What could be more exciting than being immersed in the stars, surrounding yourself with views of the galaxy, learning how to build rockets or code rovers?
The Space Squad program is Australia’s best residential holiday program for students in years 2 – 12. It is designed to ignite and fuel that spark of passion for space and STEM-based careers, robotics, engineering and astronomy.
Across 5 action-packed days*, we plunge our cadets into the space industry where they will learn about space exploration and science, they will meet engineers, astronomers and astrophysicists. They will gaze at stars, visit technology and space centres, build and launch rockets, fly drones and code rovers.
Are you ready to learn, discover and experience a whole new world of space? We’re ready to launch – we just need you!
Space Squad is run by an experienced leader as well as a whole team of dedicated volunteers and space specialists.
Our Space Squad camps are program of the Y Canberra Region, who have been running camps, children’s services and youth activities in and around Canberra for over 75 years.
The YMCA Canberra Region is an accredited Safeguarding Children and Young People organisation, and is independently audited by the Australian Childhood Foundation (ACF). All our employees and volunteers are committed to, and are trained in, keeping young people safe as our priority in all programs and activities.
During Space Squad, our cadets will have the opportunity to meet, visit and experience a range of things from the Advanced Instrument and Technology Centre. to Canberra’s Deep Space Communication Complex.
They will touch satellites, look at dwarf galaxies, learn how stars collide and about space ripples, experience virtual reality, rover building, rocketry and more!
*Dates are subject to change, please check in with ACT Health FAQ and our Facebook Page to stay up to date.
*Junior Camps have no overnights.
^July Camps are not yet open, but there will be Priority Boarding for families who have received this offer for being affected by cancellations
If you’re applying for a scholarship please read and fill out the relevant form here
The Space Squad Camps are held in Canberra with our space cadets staying at the YMCA Bush Capital Lodge. Students will travel via bus from their accommodation to sites around Canberra.
Bush Capital Lodge is located in a tranquil bush setting with quick and easy access to Canberra’s main attractions and venues, making it an ideal space for our space cadets to be based out of. Bush Capital Lodge won the category of Best Standard Accommodation at the 2015 Canberra and Regional Tourism Awards.
Canberra itself has some of Australia’s greatest space attractions! In fact, some of the first images of a man walking on the moon were beamed from Honeysuckle Creek – a tracking station in Canberra. This is an experience not available anywhere else in Australia!
Applications for our Space Squad Camps open closer to each Camp’s date.
Check here or on our Facebook page to stay up to date with when your Camp applications open.
Please note, this price does not include transport to and from the camp.
Q: Do you have a COVID-19 Policy?
A: The safety of all of our staff, volunteers and cadets is important! You can find our COVID-19 policy here.
Q: How do I get to and from Canberra for Space Squad?
A: All cadets will need to make their own travel arrangements to get to Y Canberra Region Space Squad.
Once camps get closer, our staff can facilitate airport transfers at specified time for those cadets that are flying in and out of Canberra Airport*.
*We strongly suggest that you do not book any flights until you have received booking confirmation and have received communication with the times the airport transfers will be available.
Q: When do bookings open for the next camp?
A: We aim to open our bookings for the next camp roughly 6 weeks in advance.
We suggest booking as soon as possible so that you get a spot. Booking sooner also means that you will get your Boarding Passes and confirmations sooner too!
For the latest information and updates, check in on this page and our Facebook page.
Q: What is your mobile phone policy?
A: As part of the sign-in process when Cadets arrive at Space Squad, all mobile phones will be handed in and secured safely. Staff will distribute cadet’s phones on the final day as they get ready to go home.
This is part of our commitment to Safeguarding all of our Children and Young People – you can read about our policy here.
Q: How can I get in touch with my child?
A: We understand that sometimes our cadets just want to call home, and sometimes you might need to get in touch with your child as well! We have an email, as well as a mobile phone that you can contact at any time while your child is on camp.
The details for these will be provided shortly before camp begins.
Q: What can students expect?
A: We strive to make each camp slightly different and unique. Some activities are similar to allow cadets to continue to build upon the skills they may have learnt at previous camps, and some activities are entirely unique to that camp.
Some of the activities we often include are:
– Telescope building
– Gravitational waves, dark matter and black holes
– Build and program a Rover
– Space ethics, astrobiology and earth science
– Careers in space
Some of the venues we visit (pending availability and camp):
– Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex
– ANU Mt Stromlo Observatory & Advanced Instrument and Technology Centre
– UNSW Canberra National Concurrent Design Facility (ANCDF)
– Academy of Interactive Entertainment Campus (AiE)
Q: Can Space Squad cater for allergies and medical needs:
A: Absolutely! The Y caters for school groups all year round and has a comprehensive food allergy management system in place. When you apply, you will have the opportunity to give any details regarding allergies, dietary and medical requirements. We also have First Aid trained staff on site.
Q: Who is responsible for the Cadets?
A: Space Squad is supervised by camp managers who are Y Canberra Region employees. These camp managers are responsible for the care of the cadets in the program, and they are supported by a team of volunteers who assist in delivering the program and supervising the cadets.
All Y Canberra Region staff and volunteers hold valid Working with Children’s Checks and undergo a National Police Check.
Q: Can parents come along as volunteers?
A: In order for your child to get the most out of the Space Squad program, we do not allow parents to volunteer on the same program as their children.
For families wishing to visit Canberra while their child attends Space Squad, we have created a guide of things to do here, and offer a discounted rate at our Leumeah Lodge in Gold Creek.
We do invite parents to attend the Space Squad presentations on the final morning of the program.
Q: How can I follow my child’s progress on camp?
A: Space Squad’s Facebook is updated very regularly with photos and videos showcasing what we are up to. If you would like your child to be part of these photos, all we need is your permission. This is a question in the application form.
Q: Are there scholarships available?
A: Yes! We have a limited number of scholarships available per camp. These aim to provide children who would otherwise be unable to attend due to financial difficulties the opportunity to be part of the program.
To read more or to apply for a scholarship, go to the Apply tab.
Q: What do I pack to come to Space Squad?
A: Luckily, we have a handy packing list! You can find it here.
For all updates on the application process, photos, videos, events and other exciting news follow us on the Space Squad Facebook page!
Space Squad is a program of the YMCA Canberra, and we are fortunate to partner with some leading space, aviation, engineering and technology businesses in and around the Canberra Region to spark inspiration and launch dreams for our young people who are big thinkers, grand dreamers and everyday astronauts!
If you’d like to help out and join us in inspiring young minds and connecting within the space and technology community, reach out today!
The Boeing Company – Boeing Australia
Australian Space Agency
Royal Australian Airforce
Inspiring the ACT
Academy of Interactive Entertainment
Australian Government Dept. of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources
Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex
Canberra Rocketry Group
Gilmour Space Technologies
National Archives of Australia
University of Sydney Rocketry Team
Have a read through our Space Squad information above. If you still have a burning space question, or just want more information contact us below.
Phone (02) 6242 4040
191 Dryanda Street