The Victorian Blue Light Youth Camp hosts over 65 camps per year to a total of over 3,000 school children. We have a specialist BikeEd program that we have incorporated into a school camp program but also have other options to suit your needs taking advantage of the history and natural environment of the area in and around the camp site.
A summary of what our Bike Education program is about?
The Victorian Blue Light Youth Camp provides a program that assists schools with their bike education program and particularly for the community ride where students may be going onto the road for the first time.
At camp we are also lucky enough to have fully functional traffic lights, road signs and lines that also provide a realistic version of conditions that cyclists will need to navigate.
During the stay at camp our bike education staff will highlight the necessary behaviours to be responsible while on a bike. After the initial discussion the staff will examine the riding environment with the students and whether these are hazards or things that can be controlled e.g. following the road rules, lights and signage at camp.
Students will be checked for correct helmet fitting and provided a bike for their stay at camp.
Bike education staff will then observe the cyclists ensuring they are capable of potentially riding on the road at camp without endangering themselves, other riders or other road users.
On the road?
For students that are grade 4 and above they may then receive the opportunity to go out onto the road. This is not guaranteed though and will be determined whether the group or individuals have those capabilities to not place themselves at risk. That determination is done as mentioned above while observing them ride at camp. Not listening or following instructions and breaking simple road rules like staying to the left will result in individuals or the group not going onto the road. The bike education staff though will work hard though in trying to achieve the community ride with the group.
Risk management of every ride is paramount to ensure the safety of staff, group leaders and the whole group. There will be two bike education staff from the camp provided on every community ride. Occasionally we also have police take part in the ride as well. Additionally, there must be 1 group leader (teacher/parent) on a bike with the group (who is over the age of 18) to every 10 students.
The bike education staff from the camp will be in a vehicle at the front and another vehicle at the back of the group. These vehicles provide a visual awareness to other road users as well as the brightly coloured vests that all riders must wear. Local traffic is well adjusted to seeing the students out on the bikes but awareness of poor riding behaviour can still lead to risks. All teachers and drivers will have radio contact with each other to ensure that risky behaviours are stopped immediately e.g. not riding to the left, riding two abreast and alarming bike control.
The objective is for everyone to be a better rider than when they arrived at camp. For some that may be able to just ride on two wheels and our staff will assist non-riders. For others it is the education in being a responsible road user and understand the environment they are riding in. It has been said responsible bike riders make good car drivers e.g. they understand different surfaces can impact them whether they are riding or driving, they know the road rules, they identify dangerous situations quickly and can appreciate all users on our roads. It is important and also frightening a little to understand that grade 5 students on bikes will be on the roads in 5 years in cars. Bike education is paramount in their life-long journey as a road user.