What are the costs?
Costs vary depending on the program you are enrolling in.
Our term time weekly program called the Black Cockatoos (for 6-12 year olds) rate is $60 per week per day (the term is usually 9-10 weeks).
Our term time weekly program called the Wild Wallabies (3-5 year olds) is $60 for the day (the term is usually 9-10 weeks).
The School Holiday Program is $60 per day.
There is a discount of 10% for siblings.
What age range is it for?
We have two programs running:
Black Cockatoosfor children aged 6-12 years (children outside this age range will be accepted on a case by case basis).
Wild Wallabies for children aged 3-5 years.
We run both of these programs during the school holidays as well.
What do you do if it is raining?
We generally head out for the day rain, hail or shine. Unless there is a category 4 cyclone off Brunswick Bar we still go out! Heading out in the rain is a great experience for the children. It builds resilience and endurance and teaches them new skills for staying warm and safe in wet weather- other children just love the chance to spend the day in the rain and mud! Just as importantly, they get to experience the bush in a different way, it is different when it is wet and you have to move and interact accordingly. We do have a tarp shelters we put up when it rains. The children help to construct their own shelter!
Do your Mentors have Working With Children Checks (WWC) and First Aid Certificates?
Yes, our Mentors all have Working With children Checks. Rohan also has a remote area First Aid Certificate. At least one mentor travelling with each group has a First Aid Certificate.
What if I need to contact my daughter or son urgently?
Our mentors always carry their mobile phones with them while they are out for the day. This is vital for our own communications. If you need to contact your child the best person to call is Rohan. Mentors phone numbers will be given to you upon enrolment.
Can I come out for the day with my child?
We don't generally encourage parents to accompany their older children when they come out for the day. Mainly because it can alter the interactions of the group and also effect the way the new child integrates with the group. We do allow a parent to settle their child in for a few hours in the morning if the child (or they!) are feeling anxious.
Exceptions are made for the Bush Kindy, parents are welcome to spend the day with their child to make sure they are feeling safe and settled.
Do you have Insurance?
Yes we do. We have public liability cover for up to $10 000 000 with Sportscover.
My Child has been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, Autism or ADHD can they attend?
Children on the spectrum have special needs. Through past experience we have found that it can be a challenge to meet the needs of these children when combined with the group. We would love for these children to attend Bush School as we believe it is such a healthy and healing experience, but the reality is that we do need all children that attend Bush School to be able to self regulate, we simply don't have the resources and skills to meet the needs of some of these children, and the program isn't designed for children with special needs. However, if you have a daughter or son that you think would like to come along and would be able to be a part of the program, talk to us and we will discuss it. As a minimum, we ask that you escort your child for a minimum of two weeks to support them integrating into the group. We will re-assess with you after this time and make a decision as to whether it is in the best interests of all concerned for them to continue.
How do I pay?
Payment can be made electronically via bank deposit or in cash. Payments can be made in one lump sum or 2-3 payments over the term can be arranged. We avoid dealing with cash on the day as we have lots of families we are dealing with and small amounts of cash can easily go missing. Please see the Holiday Program tab for information about payments for the Holiday Program.
Tell me about your mentors?
Our mentors are highly skilled, trained and passionate guides. Which mentors we have coming out with us changes depending on the program we are running and their availability. Many have outdoor recreation qualifications, others have on the job experience or are trained teachers in their field.
I am concerned about my child going swimming, can you tell me more about what that entails?
We have access to the beautiful Brunswick River and also the ocean. The children love swimming and it is a fantastic part of the program, but we also realise there are risks involved. We have compiled a swim safe policy to ensure that any swimming activity is as safe as can be. Please ask Rohan to view this policy. The main points are as follows:
Generally we will swim in a shallow safe section of the Brunswick River.
Sometimes- rarely, we do swim in the ocean. The decision to enter the ocean is carefully made on the day given local and real time conditions of surf, wind, wave activity, currents and tides, numbers of children etc…
Children are given clear boundaries on where to swim.
The Mentor is the furthest person out and no one is to go past the mentor.
There is a Mentor at the water’s edge also watching the children.
There is a policy of ‘No deeper than my thigh’
I am concerned about snakes and ticks and other dangerous animals. Please allay my fears!!
The Australian bush certainly has animals and insects that are either deadly poisonous or want a piece of you! There are snakes, ticks and other dangerous animals present on the land we walk upon and thankfully, most of the time, they are happy going about their business and will go out of their way to avoid human contact long before we are aware of them (think a bunch of noisy excited kids tromping through the bush is enough to scare anyone!!). We encourage children to be aware and sensible in the bush and we regularly warn them of the presence of snakes in the warmer weather; how to approach them should they see them and what to do in the unlikely event they get bitten. All our mentors know about snake bite first aid and carry specialised snake bite bandages. As mentioned above, we carry mobile phones should a quick evacuation be necessary. Ticks and snakes are particularly active in the warmer months. We also remind children to do regular tick sweeps of their bodies and we carry tweezers with us for safe and quick removal. This is a risk inherent in a program of this nature but with awareness, care and education we are able to minimise the risks.
Do you run programs in schools?
We have worked with schools before and are very keen to see this work spread. If you would like advice or are keen to partner with us in providing nature connection within your school or organisation contact Rohan for a chin wag.
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