Struggling to get your kids off their devices? Or just feel like maybe they need a good dose of the great outdoors? Tamara from Aussie Kids Adventure Camps has developed comprehensive, safe, educational and fun camps for kids, with activities ranging from fishing, hiking, meditation, making new friends and more. Tamara tells FOCUS all about her new adventure …
Where did the idea come from to start the Aussie Kids Adventure Camps?
The idea came from the combination of my two passions: working with children and camping.
I love working with children, creating moments of happiness and fun, seeing them be the best they can be as an individual and with their peers.
I love the outdoors and camping; the benefits it offers to children are nothing short of amazing.
What is your background, and how does it integrate with the business?
I am a primary school teacher, mother, and child and youth caseworker. I am immersed in children twenty four hours a day, and I love every moment. The strength, character, resilience, kindness that children can display always amazes me; as adults, we have much to learn from them.
With over ten years of working with children, I have the ability to capture children’s attention and focus it on the things that matter – moments of beauty, moments of fun and excitement, laughter and happiness. This skill perfectly integrates camping with children; there is not a more perfect way of co-exploring with children, so that they can be immersed in the moments that matter.
What are the key learning principles you’ve attached to the camps?
I’m not a school. I don’t have key learning principles. There is no pressure to learn. The child needs to have a sense of adventure – and if they don’t, I guarantee I can help them to get one through co-exploration.
The child will become more socially connected to peers and staff, the child will experience numerous moments of laughter, happiness, excitement, mindfulness, gratitude, resilience and independence.
I believe these will be the positive moments that will formulate character and potential.
It’s no secret getting kids off their devices can be hard – so in the modern technology age, how can parents encourage outdoor and imaginative play?
So hard … “Just one more clip; I’ve nearly finished this level; just wait!”
Set up some guidelines about how much time a day they can have screen time, and stick to it. Then play with your child; teach them how to use their imagination. Once they start, they won’t want to stop. These years go fast, so you won’t always be Barbie or Ken!
Currently l have a Pokémon shop set up in my lounge room, and we’re not allowed to shut the shop. The benefits of this play – talking and listening, money skills, addition, subtraction, understanding of time and socialising. As parents, we have to encourage and then let them go and not stress so much about the mess. You can always make a game out of cleaning up – you just have to show them how!
Tell us about your adventure and fun gurus …
Each staff member has different skills in different fields of adventure. I hike, fish, swim, meditate, fire-build, star gaze and play. We also engaged contractors who are masters of their adventure activity, from surfing to drumming.
I always thought I was the pied piper of children – and don’t get me wrong, I am – but I met a male version of myself and instantly had to employ him for the adventure camps. He is a power house of energy and movement. Children love to be in his presence and the fun that he brings to every activity, no matter what it is. Adventure and fun wrapped into one.
What are your child care ratios, and why is this important?
Child care ratios are one of the most important things in any business that works with children. It’s what keeps our children safe, but just as importantly, connected. Children need an adult to watch out for them, to be there for them, to engage with them, co-create moments and then laugh and giggle with them about those moments later. Our ratio is 1:5, which is like a big family. Each child can feel safe and know where to look for leadership and guidance. The current legislated guidelines are 1:7, but I feel with the experience of camp to be amazing we need a smaller number of children per adult.
How can people find out more about your upcoming camps and who you cater to?
I love to talk about the camps and answer any questions parents might have: “My child gets nervous at bed time”; “My child occasionally wets the bed”; “I’m worried about my child being away from home”.
All questions are valid and important, and after a phone conversation parents are satisfied that their child will have an amazing adventure.
Your child will thank you for it.