Duke of Ed FAQ's

Where is Camp Somerset?

Somerset is located on the Colo River, 25 mins drive from Windsor.Our Base Camp is located on our 360 acre riverfront property. Stretching over 40km of the Valley we have 14 campsites located on private land as well as 10 additional sites in use for DEAS expeditions. We adjoin the spectacular Wollemi National Park. Please note: GPS units may have trouble finding our address, please follow the directions on our map

How Does the Online System Work?

Click on the Expedition you wish to register for. Fill in the required fields and any options for hiring or purchasing gear, any friends you would like to be grouped with etc.Continue to the payment directions.Once registered you will receive an email which will be a summary of these details as well as Consent – this email needs to be printed, signed by your parent or legal guardian and returned as indicated.Once you have returned this form your place on the expedition will be confirmed and you will be emailed an Information Booklet with important details and helpful fact sheets on food, packing etc.    Register Now

What Do I Need to Bring?

All personal food and equipment required for your expedition. Through our online system you may hire and purchase gear that you don’t have – this gear will be ready upon your arrival. Trangia metho fuel stoves will be provided by Somerset and are the only stoves to be used. Some group gear such as toilet paper, matches etc will also be provided. After you register you will receive an Information Booklet with an Equipment List as well as food and gear suggestions. Prior to setting-off the Group Leader will run through all gear and food to ensure it is adequate / suitable. Gear will also be repacked and waterproofed where required.

I Have an Allergy / Medical Condition – how will this impact my camp?

Please note the details when you register. A Somerset staff member may contact you to obtain further information. We will endeavour to make suitable and mutually acceptable arrangements so that all students are able to participate in an expedition. Please be aware that options for rucksack transportation and the ability to ‘pull-out’ of an expedition are difficult. You will need to bring along any medication that you require as well as instructions. Please note that if you have an anaphylactic allergy you will need to bring along 2 epipens. You will need to note details on the Medical form.

What is the Weather like at Somerset?

Check out the link at the top of our homepage and use the Richmond forecast as a guide. During the hotter months there is the opportunity for groups to swim and cool-off in the Colo River after the day’s expedition.

What about Toilets and Showers (and Periods)?

Each level of the Award will see the students at a campsite with varying facilities and amenities – from fixed shelters to a hiking fly and from flushing toilets to digging a hole. Group Leaders carry a toilet trowel, toilet paper and hand sanitizer for use on expedition where there is not access to a toilet and / or fixed handwashing facilities. Group Leaders allow participants to walk a short distance away from the Group on the trail and ‘find a tree’ and at campsites a communal hole is set-up with a trowel for covering each time. It is a great idea to bring a small sanitiser of your own as well as tissues and / or baby wipes if wanted. It is also a great idea to bring along some small plastic bags or nappy bags for the disposal of sanitary items.

How are Groups and Tent Buddies arranged?

When registering online students can indicate who they would like to be in a group with eg ‘Rose Smith and Ellie Jones’ or ‘any other Sydney Grammar boys’ etc For open expeditions – prior to the expedition Groups will be formed based on the group members indicated, genders, numbers etc (whilst we endeavour to match up as much as possible we can’t 100% guarantee that you will be with who you wanted) For school bookings often groups are already formed at school with the coordinator. If not, we will look at those indicated in the Group member field. Once the group is assembled - tent partners and configurations will be worked out based on numbers, genders, friends within the group, personal tents brought etc. We separate genders within tents and, as much as possible, at campsites we separate the boys and girls tent areas.

What about Route Planning and Log books?

Route planning will be undertaken on the first day of the expedition before heading-off. A logbook of the expedition must be submitted after your Journey to be signed off. More details are available on the Duke of Edinburgh website and in our Information Booklet that you will receive after registration.

Safety at Somerset

As a leading professional outdoor organisation, safety is foremost throughout every programme run at Somerset. We are staffed by a team of qualified, professional Outdoor Leaders, trained in all aspects of programmes, certified in appropriate levels of Remote Area First Aid, valiated according to the requirements of the NSW Working with Children Checks and briefed to the Working with Children policies, and are familiar with the local area and environment. We are also an organisation Accredited by the Outdoor Recreation Industry Council, a process of external expert audit, to ensure our programmes are run at an Industry Best Practice level. All our programmes are supported by immense infrastructure and over 30 years of camping and programming experience. Our DEAS group sizes are an average of 12 students to 1 Group Leader who is with the group for the entirety of the expedition. Our student to adult ratios for bushwalking and canoeing have been developed in line with the NSW Adventure Activity Standards (published by the Outdoor Recreation Industry Council) as well as with our own internal risk management policies.

Somerset Risk Management and Emergency Response Somerset has a comprehensive incident and emergency response plan, safety management plan and bushfire management plan which will be enacted if required. Please note – whilst the Group Leader is qualified and trained to provide first aid in a remote situation there may be significant delays until additional medical assistance is provided.

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