Survey Feedback & Common Student Questions

Camp Creative is an annual event that has been running since 1986.

As of 2024 we are providing 80+ courses and hosting 1100+ students.
The event is put on by a single Coordinator along with an amazing committee,
who all volunteer their time to make it all happen.

During the week of Camp Creative we have a team of young guides from the local area as well as more volunteers that give their time to make it a great week.

As far as we know, there is no other event like Camp Creative in Australia!

Here are some common questions and feedback we receive..​

GENERAL

If you are concerned about COVID risks, then it is up to you to provide your own mask.

Attendees are responsible for their own COVID safety.

COVID is now endemic in the community and it’s up to all of us to make decisions that reduce the risk of infection for both ourselves and others. 
 NSW Health advises to: 
 Stay home if you have cold or flu symptoms and wear a mask if you need to leave home.
Stay up to date with your recommended COVID vaccinations.
Discuss with your doctor your eligibility for anti-viral medication if you are higher risk.
 More information is available from NSW Health https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/protecting-yourself
In line with community standards Camp Creative does not offer refunds or credits in case of illness.
We ask that you do not attend if you are positive, but we are also not responsible for providing a credit if you become ill. 
Due to the restrictions created by the size of our classrooms, we cannot provide socially distanced conditions.  
If you aren’t comfortable with this, it is suggested that you do not attend.

All of the venues are hired by Camp Creative, so we are required to comply by the rules of those venues.

The Department of Education specifically forbids dogs on their premises.

Plus, we cannot rule out allergies and/or fear of dogs amongst campers.

Service dogs are of course allowed, but we need to know about this in advance so we can inform course participants.

In the interest of public health and safety, we must ensure all of our venues are smoke and vape free.

The Department of Education specifically forbids smoking/vaping on their premises.

Monday at Camp Creative is hectic!  

If you have checked in on Sunday and received your name badge and know where your class is, that greatly reduces queues and wasted time on Monday. If you are already very familiar with venues/rooms at Camp Creative, it isn’t really necessary to check-in on Sunday. But if you’ve never been before we recommend you do, to save any confusion on Monday morning.

All other school holiday periods are only 2 weeks, while the summer holiday break is 6 weeks.  
Camp Creative is a huge event and we need more than a 2 week period to set up, run the event and pack down.

The event also takes a whole year to organise, which is why it can’t be held more than once a year.

COURSES

Camp Creative uses every hall and venue in our small town.  We also use every single available room at the High School and St Mary’s Primary School.

There is literally no more room in town, we wish there was!

We try to provide as many course options as we can for our students, 
but we are still restricted by the amount of rooms we have and also need to have course proposals to fill this requirement.

Half day courses also need to be paired with another half day course, so that rooms don’t go to waste for half a day.

Great!  We would love to see a course proposal from you. You can find more information here.

FOOD, DRINK & CANTEEN

As we only have one canteen facility available at the High School, we put out the opportunity for tender to the local community.

The canteen is then the sole responsibility of the business chosen from the tender process.

The menu is then provided by that chosen business, Camp Creative does not choose the menu.

While we would like to provide this convenience, local coffee van providers won’t work at an event if another coffee van is onsite.
We appreciate that queues are annoying but the volume is only enough for one main vendor. 
We are working on school-based fund raiser where they work out of their cafe. Watch this space.

Because there is already a different business operating the canteen at St Mary’s Primary School.

CLASSROOMS & VENUES

Class numbers always have been and always will be very difficult to manage. 

Current class numbers are already at a reduced level to what they were previously.

There is a fine balance between class numbers and course viability.

If there aren’t enough people in the class to cover the costs of renting the space and paying the tutor, then the course is no longer viable.

This is common feedback received from students at Bellingen High School.

Air conditioners are all set on a timer and the button at the front of the class needs to be pressed every hour to keep it running.

As we use rooms/venues that we hire at a cost, we must use them ‘as is’.

Lots of things are considered when we decide where to ‘room’ a course. 

These include student numbers, required facilities, whether the course is adults or kids, which room the course was in last year.

Some courses have to be in the same room each year eg. Life Drawing needs privacy and Spaghetti Circus must use the school hall.

So some things are always set and we have to shuffle the other 80+ courses to fit in.

With 80+ courses, it is a huge game of tetris to fit everyone in!  

Aside from that, Camp Creative has to comply with complicated child safety laws.  

We understand that this may be inconvenient for some families, but the easiest way to manage child safety issues is to locate as many of the kids courses as we can in the one place.

It sure was!
But as our kids offerings have grown and child safety compliance has changed over the years, we have to change with that.
In the interest of child safety and logistics, it is much easier and safer to have most kids courses at the one venue, St Mary’s Primary School.
Even if we could shuffle courses around and put a combination of kids and adult courses across both schools, then adults would be unhappy to be placed at St Mary’s and ‘miss out’ on the high school.

TRANSPORT

While we used to provide this service, we can no longer logistically manage this. 

The main reason is due to child safety law compliance.  The other issue is that parents need to fill in permission slips for this service in advance. Chasing hundreds of parents to do this before the event via email is a near impossible task reliant on either parents answering emails or the coordinator needing to make chase-up phone calls.

For 2025 we are planning a kids concert at St Mary’s, to alleviate the logistics of transporting children between schools.

Some students have suggested more shuttle buses.

Suggestions include a lunch time bus to/from the Showground and also buses to towns further away like Coffs Harbour and Macksville.

While this is a great idea, we don’t have the staff or resources to make this happen.

BELLINGEN & TOWN

Camp Creative does encourage businesses to alter their hours during the week of the event.
Ultimately though, the choice remains with the business.
Like all small town/regional venues, the Showground is run by a volunteer committee.
Facility upgrades are very costly and would need to be fully fundraised by the community, which isn’t an easy task.
Grants are not as prolific as they once were for community projects
There is a huge amount of accommodation available in Bellingen and surrounds.
Providing a list of available accommodation is currently being discussed by the committee.

FEES & PAYMENTS

Camp Creative 2024 was the first event in 13 years to cover costs.
We feel that our prices are actually quite reasonable.
For the price of your ticket not only do you receive a full week of tuition, you also get access to 4 free evening events.
There aren’t many creative workshops that we could find in our google and Facebook searches, 
where you would receive tuition for less than $100 per day.

Our ticketing provider is unable to offer this service at checkout at this time, but they are working on it.  

We are pushing for this to be available but we don’t have a timeline on when this will happen.

It is unlikely to be available before we go-live for ticket sales on 1st June.

While we would love to offer cheaper tickets, we also need to cover our costs. Camp Creative is a huge event to facilitate, with 80 tutors and 1000+ students. Our event is mostly run by volunteers, but we still incur large costs from all our venues and insurance requirements, cleaners etc. Not to mention that we also need to pay our tutors.

As Camp Creative is a non-profit business, this isn’t a viable option for us.

We do offer a small discount for pensioners on full-day courses, but this is all we can manage at this stage.