Refer a Camper
help make a difference
We provide a variety of mentoring based, recreational activities, including week-long and weekend camps and day programs for participants who otherwise could not afford or access opportunities like this.
It is our priority to encourage sustainable change and development within communities, by promoting resilience, a sense of purpose, and aspirations for the future in every child, adolescent, and adult that attends our programs.
Our programs typically take place during school holidays and are designed and implemented by volunteers aged 16 – 26 years old. All of our programs have a 1:1 ratio of volunteer leaders to participants. This high ratio enables us to provide intensive support and enrichment for all of our participants – each with their own abilities, needs and circumstances. For example, they may be living in out-of-home care, have a disability and/or mental health issue, come from a very low-resource household, are living with a family member with a disability or mental health issue, are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, or are from a migrant, refugee or asylum seeker background.
Places on our programs are open to children and families who may be experiencing some form of disadvantage, marginalisation or adversity such as:
Social or economic disadvantage
Financial or emotional hardship
Social or geographical isolation
Young people who would not otherwise be able to access and enjoy such an experience
It is important you understand, no behavior, medication, or situation is a reason to deny someone access to our programs. We are happy to support anyone that needs it, within our capacity. Our organisation is supported by passionate volunteers and this is a major consideration when accepting children onto a program. It is largely dependent on how many experienced volunteers we have for that camp, the make-up of genders, and our capacity to support the people we accept, without overwhelming volunteers and placing them, children and our organisation at risk.
"I'm not sure how they do it but he has come away with such a boost in his self-esteem and confidence. He struggles in those areas and it was lovely to see him smiling from ear to ear."
From a carer of a camper
How to Refer
Each referral form must be completed by a non-relative who holds a position of responsibility or qualification, such as a Caseworker, Social Worker, Psychologist or Teacher. It is expected that this person knows the referred child well enough to comment on their suitability for an Edmund Rice Camps program.
The purpose of you seeking and signing the referral form is to ensure, as far as practicable, that the safety of the referred child, as well as the other camp participants and the staff is not compromised by accepting a referred child who might demonstrate behaviour that is inappropriate and beyond the ordinary capacity of an Edmund Rice Camps program.
All referral forms must have a completed, and signed, Conditions of Placement – Referrer, and Parent/Guardians Statement for a referred child to be considered for an Edmund Rice Camps program.
Step 1: Check your client's Eligibility
Please consult this table to assess your client's eligibility.
Step 2: Sign up to our mailing list
Once you have checked the eligibility of your client, you can register for our mailing list. We open referrals for individual programs via our mailing list.
Step 3: Submit a referral form
ERCSA requires a new referral form annually. Referral Forms are periodically released via our mailing list.
Step 4: Placement on a camp
Once we have received and approved your referral form we will confirm your clients placement on our program, and provide any relevant information for the program including what to bring and any other logistical information.
Step 5: Your client is a Camper
Please work with us to support your client on camp by ensuring that all relevant information is passed on to the client prior to their camp experience.
Getting your client on camp
Places on camp will be allocated and prioritised on a needs basis, and we will consider each referral equally based on the number of places we have available. We often receive more referrals than places available on camp. It is therefore very important that referral forms contain an appropriate level of information to demonstrate the reasons for referral to a program.
Successful applicants will receive an invoice with their letter of acceptance. In most cases, agencies will cover the cost of the camp fee, and will be issued an invoice after the child's place on camp has been confirmed.
The participant fee will go towards covering activity costs, accommodation, travel expenses, and catering for the participant(s) over the course of the camp program.
Current fees are as follows:
$100 for a Weekend Camp (per participant per camp)
$150 for a Week Long Camp (per participant per camp)
$200 for a Family Camp (per family per weekend family camp)
Activity Days - NO COST
Please note, should a participant cancel their place on camp with less than 4 business days’ notice, they will be charged 50% of the camp fee, to cover our administrative costs. The referral agency needs to be prepared to ensure fees can be paid.
How are participants selected for a camp placement?
ERCSA considers every referral for camp – we do not work on a 'first in, first served' basis. Our camps are run by volunteers and one paid staff member. We assess the needs of all the children who have been referred, and best match children to our volunteers' skill and experience levels. All referrals submitted before closing date, and meeting ERCSA conditions of placement, will be considered for a place on camp.
How many new referrals will you take for each camp?
ERCSA believe it's important to provide continued service provision to our children. For this reason we have many participants return to camps each year. We have a maximum of 50% new children on each camp program. ERCSA always receive more referrals than we have placements on camp; if your referral is not accepted this camp season please try again for the next camp.
Why do you require an agency after hours contact number?
ERCSA works with vulnerable children, and we require 24/7 access to a professional who works closely with the child and can provide information in the case of a child protection disclosure. It is only used as a last resort, and our policy means we are unable to accept a referral without this number.
The agency I work for doesn't provide an afterhours number, how can I still refer this child?
We recommend you speak to the school the child attends; often they will have a school counsellor who can provide after-hours contact for the duration of the camp program. Otherwise, source another agency working with the family who can provide an afterhour’s contact number. This can include a therapist or doctor, as long as they are familiar with the disadvantage the family faces, and can provide detailed information on the child.
What will the children experience on camp?
Activities on camp encourage children to work as a team or to challenge themselves to try something new in a safe and supportive environment. While each camp will offer different experiences there are some key activities that are repeated across camps.
These might include:
Various arts and crafts
Outdoor games and sports
Candle Sharing - giving children the opportunity to say something positive about one of their peers, and hear something positive in return