Q. What is Cottage by the Sea?
A. Cottage by the Sea is a non-government, not-for-profit organisation that provides inspiration, fun and opportunities for disadvantaged young people in a positive, healthy, seaside environment.  Our vision is that every child deserves a happy and a healthy life.

Q. Is Cottage by the Sea a Catholic organisation?
A. Cottage by the Sea is not affiliated with any religious organisation. The Cottage is located next door to Santa Casa, which is a Catholic Retreat that once held childrens' camps similar to those offered by the Cottage.

Q. Where is the Cottage?
A. The Cottage is in Queenscliff, Victoria, Australia. It is 90 minutes from Melbourne and 30 minutes from Geelong.

Q. How are children selected to attend the Cottage?
A. Cottage by the Sea offers camps to young people disadvantaged or lacking opportunities for a wide range of reasons. Children are usually referred by school welfare officers, welfare agencies, government health departments or council services. All referrals are checked with the child’s school before they are accepted.

Q. How are bookings made?
A. Our Referral Co-coordinator at the Cottage in Queenscliff assists families, schools and agencies with bookings, information packs and enrolment documents. 

Q. How many children attend each camp?
A. Generally there are between 12 to 20 children in each camp, with some bigger camps being run throughout the year. In total, just under 1500 children attend camps each year.

Q. What age groups do we cater for?
A. Take a Break camps are offered to primary school aged children. Children selected for the REEF program are in Grades 6 & 7. Graduates of the REEF program are invited to participate in the Mentor Program and continue in the program until they are 18 years old, so long as they are studying or in training.

Q. How long is each camp?
A. Cottage by the Sea offers short term care (camps) for children in primary school and beyond. The camps are usually from three to five days, between Monday and Friday. Some specialty camps are longer and may go over weekends.

Q. Who looks after the children?
A. The children are supervised twenty-four hours a day. All staff are qualified outdoor recreation leaders, teachers or child care workers. At night staff members are on duty to take care of the children and all aquatic and adventure activities are run by fully qualified leaders. All staff and volunteers have Working with Children Checks.

Q. What do the children do during their stay?
A. The children are kept active and occupied during the day and, depending on the season, visit the beach and local tourist attractions. They experience numerous outdoor activities as well as indoor activities, along with rest and plentiful nutritious food. A strong emphasis is placed on co-operation, teamwork and respect for self, others and the environment.

Q. How much does each camp cost?
A. Assuming the Cottage has already raised the necessary funds (around $10,000 per camp), the cost to families or schools per attendee is usually free but families and referral agencies often contribute $50 to help cover insurance and excursion costs. It costs the Cottage approximately $600 per child per camp.

Q. How are individual camps funded?
A. Our five day camps cost around $12,000 for a group of 17 – 20 children. Some camps are funded through a specific grant or individual donor. Many camps are funded by monies raised through a series of events over a period of time. Regular fundraising events include our Annual Fair, Golf Days and Race Days organised by our Ambassadors and Branches. Any one can donate to Cottage by the Sea anytime or help organise a fundraiser.

If you have any further questions or comments, we would love for you to contact us.