The Portsea Camp

Children’s camp experience

Camps run for disadvantaged, rurally isolated and special needs children during school holidays are second to none. With a near 70 year history running such camps you can rest assured that we have ironed out any bugs!

Preparing your child for camp

Some children come to camp without a care in the world, thrilled at the opportunity. Others may be very hesitant. Parents or guardians with children who are apprehensive can help their child by assuring them that if they are homesick they can have contact with home. In our experience telling anxious children that you will pick them up if they are homesick is always difficult as children are less able to settle in the first 36 to 48 hours.

Travelling to and from camp

Children travelling to camp on coaches, particular from distant country areas, often arrive at camp quite exhausted. Not surprisingly, many of these children find the first day at camp quite tiring. Please try to ensure that children get good rest before camp as this will help reduce exhaustion induced homesickness.

Please ensure that you provide children with a healthy lunch to eat on coaches travelling to camp.

The Recreation Program

Our focus is on ensuring that all children can experience a vast array of activities chosen to meet children’s developmental needs. Variously, they are exciting, educational, stimulating, encourage cooperation and teamwork, require children to use initiative and ask them to test their boundaries. Naturally we also provide a range of more passive activities.

All specialised activities where there can be a perception of risk are run by staff and volunteers who are qualified to run the activity in accordance with endorsed guidelines.

The program runs from 7am until 10pm, and other than on the first day of camp (when activities are run in dorm groups to encourage group bonding) and during evenings (when all-in carnivals, oval games or movies are shown), children are free to choose the activity they will try.

Please assure your child that they will certainly have a chance to try every activity!

Health Care

Children’s health care needs are met by a team of volunteer nurses (and occasionally a Doctor) who administer prescribed medication and provide first aid from our purpose-built Medical Centre. The Centre has a well-equipped first-aid room and pleasant bedrooms for children who may be unwell overnight. All staff and volunteers who are off-site with children, whether, for example, at the beach or bike riding in Point Nepean National Park, have first aid qualifications and carry first aid kits. All camp staff have training in first aid, asthma and anaphylaxis management.


All dietary needs are catered for by our catering team, consisting of qualified chefs and kitchen hands. Meals are prepared onsite, consist of healthy fresh produce and are much praised for their taste, quantity and presentation. A range of fresh salads accompanies every meal. No food products containing nuts are used and there is always an abundance of fresh fruit for children to eat throughout the day.

Pastoral Care

The camp has a well-founded reputation for ensuring that all children are helped to get the most from their camp experience. Our staff and volunteers meet daily to consider how children are progressing and ensure that parents are kept up-to-date if any issues arise. Where children experience homesickness or engage in bullying behaviour we will discretely discuss this with you and what strategies you would prefer we use. Adults are always available to support children and we place all our attention in the early days of camp to ensuring that children who are anxious settle in. Leaders responsible for children in particular rooms sit on children’s tables for meals, allowing them to keep a watchful eye on children’s energy levels and general disposition. Children who attend camp with friends will have the option of being in the same dorm room and sitting at the same tables for meals.

Take a look

Take a look at our camp images page to see a small part of the activities on offer. Gallery.


Parents / guardians confidence in a school, sporting club or camp is best assured when feedback from previous campers and their parents is freely available. Please take time to look over the feedback we receive. Testimonials 

Back to top