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.
As the majority of QCCC Mapleton’s bookings are repeat bookings the year here settles into a fairly steady rhythm. 2012 is drawing to a close and QCCC Mapleton draws the curtain on hosting 400 groups and 25,000 guests.
The week before Christmas is given over to a charity group who bring a lot of kids to Mapleton in the first week of holidays to let their hair down. A lot of the kids come from a tough home situation and the week is about giving them some respite and coping strategies and mechanisms.
The “new year” kicks off again on Boxing Day with Family Summer program. Before we know it the busyness of Term One will descend and off we go again. So this week is a bit of an introspective time, thinking about what we’ve achieved this year and planning for what is to come. It’s fitting that the backdrop to all of this is the group we’ve hosted this week, because they bring so many reminders about what’s important about what we do.
A reflection from one of our staff members at QCCC Tamborine on why we do what we do.
Just have to share something quickly on the weekend….it impacted me big time! As you know, the pressure was on for us to get the Pioneers site finished, and we were completely worn out by Friday night leading into Saturday.
My Mum and her friend came to visit for Sunday Lunch and so I took them for a stroll around the camps on the Sunday morning, with the 3 groups on site. We got to Pioneers and got chatting with Andrew and Darren from Fathering Adventures, in the hall. I went outside to control our dog, who was with us, and a little girl from the Fathering Adventures camp, came to us to pat him. Continue reading →
In July our Director of Camping participated on a Study Tour of Canadian campsites, just as their big Summer programs were kicking off. Here are some of his reflections on camping in Canada:
So I’ve spent most of the past two weeks touring Canada, looking at some of their camping ministries just as they hit the full stride of their Summer camping season. We’ve so far visited more than twenty sites across three Provinces, Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta.
The Canadian preparation for the Summer is impressive. Admittedly it’s a nine week window where the average campsite has to make hay while the sun shines (literally). Most sites bring their camp leadership in for at least a week before the camps get underway, a week of intentional input, relationship building and preparation for what lies ahead. Continue reading →
Queensland Conference and Camping Centres are proud to partner with and promote Aaron Parry and his message in music to teenage groups. A member of staff at QCCC Tamborine, Aaron is able to perform for guest groups at Tamborine, making available his talent to connect with the heart of his generation.
At 17 years of age, Aaron Parry is a rare ambassador inspiring his generation. Aaron’s compelling story of high school bullying, suicide attempts and the rescue of heaven draws his audience towards a message of HOPE.
Throughout the year Aaron performs and shares at high school events, youth groups, public events or recovery facilities for youth. Experiences on the road and practice in serving the visions of others make it easy for Aaron to bring exactly what’s needed at any event. His servant heart and passion, affords dedication and professionalism.
Recently we’ve been writing up our user manual for the R1202 concept being rolled out at all of the QCCC sites. In the development of the R1202 one of the fingers some of us were unsure about was the index “be humble” finger because we thought it might be a difficult sell, particularly trying to explain humility to the kids at a Primary School level.
However as we developed things and took input from a lot of people and educators, the “humble” finger quickly became a non-negotiable part of the package, because it is hard to explain and this highlighted the need for greater understanding and awareness.
As it stands at the moment, the humble index finger currently has the most ideas and content of all the different R1202 concepts in the user manual! Probably because the difficulty to explain it has sharpened our focus and made us come up with good and innovative ideas. We’re also seeing that it has the most impact on kids, and they remember it easily.
Something we’ve discussed as we worked on ‘humility’ is that Australia probably has claims to humility as a national trait more than most nations, particularly so if you were to compare the stereotype of the Aussie and the American.
2011 is shaping up as an exciting one for Queensland Conference and Camping. The year is off to a flying start with record guest numbers through February. Some of the new initiatives we’ve been working on for several years are being launched and are quickly growing.
And we’ve started this year serving our new vision and mission statements.
As a ministry of Queensland Baptists, QCCC exists to create life-changing experiences through excellence in hospitality, service and teaching.
One of the most rewarding parts of our job is the feedback we get from guests about their enjoyment of our programs, and how it builds into the lives of those we host and teach. Here’s a small sample – a letter we received from a school this week:
Dear Neil, I would just like to thank you and your staff for the fantastic camp that our school experienced this week. As discussed with you I was particularly impressed with the dedication and professionalism of your activity leaders. It is clear that they love and are passionate about their work. It is great to see them passing on their individual skills to the students they assist by being friendly, caring, disciplined and polite.Continue reading →
QCCC is piloting now a new concept we hope will become the backbone theme of our programs from 2012 onwards, across our three camp sites at Mapleton, Tamborine and Brookfield (Brisbane). The working title for the concept is “R1202“, a reference to the biblical Romans 12:02:
“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within.”
Also known as “The Hand” we believe the R1202 theme will enable us to partner with visiting groups to reflect on the key attributes and values required for a successful life.
As it is developed we will make it a flexible tool that can fit the objectives and outcomes of each group who visits us. We will also develop resources so that the lessons learned from R1202 on camp can last long after it concludes.
R1202 will become the major tool used by QCCC in our teaching and service to clients. Our staff have identified approximately 70 object lessons that can be drawn from R1202 using colours, fingers and other concepts.