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Child & Youth

Our Child and Youth Development area focuses on fostering growth through the Positive Youth Development (PYD) framework. We engage youth mentors, community stakeholders, families, and children in place-based and community-based activities to create safe spaces that help them thrive. 

ERCS programs help young people develop essential social and emotional skills, build self-esteem, and form positive relationships. These youth advocate programs empower young people to become agents of positive change, creating a supportive environment where they can thrive and contribute meaningfully to their communities. 

Child & Youth Programs

Known as Edmund Rice Camps, these programs and activities are single day and multi day experiences through our age specific REACH, GROW and LEAD camps that follow a journey of self-development and growth over a child’s journey with us. Typically run in the summer and winter school holidays, these camps bring children together with young-adult volunteers supporting them as mentors and friends. Our Eddie Explorer activities provide consistent local connections for children with new activities to experience and explore every month. Our Head to Heart programs build a strong platform for children and young adult volunteer mentors to develop leadership skills. 

Our Flagship Programs

REACH Camps

Designed for children aged 7 to 11. 

These 3 night kids camps are held during the summer and winter school holidays. Children learn about community, develop increased confidence in learning and build social connections. 

 

 

GROW Camps

Designed for children aged 12 to 15. 

These 3 night camps for teenagers are held during the summer and winter school holidays. Building on the learnings from the REACH program, children become more independent and learn skills to engage in social, learning, and physical activities. Attendance on an earlier REACH program is not required but is recommended.

LEAD Camps

Designed for children aged 15 and over.

These leadership youth programs are run twice per year at scheduled times. The four main themes of the program are leadership, experience, aspiration and development. Participants widen their perspective of what social justice is in their community.

 

Eddie Explorers Program

Fun multi-day programs in a one-day format. 

Pairing groups of 5 participants with 7 volunteer leaders, the teams enjoy an activity day where they are supported to try new experiences, build relationships, create a sense of belonging and connection, and have fun.

 

 

Head 2 Heart

A school-based youth advocate program designed to build protective supports for young people aged 11 – 12 and leadership and social justice opportunities for young people aged 16 -18.  

Our programs are targeted to lessen the impact of disadvantage, and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) – abuse, neglect, trauma, parental alcohol and drug use, maltreatment – by promoting protective factors to reduce the likelihood of harm and build resilience.

Our Partners

Our Impact

For more information head to Our Impact 

Social Connection

Our programs build strong social connections among young people, fostering a sense of belonging and community. Through group activities and collaborative projects, participants form meaningful relationships with peers and mentors. This support network reduces feelings of isolation and encourages a culture of mutual respect and cooperation. By promoting inclusivity, we help young people feel heard, valued, and understood, enhancing their sense of belonging.

Resilience

Building resilience is key to our approach. We put young people at the centre of their own decision-making and choices. Guided by mentors, they face challenges during activities, experiencing the rewards of their courage and learning to adapt and recover from setbacks. This resilience improves their mental well-being and prepares them to face future obstacles with confidence.

Individual & Community Empowerment

Our programs emphasise the importance of individual empowerment. By fostering a sense of autonomy and encouraging young people to take initiative, we help them become advocates for themselves and others. Empowered young people are more likely to engage in leadership roles and drive community development projects. This empowerment helps young people become change-makers in their communities.

Stories of Change

Our impact is more than just numbers. Read about the very human impact made by some of our programs directly from the children and caregivers themselves.

“It was an organisation who welcomed me to each camp with open arms. The management, the leaders, and the other kids, just saw me for me. Edmund Rice Camps became the only place where I could go knowing I felt safe and could sleep well at night. Another important thing that happened to me was the leaders were consistent in their character…”

“My son attended Edmund Rice Camps from about the age of 12 until he turned 16. From a reluctant kid completely against attending his first camp, he was transformed into a boy who couldn’t wait until the next one…”

“Our child psychologist recommended Edmund Rice Camps for my daughter when she was 5. She had some life-altering circumstances that had been challenging for us both. Eddie Rice was part of a program, alongside her psychologist, that worked towards her learning how to cope with stressful situations, learning safe behaviours, and reshaping her self-worth…”

Support Us

Every day and every dollar can make a difference.

Whether through donating, volunteering or partnering, your support makes a positive impact on the lives of children, families and communities experiencing vulnerability. Every contribution, big or small, helps us create lasting change in social connection, resilience and individual and community empowerment.