When visitors step off the bus at any one of our centre-based Camps, they are met with fresh air, the serene sounds of nature and wonderful, lush surroundings. While our camps are nestled worlds away from the commotion of the urbanscape, behind the scenes, it takes a team of diligent and committed people to keep things running smoothly and at Camp Jungai, Belinda O'Brien is the woman at the helm. Belinda is the Site Manager at Camp Jungai; she has been with The Outdoor Education Group for nearly 10 years and every day, she feels proud of what Camp Jungai provides to young Australians.
WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF A CAMP MANAGER?
My primary responsibility is to look after the campsite and to ensure the teams dedicated to the site are fully supported. I work collaboratively across the Catering, Maintenance, Logistics and Housekeeping departments to make sure they have all they need to prepare the site to receive programs.
It is particularly important for me to remain consistently aware of the delivery schedule including mid-week program changeovers and weekend preparations when the site might receive visiting wedding groups or community groups.
I also handle phone enquiries from groups hoping to visit us.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?
One of the first things I do in the morning is check in with the kitchen staff to ensure the previous night’s dinner went smoothly. I then check in with the rest of my teams to make sure they are well set up for the day. I’ll often have meetings with our Maintenance team to review compliance checks and purchasing orders.
After lunch, I check in with the Program Coordinator who supports the delivery of our camp programs. Generally, the Program Coordinator will manage all the levers supporting the program, unless we are presented with a site issue like damage to a cabin or a supply issue. Regardless, I like to remain aware of any snags along the way.
I’ll return to my desk and ensure my teams are prepared for the following day and before I leave, I like to check in with everyone one final time.
HOW DO YOU PREPARE A PROGRAM?
Generally, a booking will come through from the Sales team; at this stage, I have most of the details I require to proceed with the booking, for example, student numbers and dates. Sometimes, I may contact the school to confirm details and provide them with my contact number. I hand the school over to the Program Coordinator, who will work with them on the finer details of the program outline.
Between the Program Coordinator, the Catering Manager, Maintenance and all other site staff, we make sure we understand which groups arrive when and what they require for a successful program.
WHAT MAKES CAMP JUNGAI SO SPECIAL?
Camp Jungai is my second home. For me, Camp Jungai is special because of the way it makes people feel. Camp Jungai has a strong connection to the land’s traditional owners, the Taungurung people and I believe our visitors can really feel they are in a special place when they visit us. I certainly feel it each time I arrive at the camp. We’re lucky to be able to operate on this precious land and provide opportunities for young people to truly engage with Indigenous history in a place so rich with story and natural beauty.
When I see our visiting students connect with the land, it feels incredible to be able to share that with them.
WHAT ASPECTS OF YOUR ROLE DO YOU ENJOY MOST?
I relish working collaboratively with the individuals and teams who make learning at Camp Jungai possible. I love being part of a strong team that understands Camp Jungai runs smoothly because of everyone’s’ contributions.
Since I’ve held my role at Camp Jungai, we have welcomed over 70,000 student participants and hosted over 200 community groups!