Kids create KAOS in the outdoors

Kids ditched their PlayStation’s and Nintendo’s last weekend (11‐12 April) for the natural wonders of the great outdoors ­‐ escaping to the stunning natural environment of Anglesea, Victoria, to take part in a new event that encourages families to get more active in the outdoors more often.

The inaugural Kids Adventure Outdoors (KAOS) event featured activities aimed at reconnecting school‐aged kids with nature, while also encouraging ongoing participation in these activities. The event was held at YMCA’s Anglesea Recreation Camp and was a huge success with organisers already discussing plans for another event in 2016.

Over 180 kids and adults paddled, climbed, ran, built, cycled, sailed, explored, discovered and laughed their way through the weekend while also enjoying a camp out in tents complete with marshmallows, damper and stories around the campfire.

According to David Petherick, CEO of the Australian Camps Association, it was wonderful to see so many families and kids connecting with nature and participating in such a variety of outdoor activities.

“There were families attending from all across Victoria and many that had never stayed a night in a tent before. To see the enjoyment these families got from camping out under the stars and sitting around a campfire together was very satisfying and one of the key reasons for holding the weekend event,” David said

“We know the importance of getting kids into the outdoors from a young age and to receive the incredible feedback from kids and adults about the success of the event and know that great memories were created from the weekend, it is very rewarding,” David said.

The Kids Adventure Outdoors (KAOS) was a joint initiative between the Australian Camps Association and YMCA with support from Sport and Recreation Victoria and adventure tourism consultancy, Adventure Types. The weekend event was also part of the Victorian Government’s Premier’s Active April initiative and Nature Play Week.

Screenshot 2015-04-17 22.57.40The Premier’s Active April encourages all Victorians to do 30 minutes of physical activity a day during April. Active April is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to promote healthy and active lifestyles and get Victorians to join in the fun of increased physical activity.

“Connecting our kids with nature is a very important childhood development issue,” says David Petherick. “It’s about facilitating play in nature and providing easy access to activities to foster an increased enjoyment of nature and participation in outdoor activities.”

Vicki Chrzanowski, Manager of YMCA’s Anglesea Recreation Camp said “We were thrilled to host the inaugural KAOS event here in Anglesea over the weekend. Seeing kids engaging in adventure activities is timely and relevant, and providing parents with access to physical activities that can be enjoyed in a wild but safe natural environment with trained staff was wonderful.”

A sample of the activities from the weekend event included:

Screenshot 2015-04-17 22.57.58• Obstacle Challenges – a Mini obstacle course peppered with fun challenges including flying fox and a Maxi course based on a high ropes adventure.

•  Trail run –run/walk along fun trails. Parents welcome to run with children. Non-­‐competitive – every child is a winner for finishing.

• Mountain bike – short mountain bike course

• Canoeing – a first paddling experience in canoes on flat water

• Climbing walls – experience the joys of the vertical life, including roped wall climbs and bouldering room.

• Giant swing – for thrill seekers, a swing that lets you go high in the sky

• Low ropes course – test your balance on this mega-­‐course of low rope challenges

• Sailing – get a taste of salt air and sailing in the safe confines of Point Roadknight bay

• Skateboarding – four wheel roller derby

• Geocaching – navigate your way to hidden treasures

• Bush Hut building – let nature help you build a shelter

• Camp Out – parents and children encouraged to sleep in tents sited in our special camping zone

Further information about the event can be found at: www.kidsadventureoutdoors.org.au

For general enquires please contact YMCA’s Anglesea Recreation Camp on (03) 5263 1512.

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