Finding accommodation during KYCK can sometimes be daunting for the leaders. The questions are endless and once you answer one question, there are another 5 more to ask!
We've asked some experienced KYCKers to give us some advice about how they organise their groups and we've compiled the different things that they do. If you have another ideas or handy hints, please feel free to email us at email@example.com and let us know.
Remember that wherever you stay, you are representing Christians and are ambassadors of KYCK. So please be mindful of how you use the site and be considerate of others. In the past we've had complaints of how groups have used the site, which is very unhelpful for others who want to use the sites in the future.
Here are the other accommodation options with contact details
OPTION 1 | We want the easiest option out there!
Staying onsite is the easiest/most convenient one to take BUT there are some obstacles you must overcome! Onsite accommodation books out quite fast as there are limited spots available. The phones go crazy ringing on the morning of registration and accommodation bookings opening.
HANDY TIP | Make sure that you have more than 2-3 people on the phones calling the office at 9am so that it betters the chance of getting through to KCC to book. Once one of you guys get through, make sure you tell the others to STOP calling so that other groups can get through! Before you call, have your list of accommodation sites that you want to book ready in order of preference (this ensures that you aren't stumped when you find out that the site you wanted is already booked out!)
OPTION 2 | We don't mind camping outside
If your group is willing to rough it out in the unpredictable Katoomba weather, then this option is perfect for you, PLUS it's the most cost-effective accommodation option! There's a downside to it - you have to bring lots of gear with you - tents, sleeping bags, cooking utensils, pots, pans, food, esky ... and the list goes on! But this is one of the best ways to really work together with your group and bond. What better way to bond with your group than by 'attempting' to put up a tent?
HANDY TIP | Make sure you have a few leaders in your group who are experienced campers - otherwise this might be the last time you take up this fun option! When booking most campsites, they will ask you how many campsites you want otherwise they will ask you how many people you are booking for. One campsite usually fits 4 people.
OPTION 3 | Camping is OK, but there's gotta be something slightly better right?
In 2017, for the first time, your group can book to stay at Clairvaux onsite - imagine indoor camping on carpeted classrooms, with external showers, toilets and access to a kitchen. It's slightly better in comfort as you are indoors and you don't have the hassle of putting up a tent!
HANDY TIP | Another option is to call the local churches or schools and see if they could hire out a room or hall for your group. Depending on the size of your group, you might need to ask some people to help organise the food during KYCK. You will also need to make sure that there are enough cars to transport everyone to and from KYCK.
OPTION 4 | Our group is small so we could probably fit in 1 or 2 houses
Not all KYCK groups are large, some of them are under 10 and they are a perfect size to book 1 or 2 houses in Katoomba or surrounding areas. You need to make sure you organise food for your group as no main meals are provided during KYCK.
HANDY TIP | Contact the local real estates, stayz.com, airbnb, bluemountains getaways, and tell them of your requirements for your group. Most groups book 2 houses - 1 for the girls and 1 for the boys. In regards to food, it's a good idea to make sure that one of the houses you book has a decent sized kitchen so that all the food is cooked in that house and you transport the food over to the others (or you eat at one house and get everyone to come over during meal times). Some groups ask youth group parents to come and cook so that the leaders can attend the conference and not worry about food. When booking, ask the owners whether they mind having your group sleep in the living room or not. Don't assume that they don't mind - because some might!
OPTION 5 | We're so big that we don't fit in houses ...
There are a lot of KYCK groups that are quite big and it's just not logistically possible to hire out houses. For those groups there are some options such as YHA Katoomba, Katoomba Mountain Lodge, Lutanda Mount Victoria, Kihilla Conference Centre. Some of these options will provide food as well as accommodation which will make organising KYCK easier for you. But if you want to save a few dollars, then you can ask for a self-catered option too.
HANDY TIP | If you know other youth groups coming, you could book the accommodation together and share the cooking. Some of these sites might have a minimum booking so this could help too.
OPTION 6 | Are there any caravan parks around?
This option is great for groups who want a bit of everything - camping, staying in caravans or cabins. Most caravan parks will be able to provide all three options so everyone is happy! The hard thing about this option is that your group will be spread out a bit, but as long as you have capable leaders you should be fine!
HANDY TIP | Just like the camping tip, make sure you have some experienced campers in your group to help you set up everything! A designated cooking team might be handy with this option as you might have to coordinate with other groups when you can use the cooking facilities during meal times.