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Kids’ Adventure Outdoors event to encourage outdoors activity

Kids’ Adventure Outdoors event to encourage outdoors activity
March 27, 2015

A new event focusing on outdoor activities in natural landscapes aims to provide children - and parents - with the opportunity to experience active adventures specifically designed for the younger generation with rides, runs, climbs, paddles and plenty more ‘wild’ play planned for the all-new weekend event.

Set to take place over the weekend of 11th and 12th April, 2015, the new Kids Adventure Outdoors (KAOS) weekend will be based at YMCA’s Anglesea Recreation camp, located on Victoria’s Surf Coast.

The inaugural event will feature activities aimed at engaging school-aged children with nature while influencing ongoing participation in a huge variety of adventure pursuits that make the most of nature’s playground.

The event is being presented as a great way to participate in both the Victorian Government Premier’s Active April initiative and Nature Play Week.

The 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.

Introducing the program, Australian Camps Association Chief Executive David Petherick explained “we have been inspired by the many worldwide movements now working to reconnect children with nature.

“Quite simply, we want to get more kids more active in the outdoors more often.

“Connecting our kids with nature is an important childhood development issue.

“It touches on health, education, community, recreation and natural resources. It’s all about facilitating play in nature and creating pathways to engender lifelong habits of activity and enjoyment in the outdoors.”

The KAOS program of fun-filled activities will take place amid stunning mountain, sea and inlet landscapes in a town renowned for easy access to adventure pursuits such as mountain biking, paddling, trail running, fishing, surfing and sailing.

YMCA Recreation Camp Anglesea Manager Vicki Chrzanowski stated “Anglesea is the perfect setting for a first Kids Adventure Outdoors weekend, as it already boasts excellent facilities offered through the numerous recreational camps based in town, plus the Scout Camp, the surrounding National and State Parks and the endless trails that weave through them, not to mention the opportunities for water based activities both seaside and on the town’s estuary inlet.

“In terms of a safe but beautiful environment where families can get an easy taste of adventure activities, it is the perfect location.”

Kids Adventure Outdoors taps into academic American author, Richard Louv’s, seminal work Last Child In The Woods, linking the lack of nature in the lives of today's wired generation - he dubs it ‘nature-deficit disorder’. Louv argues that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults.

Chrzanowski added “we thought that an event celebrating kids engaging in adventure activities is timely and relevant, and would serve to give parents an ideal forum to plug their kids back into physical activity enjoyed amid a wild but safe natural environment.

“Importantly, the weekend will give kids the opportunity to try adventure activities in a safe, comfortable setting with trained staff.”

As part of the weekend, families are being encouraged to get a taste of the camping life, with a facilitated overnight camp-out being offered on site.

Petherick concluded “for those families yet to experience the joys of camping out under the stars, or who don’t have the equipment, or just want to get more experience camping before going it alone, this is the perfect opportunity.

“We will provide the tents, a campfire dinner and have hosts on hand to ensure everyone enjoys their night under canvas, flame-cooked marshmallows included!”

A sampling of the two-day event line-up includes:

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 Roadnight 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.

While the event encourages a camp out experience for all, YMCA Anglesea is also offering discounted cabin and dorm accommodation on site for the weekend for those less inclined to spend an entire night in the great outdoors.

A kiosk will also serve food during the day with a Bush BBQ planned in the evening.

Kids Adventure Outdoors is a new joint initiative between the Australian Camps Association and YMCA with support from Sport and Recreation Victoria and adventure tourism consultancy firm, Adventure Types.

For more information go to www.kidsadventureoutdoors.org.au

Related Articles

30th May 2014 - Kings Park expert advises that risk is good for children

5th May 2014 - Nature Play passports to encourage activity for children

14th August 2012 - YMCA says Australia tops wrong leader boards

19th March 2009 - YMCA Calls for Investment in Health


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