Where is Somerset?
Somerset is located on the Colo River, 25 minutes from Windsor and 90mins from Sydney. Our Base Camp is located on our gorgeous riverfront property, and we have more than 15 campsites located on private land, stretching over 40km of the Colo Valley. All of our properties adjoin the Wollemi National Park, and we hold a NPWS Premium EcoPass Licence to extend our programs into this spectacular wilderness.
What activities will we do?
Each program at Somerset is developed in conjunction with the school, and each contains a different combination of activities and program areas. Specific information on your school's camp can be found in the Program Information to Parents/Caregivers when you Login. Some further general information on Somerset can be found in the About Us section of this site.
Where will we sleep?
All accommodation at Somerset is in two person dome tents. Depending on the program, these tents will be pitched on the floodlit grounds at Base Camp; at one of our established campsites in the valley; or at a remote expedition campsite.
What about supervision?
All Somerset school programs involve students being organised into groups (an average of 18). Each of these groups is lead for the entirety of the program by a qualified, experienced Group Leader from Somerset and accompanied by a Teacher from the visiting school. In addition, a second Somerset Leader will join the group for activities such as Canoeing, Rock Climbing, and High Ropes Course.
What will we eat?
At Somerset, we believe that tasty and filling fresh food, in good quantities is an essential part of a great camp. In addition, students involvement and responsibility in the preparation of meals can be a powerful and rewarding part of the program. Somerset meals vary with the program type but will always include some combination of fully prepared meals served in our dining hall; group meals cooked around the campfire at a campsite; and lightweight expeditions meals carried and prepared by groups on extended programs at expedition campsites. We provide all meals and snacks from Morning Tea on the first day to a farewell Lunch on the finishing day. We provide standard alternatives for certain requirements please see further information on dietaries when you log in.
What about toilet and shower facilities?
Our Base Camp is supported by fully serviced toilet blocks with hot showers. Most groups will spend some time in or around Base Camp during their program and will have the opportunity to use these facilities. All of our established campsites have flushing toilets, with clean running water and soap for handwashing. At our expedition sites, facilities vary from composting toilets to 'dig-a-hole' - groups carry a toilet trowel, toilet paper and hand sanitiser.
What happens if it rains?
Part of any outdoor experience is being subject to the weather. At Somerset we have worked hard to establish a range of facilities to ensure that programs can proceed in all weather conditions. All campsites are equipped with large covered shelters, with many undercover areas established at Base Camp as well. Most activities at Somerset can continue in all weather, but those that need to be changed for safety reasons can easily be replaced by the many outdoor and indoor activities we have on stand-by.
Are the Group Leaders Qualified?
Our Group Leaders hold relevant tertiary outdoor qualifications and are certified to industry standard remote area first aid. Staff are verified according to the requirements of the NSW Working with Children Check. Somerset staff have all participated in our internal training which focuses on the company's values and goals as well as logistics, activity familiarisation, safety, group facilitation and child protection. This holistic approach to training equips our staff with the essential skills needed in our outdoor environment.
I have a dietary need, will I be catered for?
In general, our policy is to provide standard alternatives for those with common dietary needs, as well as other basic alternatives. Our administration staff may also be in contact with parents/guardians in the week prior to camp to discuss this further and will provide information of all the alternatives we are able to provide. We invite parents to decide if these alternatives are suitable for their child and if not; ask that they send along alternative meals. Please note that Somerset is a nut-aware camp. Please refer to the Dietary Requirement Information which can be found when you log in to your school's camp page.
I have a medical condition/allergy/require medication, how will this impact on my camp?
Our administration staff may be in contact with parents/guardians in the week prior to camp to discuss this further and how this may or may not affect a students camping experience. Working with schools for over 30 years, we are accustomed to the vast array of needs of every individual and work hard to accommodate this into our programs where possible. In general, most conditions requiring medication can be easily managed on camp. Please feel free to contact us to discuss this further. Please ensure you provide details in the Camp Form.
What is the weather like in Summer/Winter at Somerset?
Summers are generally hotter than Sydney in the Colo and winters are cooler. During a summer program there is the opportunity to have a swim in the river after a day of activities. In winter you can warm up by a campfire at night time with some marshmallows. Use the Richmond forecast as a guide.
What sort of clothes do I need to bring to Somerset?
As the weather in the Colo Valley is very different to Sydney and you will be spending the majority of your time outdoors (even when you are sleeping!); please ensure you pack the right clothes to make your camp comfortable so you can focus on having fun! Fleece or woollen jumpers are ideal for winter as they stay warm even if they are wet (cotton does not do this) for added warmth thermals are a good idea too. You will also need 2 pairs of shoes – one for the river (which will get wet!) and another sturdy pair for walking (preferably with ankle support). You will also need to pack sun-safe clothes - such as tops with sleeves and / or collar and a broad-brimmed hat. Please refer to the Equipment List found when you log in to your School's Camp Page.