Location, location, location

There are many different aspects to running a Jamboree but there seems to be two really important ones – ones that get talked about first if they don’t work. That is, the location and the food. I’m hoping if we get these two things right, the talk will be of the activities, the friendship, the vibe.

We are holding the camp in Ballarat, located in the Central Highlands of Victoria. The Ballarat region is home to the Wathaurong People of the Kulin nation. A number of sites in the area were evaluated and following discussions with the City of Ballarat we have settled on Victoria Park. The whole park covers 130 hectares and the original design layout and plantings were done between 1890 and 1910, so just a little older than Girl Guides.

So how do you choose a campsite for such an event? A quick search of the internet took me to a blog listing 7 tips for choosing a campsite https://www.gocampingaustraliablog.com/2015/02/chooseacampsite.html.

I thought I’d see how our site stacks up.

  1. Size: Think about the gear your have, you don’t want to obstruct others, can you have a campfire safely?

With the masterplan indicating that there are currently 13 ovals on the site as well as grassland and two small lakes, I am fairly confident we will have enough room to fit. We do need to consider that we are just not talking tents we also need a stage area, catering area, medical facility and wellness centre, all the toilets and showers to service 1500 people etc. I think we tick off this requirement.

2. Level: nice and flat, don’t want to roll out of the tent but be careful of pooling water

The site definitely fills this criteria, the entire site is flat, flat, flat.

3. Shade: consider the weather, don’t camp under large trees but consider shade in the afternoon

This is probably an area of concern and something we are factoring into our site setup. The main area where we will be camping is an open area with shade trees to the side. We will need to ensure there is adequate shade tents on site for safety and comfort.

4. Location: where are the facilities, are you too close to others, is it noisy, do you have privacy

We will be bringing in the toilets and showering facilities and as we plan out the campsite consideration will be given to their location. One consideration has been that the park is in the middle of Ballarat, and so we need to consider security and ensuring we don’t upset the neighbours.

5. Neighbours: do they have good camping etiquette?

In terms of camping neighbours that will just be the subcamp next door which we know will observe very good camping etiquette. Like Sydney Jamboree we also need to consider other park users during the day and ensure that we are remembered as being respectful to others.

6. Wind: will you be blown away?

As we plan out the camp and in discussion with locals we will need to take wind and other weather into consideration.

7. Site conditions: are there anthills, rocks, rubbish, hard soil:

The sports grounds are all very well maintained and there is no site of rocks or rubbish. The biggest concern might be hard ground but we will keep this in mind when we set out where the sleeping tents will be.

So all in all, our hope is that we have picked a site that will be great to camp on but also has the space within the local area to do a large number of our activities either on site or close by. The park is walking distrance to Lake Wendouree where we can do a range of water activities. We are very excited to be able to use this space, and our thanks go to the City of Ballarat for their support in making this space available and supporting our needs on site.

And above all our aim when we leave is to Leave No Trace.

Have you camped on any memorable sites? What makes or breaks a site?

5 thoughts on “Location, location, location

  1. Hi Helen this is sounding amazing. So looking forward to being a part of it in some way. My only concern is security. It’s such a big area which of course has a lot of boundaries shared with the public. It is easily accessible to public also.

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    1. I agree Lyn, however Sydney had the same issue and used security fencing around the sleeping areas. We are looking at the same, and also using the toilet and shower facilities on the outside of the camp space to form a barrier as well. Definitely on the radar.

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      1. Sydney also had the challenge of a prison and they managed that really well too. No challenge is too big, small, complicated or new for Girl Guides!

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  2. Sounds like you have done the prep work Helen and I am sure it will be an amazing time for all. Should be a fantastic PR event for Guiding – maybe get a bit of publicity as well, especially in such a high profile area.

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  3. Loving reading all the detail, thought and consideration … thank you also for sharing this journey with everyone.

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