This week one of Sunshine Coast’s larger Outdoor Education facilities, Queensland Conference and Camping Centres (QCCC) Mapleton, commenced work on new accommodation facilities to cater to a growing waiting list of schools attempting to access their award-winning Outdoor Education programs. In the first significant redevelopment of the site in twenty-five years, the Baptist Union of Queensland is investing $300,000 to create a third accommodation block of fully ensuited rooms, a renovation of existing amenities blocks and a new storage area for QCCC’s growing expeditions programs.
The new development provides 20 upgraded beds, including a state-of the-art wheelchair access room as part of the complexes’ third accommodation wing. Acacia Block will now offer 70 beds, including three teacher rooms and its own designated meeting area. The amenities block refurbishment also includes investment in wheelchair access facilities, allowing Acacia Block to be especially suitable for groups of children from Special Schools.
QCCC Director, Andrew Grant, commented:
“We’ve always placed a premium on hosting groups from Special Schools because we think every child deserves a quality camping experience. These facilities were designed after we took a lot of feedback from teachers at these schools, creating a wish list of what would make their stay as easy as possible. Whilst Acacia Block is going to be a fantastic experience for all groups, we’re particularly excited for what it offers Queensland’s Special Schools.”
The construction of a significant storage shed for QCCC’s Expeditions programs is also an investment in the future of journey-based educational programs on the Sunshine Coast. QCCC doubled the number of expeditions it ran last year, catering primarily to girls’ schools. They have recently opened up a new expedition format using the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk.
QCCC Director, Andrew Grant, suggests his organisation is committed to achieving learning outcomes through quality Outdoor Education experiences.
“Richard Louv’s book Last Child in the Woods describes the onset of nature deficit disorder as children become increasingly disconnected from their natural environment. Our goal is to teach respect and passion for the environment through providing positive interaction with nature in our programs. QCCC’s teaching methods are tactile and memorable and focused on team building and positive relationships. These new facilities will allow us to do so for many more children.”
The Sunshine Coast is already established as a significant national hub of Outdoor Education, made possible by a wide range of Outdoor Education Centres and program options which make the most of the region’s natural assets. The Coast’s outdoor education facilities cater to an estimated 200,000 guests annually, including interstate and international groups.