In the last week of the September school holidays, 12 boys (10 Burmese and 2 African) aged 14-16, accompanied by Jay Jay and Cameron Brown (from Explore Discover Act), set off in a bus from the SCARF office to spend four days at a camp the Outdoor Education Group runs at Wombaroo in the Southern Highlands.
The camp included archery, climbing, canoeing and building a raft, which challenged the boys’ comfort zones, as well as plenty of good food, swims in the dam, campfires with roasted marshmallows and yarns, and early morning soccer.
On the first night, they went on a bush walk and enjoyed a star-filled sky, a near full moon rising, kangaroo, wombat and possum spotting and sat round a fire and told stories and jokes.
The boys used ropes and other climbing equipment that tested and challenged their balance, fear of heights, strength, coordination and teamwork. They learnt how to tie a figure of eight knot and to belay, which is how you fix a rope around a cleat or a rock to make it secure.
They learnt navigation skills needed for their bushwalk/campout and went on an orienteering course. They had to pack for the campout and were responsible for carrying in their packs all the equipment needed (tents, cooking, cleaning and so on), as well as navigate using a map and compass on the bush walk to Boulder Campsite.
Once at the campsite, they put up their tents, set up the bathroom and hygiene stations, collected firewood and established a cooking team. Everyone enjoyed a stir-fry with rice cooked by the boys, followed by Tim Tams and Milo for dessert.
On the walk back, the boys again navigated. They reflected on the experience of the last four days when they got back to the camp and drew their highlight/favourite part to say thank you to all those who helped make the camp happen.
Everyone had a great time away, and they could not have been any more blessed with the weather. It was a great experience for all involved.
Boys Camp 2015 was supported by generous donations from Business Machines Supplies (BMS) Wollongong, the IMB Community Foundation SCARF Youth Projects 2015-16, and the Outdoor Education Group who provided the venue. Many thanks to our kind sponsors – we could not run these valuable programs without your support.