In a major coup for the Sunshine Coast Hinterland a local Outdoor Education Centre has received the 2013 Queensland Outdoor Recreation Award for Excellence in Outdoor Instruction and Education. Queensland Conference and Camping Centres (QCCC) are this year’s recipients of the prestigious industry award recognising excellence in Outdoor Education programs.
QCCC’s largest Outdoor Education facility has been a vital part of the Mapleton community for more than thirty years. QCCC Mapleton is one of the busiest school camping venues in Queensland entertaining 30,000 guests annually. More than 20,000 of these are school students attending camps with more than 200 individual school groups. QCCC Mapleton is one of Mapleton’s largest employers with 50 staff and a significant attraction to the local area.
QCCC Director Andrew Grant believes a large part of QCCC’s success comes from locating its largest site in the natural beauty of the Blackall Range. “There’s no doubt we enjoy a natural advantage by bringing city kids into the mountains where they’re immersed in the stunning beauty of the Range. We must have one of the most stunning classrooms in Queensland”.
Throughout 2012 QCCC Mapleton created and built eight new activities specifically designed around the Australian Curriculum. This was a staff-driven effort with the initial “draft activities” significantly altered and enhanced through the participation of staff members primarily responsible for their delivery.
Andrew Grant said “one of the most significant aspects of these new activities is the wonderful contribution being made by Goombuckar Creations who have transformed some of our property into a traditional encampment where they deliver a Cultural Awareness Experience and outdoor Aboriginal art workshops. All of the new programs have been well received by schools as a way of camp building into the delivery of their curriculum, but the Gubbi Gubbi and activities are emerging as a clear favourite.
As a significant investment in environmental programs, QCCC recently employed the services of a highly qualified horticulturalist to implement fifty year environmental plans on QCCC sites. One of the largest roles of this position will be the restoration of an old-growth rainforest area at QCCC Mapleton, connecting it to the wildlife corridors on the Blackall Range. This will include the involvement of children in the restoration process as this area strives to become a smaller version of Mary Cairncross Park. QCCC Mapleton has recently joined the Land for Wildlife program.
Another secret to QCCC’s success is their delivery of a sequential approach to camping which means schools construct a cohesive journey through school years – accessing the same ethos and program themes multiple times, but in varied and exciting formats across QCCC’s three sites. QCCC Mapleton specialises in Outdoor Education for Upper Primary and middle secondary schools. QCCC Brookfield is one of the few sites able to offer urban programs in Brisbane and QCCC Tamborine, with its views over Brisbane and Moreton Bay, is a stunning site for leadership and spiritual retreats for senior High School.