Rails Camp

Updates and Contributions

This document is open source. You're welcome to open issues with any questions you might have, and if you've organised Rails Camps (or other events) before, please do submit pull requests with any details you feel should be covered but aren't.

The Ruby Australia committee can be contacted by emailing

So you want to run a Rails Camp!

This guide is meant to give a potential organiser a reasonably detailed list of things that must be considered when planning and running a Rails Camp.

It is super important that an organiser does not rely on only this document. Talk to previous organisers and seek the help of Ruby Australia for advice and support when you need it.

Becoming an organiser

There is no official organiser selection process as such, but often the organiser(s) for the next Rails Camp volunteer at a Ruby Australia AGM at the current Rails Camp. For example, during the Ruby Australia AGM at Rails Camp Perth in November 2014, Leonard Garvey volunteered to run the Rails Camp Sydney event that eventually took place in June 2015.

First preference is usually given to the states and territories that haven't hosted before (or have had the longest break since last hosting), but only if there are volunteers for that state/territory.

Anyone who is interested in volunteering should get in touch with the Ruby Australia committee to see what plans are in place for future camps and get your offer on their radar. If you have some fellow volunteers to work with, that's even better. A core team of two or three people is highly recommended - running a Rails Camp is a lot of work!

Now that you're an organiser, what's next?

Your first steps should be:

  • Rope in some fellow volunteers to help organise
  • Find potential venues in your chosen area and timeframe
  • Put together a budget

Please keep in mind that previous organisers and the Ruby Australia committee will all be happy to provide feedback along the way.

All the details


  • Am I personally exposed to financial risk if I make a mistake with budgeting?

    No. Ruby Australia has your back, but it is definitely worth maintaining a budget spreadsheet that can be shared with the Ruby Australia treasurer to mitigate the risk of financial errors occurring.

  • Will I need to cover any costs myself?

    All costs should ideally be covered by ticket sales and sponsorship. However, it's likely that some extra unforeseen costs will come up during the camp itself, or for things that are planned but must be purchased personally before being reimbursed by Ruby Australia.

    For example, an additional $1500 AUD was spent by the organisers of Rails Camp Sydney during the event to cover the cost of additional alcohol, and more for transport and catering supplies, the cost of which was reimbursed by Ruby Australia a couple of days after the event.

  • Does Ruby Australia have insurance that covers the event? Is additional insurance required?

    Ruby Australia has insurance for all events run under its banner, which includes Rails Camps. It is possible that you may require additional insurance if your venue requests it - if this happens, the Ruby Australia committee will be able to help you sort it out.

  • Do I have to charge GST?

    Yes. Your ticket prices must include GST. 10% of the ticket price is not yours to spend. Budget for this.

  • Where can I get hold of the @railscamp_au Twitter account details?

    Contact the previous Rails Camp organisers. Ruby Australia is working on a better thing for this.

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