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Australian Camps Accreditation

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Licola Wilderness Village is proud to be accredited by the Australian Camps Association through the Camping with Confidence Accreditation Program. Accreditation indicates that we have been independently appraised and meet the core requirements for the safe and reasonable operation of a campsite.

'Camping with Confidence' is a national accreditation program designed to ensure the camping or outdoor experience is able to be conducted in a manner where the safety of participants and staff is assured. This means the buildings are appropriate and that proper activity equipment is provided and used in a safe manner.

It ensures there are clear procedures for supervising campers and administering bookings and proper planning has been done to manage emergencies should they arise.

For more information on the ACA visit http://www.auscamps.asn.au/

Camp visits

By Stephen Hamilton, ACA.

I was really looking forward to visiting this camp. It had been on my list to do so for sometime, but given the distance from home it needed to be done as an overnight trip. My young son and I had been invited to stay the night and enjoy a meal with the staff (the residents of the town).

I have passed through Licola many times on my way to bushwalking trips up in the Victorian Alps and always spied the camp out of the corner of my eye as we whisked through late at night. The camp is situated right on the banks of the Macalister River with towering peaks all around it giving it a real wilderness feel.

The region has been hit with fire and floods over the past 5-6 years but the village has withstood it all, including the throng of media that descends upon them each time these natural disasters occur. The township of Licola itself is a quaint little place and deserves its rightful place in Victoria's history. It is the last privately owned town standing, that still is not on the grid; generating its own power by a diesel generator.

The entire town was purchased (and still owned by the Lions Clubs of Victoria) in 1969 for a whopping $20,000. The whole town for $20K! We can only dream of such luck now. The town also pumps and treats its own water and is responsible for its waste management. The centre piece of the town is the camp, Licola Wilderness Village, where it has run camps since 1969 for disadvantaged children and special needs groups. In fact, the camp is set up like a small village, with the accommodation being made up (for the best part), of old purpose built three-to-four bedroom sawmill settlement houses and it even has its own chapel.

The camp can accommodate 240. Outside of the camp are a couple of dwellings consisting of a general store, Caravan Park, bunkhouse and a couple staff houses. The number of activities on offer at the camp is outstanding. Three in ground trampolines, outdoor chess, giant snakes-and-ladders (my favourite), art-room, indoor basketball stadium, pool, high-ropes, giant swing, leap-of-faith, flying fox, archery, climbing tower, commando course, performing arts stage and of course canoeing on the awesome river.

There really are too many activities to mention them all, but in saying that you can not leave the region without exploring Victoria's High Country walking which is right on the door-step. I also just loved the bouldering wall which uses the old sawmill kiln.

The currently under construction disability lodge, once completed will give the camp a new angle for large disability groups and boost the accommodation up to 270. The camp has produced a really excellent promotional DVD as a marketing tool. This is a great idea for camps to do and easy to send out to prospective groups.