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Youngsters go wild as KAOS returns to Anglesea

Youngsters go wild as KAOS returns to Anglesea
February 8, 2017

Hundreds of children, parents and carers are set to go wild in the Victorian seaside town of Anglesea in the coming school holidays with the return of the popular Kids Adventure Outdoors (KAOS) event on 8th and 9th April.

The fully-facilitated weekend of adventure takes place in and around the coastal town’s stunning environments with a jam-packed roster of activities on offer designed to spark a lifelong connection with nature.

Event spokesperson, Vicki Chrzanowski, Manager of the YMCA Recreation Camp, one of the host locations for activities, explains “it’s about getting more kids more active in the outdoors more often.

“KAOS Anglesea is part of a worldwide movement to reconnect children with nature as parents start to recognise the huge positive and therapeutic benefits that come as a result being more active, specifically in an outdoors environment.

“Events like KAOS Anglesea provide a stepping stone environment for both kids and parents to re-engage with and, importantly, play in nature. Connecting our kids with nature is an important childhood development issue. It touches on health, education, community, recreation and natural resources.”

KAOS Anglesea is designed to make the most of the town’s unique landscapes which include bushland, estuaries and beaches along with the expansive outdoor facilities available at recreation camps dotted around town, hosting everything from climbing walls and archery fields to high ropes and giant swings.

New activities being added to the roster this year include: boomerang art and throwing; kite making; learn to ride; a ‘terrific twitch’ birdwatching activity; ‘Possum Pete’ discoveries putting the bush under the microscope; trampolining; a Bush Ranger session; and an Amazing Race.

Other popular favourites at KAOS Anglesea, which is now in its third year, include surfing, camping, mountain biking, canoeing, fishing, and Stand Up Paddleboarding. There are plenty of activities on offer to nourish the inquisitive mind, too, with estuary explorations and bush art.

Children  will be able to choose up to four activity sessions across the weekend – with parents able to attend many of these activities for free - plus a campout.

KAOS Anglesea was conceived in response to a growing recognition that many children spend unhealthy amounts of time indoors – the average child in Australia spends at least 44 hours per week in front of the TV or a screen – which experts believes contributes significantly to emotional, psychological and health problems during childhood, all of which have the potential for ongoing, negative impacts that span a lifetime.

This year’s event will again focus on a festival hub at the Anglesea Green, which will provide extra activities for the younger two to five year olds as well older children, along with activity sessions held at each of the participating recreation camps.

The event is also a great way to participate in both the Victorian Government’s 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.

Raylene Fordham, Executive Officer of the Business and Tourism Anglesea Association, which is heading up the organisational committee of KAOS Anglesea, adds “Anglesea is the perfect setting for a Kids Adventure Outdoors weekend.

“It benefits from a beautiful and diverse setting which is the perfect natural playground for all families. The event has something for everyone, providing a safe natural sanctuary where families can explore and enjoy the wilderness experience without having to be too remote or far from facilities.

“It gives those who aren’t necessarily confident in the outdoors the opportunity to develop skills and confidence in the natural environment.”

Kids Adventure Outdoors Anglesea 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.

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

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

• Canoeing – a first paddling experience in canoes on flat water
• Sailing – get a taste of salt air and sailing in the safe confines of the Anglesea River
• 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
• Learning to surf – in the safe waters of Anglesea Main Beach
• Trail run – run/walk along fun trails. Parents welcome. Non-competitive – every child is a winner
• Stand Up Paddleboarding – great for balance and strength on the calm waters of the inlet
• Mountain bike – short mountain bike course 
• Fishing – watch their smile as they catch their first ever fish!
• Low ropes course – test your balance on this mega-course of low rope challenges
• 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 

Kids Adventure Outdoors Anglesea is a joint initiative between Business and Tourism Anglesea Association, YMCA, Baptist Camping, Anglesea and District Community Bank and the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee with support from Surf Coast Shire and Regional Development Victoria.

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