From the Archive: Recollections of a Camp: Day 1

This is a post I wrote in November of 2007. It was about the first day of the Yr 10 Camp. At the time, I felt the need to document it, as the days surrounding it were interesting. Anyway, here it is.

It was the day after the formal. All the glitz and glamour from that night just disappeared that afternoon. It was the beginning of Adventure Camp 2007. 180 people gathered beside the oval, ready to be whisked away to Jindabyne. Some people were excited about it, others not so.

I arrived at 1pm with my large bulky pack and a small daypack. At the time, there weren’t many people there yet. I went to my team bus and sat outside for a short while. Several minutes later, Mr Ashby called us over. He had some things to talk about, one of which was to not take this camp for granted because it was a rare opportunity to do so many activities in one week. I took this into mind, but it did not stay there. In my mind, there was opposition to the camp. Nevertheless, those thoughts could not overpower the schedule of the camp. I felt helpless and trapped.

We left Barker half an hour later, in a minibus with the rest of the tutor group. I stayed quiet, taking in the last of the cityscape that I would not see for five days. We drove on to the M2, then the M7, then the Hume Highway. The journey seemed endless. It was already half past three and we were not even half way there. At that time, we took a break at a servo in Marulan. I saw everyone and made conversation. There wasn’t much joy around. Everyone was quiet. At four, the buses continued the long journey to Jindabyne. I continued to stare at the countryside, taking in the scenery. Somewhere along the way, there was a loud whistling noise in the bus. We were slowing down and pulled into the shoulder. The bus had broken down. Thankfully, I was not stranger to this. We got off at the rest area and waited. Minutes later, another group stopped and their teachers tried to contact help. A third bus had stopped as well. Wow, two buses stop for one broken bus? Now that’s commitment. Half an hour passed and we were on the road again.

At about seven, we arrived at Cooma. This was our dinner stop. Now this was where I wished I had brought more cash. I only had ten dollars to spend on dinner now and some food on Friday. I waited in line at the KFC and bought a burger. I ate it, looking in envy of others who had feasted on a variety bucket. Loneliness also crept into me. I was quiet. I didn’t know why. We were off in half an hour, ready to arrive at Jindabyne.

We arrived at Jindabyne at about nine in the evening. I was luckily still awake. We went into a briefing and met our team leader, Paul. He introduced himself and told us that we were going to have a great camp. I was sceptical about what he said, but later in the week, it turned out I was wrong. I got shown the cabin we were staying the night. It surprised me that the cabin was very new, clean and quiet from other people. Just before I went to bed, the guys from the other room annoyed us. It wasn’t serious and after a while, I fell into my sleeping bag preparing for tomorrow.

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