatong has approximately 12 team building activities established in a designated paddock. These include tyre pole, lava swing, quicksand, pharaohs pyramid, log balance, the maze, spiders web and magic flute. Some of these activities may be completed as either the survivor activity or as stand alone activities. All of the activities foster teamwork and cooperation and groups of 10-12 campers meet the challenges of completing physical, problem-solving tasks.

The initiatives course is a tremendous activity at Camp Coolamatong for building a team atmosphere amongst your group.

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Kayaking

Coolamatong owns 15 Kayaks, (Dancers and Lasers). The kayaks are single cockpit, plastic boats that require the use a double bladed paddle to control. Due to the nature of Kayaking and the strength and physical prowess needed to correctly handle a Kayak, the activity is recommended for secondary school students only.

Kayaking at Coolamatong aims to develop correct handling techniques and body positioning. Groups are taught basic strokes, safety procedures including capsize drills during a kayaking session. As such kayaking is more appropriate during warmer months when getting wet is not as painful!

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Low Ropes

The low ropes course consists of 12 elements linked in two halves. Campers work in groups of 3 to complete the course. Low Ropes is a brilliant activity as campers communicate and work together to complete the 12 elements which are all uniquely different requiring various combinations of balance, agility, strength and speed.

The wonderful thing about the low ropes course is that campers of all fitness levels and abilities can experience success and satisfaction in completing the course as they rely to various degrees on their team-mates who spot them and assist as needed.

The activity can be increased in difficulty by having campers complete the course blindfolded. Team time trials are a popular way to finish the session with the whole group working together to complete the course in the fastest time.

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Night Walks

Camp Coolamatong staff lead a night hike with schools on their first evening at Coola. Night hikes are an adventure in themselves as children walk bush tacks on Camp Coolamatongs 70 hectare property.

Where possible leaders point out various ecological features and incorporate activities such as trust walks and ‘solos’ in which kids sit for a few minutes on the beach taking in the ‘sounds of silence’ and appreciating the wonder of the milky way.

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Off-Road Cycling

Off road cycling starts with a thorough safety briefing and basic skills session. Participants are then led on the vast network of 'single-track' trails through the bush at Coolamatong. Off-road cycling provides the perfect opportunity to appreciate the local environment. Best of all, the tracks are predominantly flat and provide a soft but stable riding surface.

A feature of the off-road cycling session includes bike orienteering in the bush paddock. Students enjoy the excitement of undertaking the course in small groups using a map to locate hidden markers. This activity is perfect for catering for a wide range of cycling abilities and often it is the slower riders who take their time to follow the map who plot the quickest course and finish first.

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Orienteering

Camp Coolamatong has five different Orienteering courses established in a variety of locations ranging from immediately around the campsite to the bush paddocks. The various levels cater for different age groups and camper experience. Orienteering teaches and hones skills such as map reading and compass work, along with team work and problem solving as students engage in working their way through a designated course.

Orienteering is great fun for all ages.

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Rafting

The rafting session at Coolamatong is an opportunity for campers to work in small groups to design, construct, and race their very own raft on the calm waters of Mason Bay. Campers are given a range of materials including ropes, plastic pipes, and timber, with which they must construct a raft and then race other teams on the lake.

Campers are first taught basic knots including the reef knot, clove hitch and lashing techniques. Construction guidelines help campers to ensure their designs will hold together.

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Swimming

Camp Coolamatong is in a privileged location with direct and easy access to the sheltered waters of Masons Bay on the Gippsland Lakes. This section of beach provides a beautiful sandy bottom with a lovely shallow area perfect for conducting supervised swimming with children of all ages.

We provide trained and qualified staff to supervise free swim sessions who are equipped with safety gear and plenty of ideas to keep children entertained and involved.

A swim in Masons Bay is either a great way to unwind at the end of the day or may be incorporated into another water based activity such as canoeing or rafting.

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Survivor

Survivor is a team based, initiative style challenge that involves: rescuing a pilot (dummy) and carrying on a stretcher to a helipad. To do this the group must complete a series of challenges: tyre pole (to retrieve the stretcher), lava swing and maze, finding a tangram to crack a code, using the maps to find ammunition (tennis balls), shooting water balloons with darts to retrieve a sling shot which is located high in a tree via pulleys, and finally using the sling shot on a mounting frame to fire tennis balls at a target which when hit unveils the teams flag.

Survivor is hugely popular with groups of all ages as it is purposeful, challenging and highly rewarding as campers work together throughout the entire activity.

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Uni-Cycles with Custom Built Course

Camp Coolamatong has become quite renowned for our unicycling. The camp has established a purpose built ‘soft fall’ court with hand rails and plenty of space for children to learn to ride a unicycle. Kids love getting out during free time and have a go at attempting this challenging but rewarding skill.

The camp has 8 unicycles in varying sizes including 16”, 20”, 24” and 26” sizes. Our Chris Holm signature unicycle is available for any campers who can do 8 pedals without holding on.

Over the years many children have learnt to ride a unicycle and we love to hear back from kids who have gone home and bought a unicycle to continue this recreational activity.

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Wide Games

Wide games are games occupying up to 100 people played over a wide area. The games are usually team orientated challenges rather that individual focussed. Camp Coolamatong has developed a number of different wide games, each one created specifically to teach or emphasise a theme.

For example ‘Save the World’ involves collecting food, shelter and water to save lives. In the context of a game in which kids smuggle goods, hide from ‘baddies’ and stockpile resources to save lives, kids are reminded of how organisations such as World Vision and Compassion carry out the vital mission of sharing resources amongst communities in need.

Wide Games are often incorporated into school programs and are definitely a highlight for many campers.

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