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
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?