kids

'I sent my daughters to Rocketeers, a school holiday program. It was their highlight.'

Camp Australia
Thanks to our brand partner, Camp Australia

I love my kids. Really, I do. I enjoy spending quality time with them, but the summer holidays seemed to stretch on and on. Perhaps this was because I’d already spent most of last year in lockdown with them. 

It’s probably no surprise that towards the end of the holidays everyone was getting a little bored. I had run out of ideas to keep them entertained, so I was thrilled to receive an invitation to trial Camp Australia’s new holiday program.

Camp Australia has a 30-year history running care options out of school hours. Their programming is engaging, educational and fun. Importantly, it's driven by passionate staff, who are all focused on children's growth and development - on top of how they spend their time in care. And “Rocketeers” is their newest holiday program.    

My eight and 10-year-old daughters jumped at the chance. They have been begging me to send them to “after school care” and "holiday care" for years. Perhaps I am not as fun as I think I am! But no offense taken, I was pleased they would have a change of scenery and I could spend time with my four-year-old.

What is Rocketeers?  

In short, Rocketeers is excellent. It’s a space for children to escape the ordinary and experience the extraordinary during school holidays. It's directed by the children, informed by family feedback and designed by dedicated holiday staff. No two days are the same with Rocketeers, as each new day offers a unique and exciting adventure and the children are certain to love them. I know mine did. 

Image: Supplied.

On the day my girls attended, they engaged in a variety of fun, interactive experiences and didn’t want the day to end. Rocketeers is all about variety. Any given day could see your child competing in a sport carnival, cooking up a storm, experimenting with science or getting hands-on with construction.

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Upon arrival, all children were given a Rocketeers t-shirt. My girls loved the colour - a gender-neutral watermelon. 

What was involved?

Kicking off with an incursion by Bricks 4 Kidz, they built an amusement park complete with motorised rides. Some of this was a little challenging but with the help of the staff they created a magnificent construction. They learned how to make things spin, turn, roll and rock, which they have since used back at home. 

Next up it was time for some messy play – the kind that kids absolutely love but parents, not so much. Cue: Paint Storm. Two words that incite dread in most parents at home, but full endorsement elsewhere!

Image: Supplied.

Paint Storm was the highlight of the day. They love messy, creative play and Paint Storm delivered. Each child was given a canvas to create a unique masterpiece using a technique called "pouring paint". Undoubtedly one of the messiest of painting trends, paint pouring is nothing short of good, sloppy and creative fun. And the best part? These masterpieces are now hanging proudly in their bedrooms.

Next it was time for some coding fun. Where were these types of activities in my day? In this activity the girls learnt how to program and code a robot. Older children were challenged in a hands-on game where they got to play programmer, building “procedures” to guide their robot along a path from start to finish. 

When I went to collect them at the end of the day, they didn’t want to leave. Not only had they spent the day immersed in fun, multi-faceted experiences, but they had also made new friends. They were able to bring their Rocketeers’ t-shirt home, as well as their abstract art, but mostly they brought home smiles from the rich experiences they’d had during the day.

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Image: Supplied.

Having spent some time with them in the morning observing the holiday program, I was impressed with the breadth of experiences they were offered. The program included STEM elements, creativity, extension activities and age-specific tailored activities. The educators were passionate, warm and encouraging. While the day had structure to it, it also allowed flexibility; and in many ways it was child-led. 

My girls delighted in telling everyone at dinner all about their AH-mazing day. It was clearly a highlight of their holidays.

And there were some upsides for me, too. As a working mum of four, holidays can be really challenging. Balancing work with family life is hard, and this day enabled me to get some work done, knowing my kids were being well looked after. I also got to spend some one-on-one time with my youngest, something that is virtually impossible in a busy family.

If you’re looking ahead to the next school holidays, consider Rocketeers for a day or two (or more). The only downside is that my kids keep asking if they can do Paint Storm at home. Um, sorry kids, unfortunately we’re all out of paint…

Michaela Fox is a freelance writer, blogger and mum of four. She is also the Founder of Girls Thriving, an online platform dedicated to helping young girls thrive.  


Camp Australia
Camp Australia is Australia's leading provider of Outside School Hours Care (OSHC). At Camp Australia, children are at the heart of everything we do. We guide children’s growth through delivering enriching experiences before school, after school and on their holidays. Our engaged educators foster a safe, inclusive environment where children can relax, have fun and grow. To learn more, visit www.campaustralia.com.au. or follow us on Facebook.