Outdoor Education and School Camps COVID-19 Advice

Outdoor providers and schools are monitoring daily updates to advice and conditions. At this time of unrest, we want to extend our allegiance to all our communities.

We reach out to Auckland region as local council announce the two week closure of their facilities. Let's look to the outdoors and keep our health balanced.

Recreation Aotearoa members including those working with school and community groups want to highlight our openness to working with groups to deliver the educational outcomes through many different models such as smaller groups, delivery at schools or locations of their choice.

That may mean support relief teaching, providing exercise, time out in the local park, in-school leadership, adventure therapy, social and emotional development and so on.

The Outdoor Education Sector is a group with substantial history of risk management all while keeping focus on the health and wellbeing of clients. The 'Why' of our work is all about building communities, growing young people, developing resilience, supporting healthy lives. We are ready to work with you and tailor solutions to help.

While there is so much disruption to our world, when you look around, you see people using recreation and seeking nature to reset, keep the balance and smile.

The benefit of the diversity in the offer, location and delivery from these outdoor and recreation organisations is their ability to adapt and continue.

These providers, all Recreation Aotearoa affiliated, have developed their own appropriate procedures for dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak. These groups are monitoring the various sources of information, WHO, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and the wider media and adapting their procedures as new information becomes available to maximise the safety of participants and the wider community.

The Ministry of Education are using the following tool to guide their decision making. Take a look here.

The Ministry of Education has previously published key safety considerations specific to COVID-19 and EOTC, Education Outside the Classroom and have robust practices and policy to meet these.

They are as follows:

  • be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19 (which may be similar to other illnesses in the early stages)
  • the importance of protecting those vulnerable to respiratory illness - do you know who on your staff, in your volunteers and in your student population may be at greater risk?
  • if someone were to become ill with a serious illness, do you have facility to be able to respond to that, including the ability to isolate that person while you seek advice from public health?
  • do you have appropriate personal protective equipment and the ability to clean hard surfaces if someone were to become ill with flu, gastro bug, COVID-19 etc?

For further information, visit the website.

School Camps and other Outdoor Activities/Education are an important part of the New Zealand School Curriculum and way of life. Together we can achieve healthy interactions with people, using physical distance and social connection.

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