From the Head of Junior School

Donvale Toonallook Family Weekend

As in previous years, we will again be conducting our annual Family Weekend at the School’s Camp Toonallook. This year the camp will be held on the weekend of Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 March. Last year’s Family Weekend was a great success with many families attending. This year a maximum of 100 people will be able to attend, so get in quick.

All Donvale families are invited to come down to Toonallook and participate in the activities that are listed below. The focus of the camp is really just to allow families the opportunity to experience a little bit of what the children see and do when they attend camps there in Years 5, 6 and 7, as well as to enjoy spending time together with each other and with other families in a beautiful setting. Consistently, the feedback we have received is very positive with families commenting particularly on how much their children had enjoyed the freedom and fun with their school friends.

Camp Toonallook is situated on the Banksia Peninsula which is part of the Gippsland Lakes near to Paynesville and Bairnsdale. Although it is a fairly long drive down to the camp, I am sure that you will find the experience is well worth the trip.

Typical family weekend activities
Activities for the weekend may include fishing, water activities (e.g. kayaking and swimming), bushwalking, sightseeing, or less energetic pursuits such as reading, sketching, fishing and just relaxing. You may even like to bring along some games to share on Saturday evening after dinner – e.g. Trivial Pursuit, Chess, etc. Tours of the lakes on Toona Foam, the school’s ferry, will also operate, weather permitting.

The only formalities for the weekend will be the dinner on Saturday night and an open air Chapel Service at 9.30am on Sunday.

Accommodation is the responsibility of each individual family, the options being:

  1. Motels in Paynesville or Bairnsdale.
  2. Caravan parks in Paynesville, Bairnsdale or Eagle Point.
  3. Camping on site in a school tent, if available (6 only), or with own tent (4 sites). The tents at Toona are on raised wooden floors, all are UV weather protected with five beds and mattresses (BYO pillow and linen).

Those families wishing to stay on-site will be offered space strictly in order of application.

Please complete your application online – TryBooking commencing at 4.00pm on Friday 5 February 2016. Families are welcome to stay on-site on Friday night. Activities will begin on Saturday morning.

Please bring your own food. On the Saturday evening we will be having a spit roast dinner. Details to come regarding the dinner and food costs are on TryBooking. Could families please provide their own drinks. Kitchen facilities (including tea and coffee), the dining hall and ablutions block are available for use at any time. Morning tea on both days is also supplied.

Costs vary depending on your accommodation arrangements. This money covers the provisions for morning tea on Sunday and the evening meal on Saturday, and also contributes to covering the running costs of the camp. 

Important details 

  1. Camp Toonallook is a Baptist school property and is administered by the Barton Crees Trust. Under the rules of the Trust, dogs, cats, firearms and alcohol are not permitted on the Peninsula, and we ask that you comply with these rules.
  1. The journey to Toonallook takes approximately 3.5–4 hours.
  2. Please be prepared to assist with the general clean-up of the camp on Sunday.
  3. All parents are requested to park vehicles in any of the following designated parking areas:
    1. Bus turning/parking bay (angle park to vegetation line).
    2. The old archery range (angle park to vegetation line).
    3. Along the southern (fence) side of the entrance track.
  1. Vehicles are not permitted to park around buildings or drive off the camp ‘ring road’.

Further information will be supplied to participating families prior to the weekend. Please ensure the ‘Toonallook Guidelines’ are observed throughout the weekend to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all.

We look forward to seeing as many families as possible at the weekend.

Steve Wilson
Head of Junior School Donvale