Activities on picnics and camps vary every year, however you can ensure each has been selected to maximise your child’s fun all whilst in the consideration of safety.
Picnics: Typically, a picnic day will involve a morning spent at a park venue, followed by lunch at a spot chosen by the children in each family group, and all topped off with a trip to a pool venue. Your child will be picked up from your house by their leaders to join all the other children and leaders at the park for games, activities, and heaps of fun! We typically have inflatable obstacle courses, cricket sets, footballs, as well as the existing playground equipment in place. Their leaders will drop your child home in the afternoon once the day is done. Your child should not bring any money, electronics, food, or valuables as everything is provided. Favourite picnic venues include Banks Reserve, Kadidjiny Park, Belmont Oasis, Bayswater Waves, and Adventure World.
Camps: On camps we have many activities to keep all our little bodies and minds occupied for 7 full days. These include water-sliding, movies, bouncy castles, fun-fairs, ice skating, art and craft, going to the beach, aquatic playgrounds, silent discos, Perth Zoo, Bounce, and even our leaders’ houses for ‘Family Day’ just to name a few. It’s impossible to capture the diversity of activities we run on our camps all in one spot; just know we endeavour to provide each child with the best week of their lives by making sure there is something for everyone to enjoy and look forward to.
A typical picnic sees 200+ volunteers watching and entertaining approximately 250 kids, whilst each of our 3 summer camps involves approximately 55 volunteers looking after 85 kids.
If you ever need to contact Uni Camp For Kids, please phone our office on 08 6488 8763 between 12pm and 2pm on weekdays when a committee member will be in attendance to answer you call. You may of course call outside of these times and leave a voice message which we will respond to as soon as we can.
Picnics: On the day of a picnic, our secretary will be in the office for the first half of the day and then move to our venues where they are contactable by mobile. This number will be given to you ahead of time, and we encourage you to only use this number for emergencies as we don’t typically give updates on a child’s progress on a picnic day. It is expected that you will have the contact of one of the leaders ahead of time who is responsible for your child on a picnic day. They will call you to make arrangements in the week prior to a picnic to answer any questions you may have and will update you if pick up or drop off times change on the day. You may also contact them on the day if required for another reason, however we advise you to contact the Secretary if you need to pull a child out of a picnic. We discourage any ongoing contact with these leaders for any information regarding the organisation or our upcoming programs. For the most accurate and up to date information, please contact our Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Camps: If you would like an update on your child’s progress while they are on camp, you can contact the Uni Camp for Kids’ secretary on his/her mobile phone which is supplied to parents/guardians before camps start in January. We discourage children from speaking to their parents while they are on camps, as in our experience it promotes rather than reduces homesickness. Once kids are on camp they are usually having so much fun they tend to not worry too much about what’s going on at home – it is, after all, their holiday. You may also want to speak to your child’s leaders at the drop off/pick up point before camps commence about your concerns or any specific issues your child has. Leaders can also be contacted through the secretary on camps, as their individual contact numbers will not be given out.
We facilitate opportunities for underprivileged children to engage in a range of enjoyable and stimulating activities that their situations typically deprive them of, facilitating a safe and positive space where they are free to just be children. Our dedicated and caring student volunteers provide positive mentorship and act as role models to the children involved in our programs, simultaneously working to improve their wellbeing and social skills. This is is done so in a highly welcoming, inclusive atmosphere that facilitates the opportunity for each unique child to be supported to interact positively with others of all backgrounds. Uni Camp for Kids also provides much needed temporary respite to the parents, families, and carers of these children.
Picnic: Siblings will almost certainly be allocated to the same picnic ‘family’ for ease of organising transport on the day and to help them feel more comfortable, particularly if this is their first picnic with us.
Camps: Siblings will likely not be allocated to the same camp ‘family’ as we like to encourage the children to interact with kids outside of their typical social circles, generating positive interactive experiences and get along with other unfamiliar to them.
We do not accept special requests for allocation into ‘families’ according to their friendships or relation to other children. Your child will have plenty of opportunity to interact with friends and/or family involved with our programs throughout the duration of picnics or camps.
Please note that upon your child’s selection for our programs you will receive more specific information related to each of our programs alongside increased lines of communication.
If you require more information about Uni Camp for Kids and the camps/picnics we provide in the meantime, please visit our information page or contact our Secretary via email at email@example.com or via phone 08 6488 8763.
Both our picnics and our camps are run free of charge to children and their carers thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and perpetual fundraising efforts of our volunteers.
Children are eligible for our services in accordance with demonstrated financial, social, emotional and/or parental hardship. As we cannot judge this need ourselves, UCFK seeks the recommendations of social workers, who nominate children that would likely benefit from a day or a week away on our programs. Your child must be referred to our organisation by a case worker from the Department of Child Protection, a qualified counsellor, or by your child’s school principal.
To be eligible to attend one of our picnics, a child must be in primary school between Years 1 to 6. To attend our January summer camps, a child must have been enrolled in Year 1-6 the previous school year. For example, to be eligible for our 2021 camps, children must be in Year 1-6 in 2020.
We endeavour to accept as broad a range of children as possible, but due to the physical nature of our activities and the voluntary, unqualified nature of our leaders, Uni Camp for Kids cannot provide services for children with inhibiting physical disabilities. Children with learning disabilities or attention deficit disorders are very welcome at UCFK. We can also provide special supervision for children who cannot swim or take part in other specific activities, as long as we are advised of their special needs ahead of time.
You need to contact your case worker at Department of Child Protection, your school principal or school counsellor or even your family General Practitioner and ask them specifically to nominate your child for Uni Camp for Kids. Please recommend this web site as a source of information if your case worker is unfamiliar with our organisation.
You will be notified by our organisation’s Secretary if your child is selected for one of our programs with a suitable notice period before the event/s. Please do not contact previous volunteers that have been responsible for your children regarding these matters. If you think there has been an error or that you have not received appropriate communication, please contact our Secretary.
If your child attended picnics last year, their name will still be on our database and you will continue to receive invitations to picnics until they age out (see above). If you change address or change your contact details, please remember to inform Uni Camp for Kids so your child doesn’t miss out.
If your child attended camp last year, they will receive invitations to our picnics. However, your social worker MUST renominate your child for camp this year. The overwhelming demand for our services means that we cannot guarantee your child a place on our summer camps every year. Each child is reassessed depending on their present circumstance and demonstrated need. Therefore, your child must be renominated to be eligible for re-selection.
Camps and picnics are in very high demand and unfortunately we cannot take everyone who applies, as much as we would like to. Our funding is dependent on the generosity of the donations we receive and the fundraising efforts of our volunteers in a given year, and this dictates how many children we can include in our programs. If your child was not selected, please first check that they were nominated by your social worker. As mentioned above, your case worker must re-nominate your child every year for camps. Uni Camp For Kids tries to include new faces each year and past attendance is never a criteria for re-selection.
Supervision & Safety
Uni Camp for Kids consists of student volunteers across the universities of Perth who run the picnics/camps, in addition to our alumni who have years of experience working with children in our specific programs. All our volunteers on camps have current Working With Children Checks and their suitability for the volunteer role is reviewed by our President each year.
Picnics: On picnics/camps Uni Camp For Kids uses a traditional family structure. A ‘family’ consists of a male ‘leader’ and female ‘leader’ and two or three kids. These kids may be either from the same family or those who live nearby. This structure ensures all children under our care are properly supervised, and that all children have leaders of each sex that they can talk to and seek help from in the way that is most comfortable for them.
Camps: Our week-long camps involve 14 ‘families’; each consisting of a male and female ‘leader’ and 6 (or sometimes 5-7) kids of different ages who are non-related. The family structure works well because leaders are directly accountable for their family group, are able to monitor each child’s progress and whereabouts, and allows for positive interaction between each of the children in a family dynamic. Family leaders are paired according to experience such that every family has at least one leader who has previously volunteered on multiple camps. These camps also have many experienced ‘freelancers’ with no family unit, who do miscellaneous jobs and are available to help leaders for children with special needs, or those who need one-on-one time. On camps, multiple leaders sleep in dorms that are adjoining the kids’, ensuring there is always someone to scare away bad dreams and deal with issues like bed wetting in a discrete and appropriate way. Boys’ and girls’ dorms are separated and no child or volunteer of the opposite sex is permitted to enter either dorm.
It is also our policy that children are never left in the care of just one leader unless in a public space, and that children be able to seek support and attention from whomever they feel most comfortable with.
Uni Camp for Kids has a trained first aid officer at each picnic and camp to tend to children’s medical needs, administering daily medication as required and equipped to deal with any aches and bumps. Sun and pool safety is of the utmost importance to us, particularly during our summer camps and for picnics that occur in the warmer months. Sunscreen and zinc are applied in abundance, and we always mandate appropriate hydration and shade-seeking.
For our picnics, each of our volunteers must hold valid licenses and drive roadworthy vehicles, and of course seatbelts and child safety features are non-negotiable. It is encouraged that the most experienced driver be responsible for the transport on picnics, and we additionally give a safety briefing prior to each picnic to ensure our volunteers provide the utmost care for your kids across the entire day; both on and off the roads. On camps, instead of having leaders transport kids, all children and volunteers travel via buses that are driven by a dedicated volunteer with a Heavy Rigid license and experience driving such vehicles.
As mentioned above, volunteers are not permitted to be alone with children at any point unless in a public space whilst visible and able to be heard by other volunteers.
On both picnics and camps, we put hi-vis vests on children who have weaker swimming ability so that they can easily be identified and watched. We typically hire extra lifeguards at each aquatic venue and also have our freelancers act as additional ‘sets of eyes’ around the water to ensure maximum safety.
At each of the pool venues we go to, we also ensure access to a ‘kiddy pool’ that is shallow enough to allow aquatic play without the need for swimming.
For those that prefer not to swim at all, we have sporting equipment as well as arts and crafts materials that the children are encouraged to engage with, as well as multiple freelancers to keep them entertained.
Yes, although our office is based at the University of Western Australia, we welcome volunteers from all universities across Perth under the provision that you attend our sign ups at either UWA or at Notre Dame (the two universities in which we are considered affiliated clubs). These are advertised ahead of time on our Facebook page so ensure you follow this to stay in the loop. Please note however, that our committee is limited to UWA students with the allowance for one Notre Dame student in a non-executive role.
Our picnics do not require you to have a WWCC (although it is preferred), however you will be required to have one in order to volunteer on our summer camps. If you wish to apply for a discounted volunteer-based WWCC, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange us to complete the required organisation fields.
Each picnic and camp recruits volunteers independently, such that volunteering for one picnic does not require you to volunteer for the next one (as much as we would love to see you again!). Our additional fundraisers and volunteering opportunities are also optional, as are our social events, so your level of commitment is entirely dependent on your on schedule and the time you’re willing to give up. We would love to have you involved in as many capacities as you’re willing but understand the heavy workloads associated with study, work, etc. at different points in the calendar year.
We encourage all our volunteers to attend our physical sign ups in person at UWA and Notre Dame which take place on Tuesdays between 12pm to 2pm two weeks before each of our picnics. New volunteers must sign up in person, however past volunteers who have joined our member’s Facebook page will be given access to a link to sign up online between 2pm and 8pm online. Please note that preference is given to those signed up in person, so you would hate to miss out just because you thought it would be easier to sign up online!
Camps applications are typically open between October and November in preparation for the following January, and are conducted through an online format.
Our January summer camps are highly selective in terms of the volunteers we accept, as we only take those who have demonstrated significant commitment to the charity in addition to prowess in working with the kids on picnics. Volunteering at our fundraising initiatives such as Tin Rattle is highly valued, and will significantly boost your camp application. Please note that you must have volunteered on a picnic of the previous year to be considered for camps, with preference being given to those who have volunteered for all picnics.