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Compulsory School Camps

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#1 Lori-SBB

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:15 PM

We moved our son to a new school at the beginning of this year and found out at the beginning of the month that there is a camp planned for next week.  We had no way of paying the fees for it on such short notice so we decided not to send him.  The other day he came home saying that one of the teachers has told him that it is a compulsory camp and he's required to go.  

Are schools allowed to have compulsory camps?  I don't recall signing anything when we enrolled him saying he must participate in these sorts of activities...  Anyone else come across this issue with their kids schools?

#2 i-candi

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:18 PM

Not compulsory but the school will pay for all or most if you can't pay. If you know that you will be ok after the move you can pay it back later.

#3 cinnabubble

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:19 PM

I'd contact the school and ask them.

#4 ~Kay~

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:22 PM

Have you discussed it with the school? Most schools have discretionary funds set aside for people who genuinely can't afford things like this.

#5 Lori-SBB

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:23 PM

I contacted the school, the principal called me back and said DS is required to go and the school will pay if I pay them back but it is a compulsory trip... This just seems strange to me...  

It's nice that they offered to pay and all but it's a new school I don't really feel comfortable sending him off with strangers that's why I didn't look into alternate payment methods in the first place...

#6 cinnabubble

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:24 PM

I wouldn't be happy with that.

#7 JRA

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:26 PM

What grade is your son in and is it a state school?

#8 i-candi

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:27 PM

It's actually great that he goes now, it's a great way to get him to know his fellow students.

That's why all schools send their first year of high school kids on camps in the first week. They all get to know each other - except my son who couldn't even tell me the names of the kids he shared a cabin with  rolleyes.gif

#9 fairymagic

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:27 PM

Whilst I understand your concerns, how old is your DS? Perhaps look at it as a great opportunity to get to make some new friends while he is away. He will probably have a ball and if the school is prepared to pay and you pay them back when you can, I would let him go.

My nieces go to a public primary school (you didn't mention whether this was a public/private school) and every year the whole school goes on a compulsory camp. It is for two nights, usually somewhere fairly local and if they don't go, they need to first have a good reason and second, stay home as there is no provision for them to be at school since all the teachers attend camp.

Good luck. Im sure he will have fun.

#10 Lori-SBB

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:31 PM

He's in grade 6 and it's a private school...

We moved him because he was getting picked on at the state school, we've had no issues with that since the move and he's been really happy, but I'm still worried...

#11 Ice Queen

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:33 PM

QUOTE (Lori-SBB @ 26/02/2013, 06:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
He's in grade 6 and it's a private school...

We moved him because he was getting picked on at the state school, we've had no issues with that since the move and he's been really happy, but I'm still worried...

Go for it!  He'll be fine.  It will be fantastic for him.  biggrin.gif
But I do understand how you must feel stressed if he has been picked on.

#12 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:33 PM

What's the purpose of the camp?  If it is educational and a part of the curriculum, my decision would be different to a camp which is primarily social and bonding in nature.

#13 Lori-SBB

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:34 PM

I am probably worrying over nothing, and it is an opportunity to make friends.  I may just have my back up because they've told me he has to go...

It's a week long camp interstate and he's never been on camp before so it seems huge to me...

#14 ~Jodama_Feral~

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:36 PM

Is it for peer support or something like that? Our grade 6 go on a team building camp in March and then another later on. Its a fantastic way for them to bond and get out of their comfort zone.

#15 Lori-SBB

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:37 PM

Hoi Polloi - It is mostly educational but with 6 days they have plenty of time for moves and zoos and laser skirmish as well...

#16 Black Velvet

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:38 PM

How would the school be able to enforce compulsory attendance...just curious.

#17 i-candi

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:39 PM

Year 6??? cut the apron strings - let him go

#18 i-candi

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:42 PM

QUOTE (Hoi Polloi @ 26/02/2013, 09:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What's the purpose of the camp?  If it is educational and a part of the curriculum, my decision would be different to a camp which is primarily social and bonding in nature.

omg social and bonding is sooo important !!! in fact we changed schools for DS in high school because the 'social and bonding' wasn't working! The school was great for academics but social was crap. DS is happy socially at his new school and I'm happy.

#19 Lori-SBB

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:43 PM

Mrs-Bouquet - Not sure I was wondering about that too, that was part of the reason for the thread.

i-candi - I don't want to cut the apron strings I like them where they are...

kriattica - Not peer support, but it is a trip that a lot of schools do, both public and private...

#20 Fr0g

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:43 PM

QUOTE (Lori-SBB @ 26/02/2013, 09:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am probably worrying over nothing, and it is an opportunity to make friends.  I may just have my back up because they've told me he has to go...

It's a week long camp interstate and he's never been on camp before so it seems huge to me...

You probably are, he'll no doubt be fine. I'd be more worried about the missed opportunity to make friends if he missed out. Take advantage of the school's offer to pay it back later, and send him off with confidence (even if you put on a brave face for him!)

(My son is missing the 'compulsory' interstate trip next week - he's 11 - although he's established with the kids, and ok with it. The school are fine with it too; he's the only kid out of 70+ not going :/ His school call it compulsory, but it's really just a strong 'expectation').

#21 2bundles

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:44 PM

I'm not sure why you would want to stop him. If it is for a week it will do him more damage not to go!  Friendship groups will be formed etc, and all the kids will be talking about it.

Unless there is some SN going on, I would be sending him. Does he want to go?

DD's school has a 5wk camp in yr 9 and it is on the enrolment form that it is compulsory.  Most camps are an integral part of the curriculum.

#22 Lori-SBB

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:48 PM

Sorry 2bundles not sure what SN means?

He doesn't want to go... He's pretty anti camps, though a lot of that could be from his old school...

Frog - if it's not a rude question why isn't your son going?

#23 2bundles

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:52 PM

SN is Special Needs. Ie Autism, health issues, psych issues etc.

#24 Expelliarmus

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:52 PM

Why are you trying to stop him going?

I don't understand at all.

He's old enough. The teachers are qualified enough. The money is not at issue.

I'm sorry, but I really think you are being too precious. To be honest I would be worried if my 11yo couldn't be away from me for a week on a school camp.

#25 Black Velvet

Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:54 PM

I understand that schools can make the camp compulsory, but can anybody tell me what the implications are if you just said "No, my child is not going". (other than what FrogIsAFrog stated in which case it is only strongly expected). Are there any actual consequences?

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