Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Camping it up

So the Man Child underwent a right of passage last week, as he experienced the infamous Archookoora

A camp that has been known to put the fear of God into Kingaroy High School pupils, this rather rustic experience is known for long hikes, cold showers and student-cooked food.

When I mentioned it on Facebook, quite a few of my former high school friends sympathised with my son.

"Bog duty" recalled one, citing she and a girlfriend were made to do it as punishment!

Another female remembered the embarrassment of being shown how to dig holes for amenities by a male teacher. 

"I am still traumatised by that camping experience," she admits.

"That camping trip holds no fond memories for me," said another. "Only the traumatic."

Several friends recall a hellish hike with huge backpacks twice their size, though Chase says that wasn't on the agenda on this camp.

Indeed, these days Archookoora has septic toilets (though Chase hastened to add that they were dirty and smelly), and hot and cold showers. (And he said these were always cold by the time the boys got to use them). I still think they sound spoiled compared to when we had to rough it!

Usually the campers sleep in basic dorms, but spend one night camping in tents overnight. On this camp, sleeping out was optional. Chase slept in his dorm. "What? It was cold outside," he said.

Mind you, my cousin Pam Marquardt recalls that the original campers had to carry everything they needed for the overnight camp out - tents, food and water, and personal gear. 

"Then the tents etc started being taken by ute, so only personal gear was carried," Pam shared. 0 "Eventually even that was seen as too hard, so in the end all the walkers had to carry was their water bottle. The original campers had to light fires and cook all their food from scratch. If they stuffed it up, then they didn't eat. Simple. I seem to recall the more 'modern' campers even had their food prepared back at camp and 'delivered' to them by vehicle. Ah, hardship." 

Indeed, Chase confirmed that last week's tent campers slept nearby and ate the food cooked in the communal kitchen. 

Chase became a 'fruitarian' for the week, claiming his chicken was raw the first night and he didn't trust his fellow students' cooking after that. 

I'm taking all that with a grain of salt. (It may have improved the taste of the chicken too ...)

I'm proud he stuck it out, and got a taste of the hell life I endured experienced as a teenager.

Arrival at Archookoora

The camp

And surrounds

Harmonie enjoyed having Lucy all to herself during 'Chasely-free time'.

Thanks to the teachers for all the hard work keeping our students safe!

Readers did you enjoy school camps? 


Char said...

I never did school camp but I did do plenty of church camps. And that's why I don't camp any more. You can only eat so much canned coleslaw. My motto is if there's nowhere to plug in my hairdryer I'm not going.

Melissa said...

For me it was Guide camps that were traumatic & put me off camping under canvas for life! School camps weren't too bad - I can only recall the year 7 camp, though.

Michelle said...

My youngest son went on that camp when he was in high school.He still shudders whenever the name is mentioned! The thing that I enjoyed about my son going to that camp, was the fact that he came back totally believing that he loves my cooking! Actually between my four children(youngest child is now 19)I counted 31 camps, none of them liked the food at camp and they were all convinced that I was a great cook!

Unknown said...

My school camps were pretty horrid. My kids have had some pretty good ones, so I think they've been spoiled. The best has been Tallabudgera at the Gold Coast, where they do surfing, body boarding, stand up paddling, kayaking, swimming, rainforest walks, and even have a date night. And I've stayed there (on Mother-Daughter camps) and the food is actually okay too. No raw chicken!