We had a camping trip with a difference, camping on the school oval. He’s a little piece written for the P&C
Whew! Just back from Camp Out 2015. Its by far the closest campground and best facilities to be had this side of the black stump we reckon.
On arrival we were welcomed by Kristian L. and team, grabbed the kids Athletes Foot welcome packs and signed ourselves up for a volunteer helper activity.
Next up we found ourselves a spot out where the plovers were terrorising students just a few months ago and pitched our tents in an emerging tent city. One of almost 70 tents, it felt a bit like a camping exhibition and gave us a chance to scope out some likely tents for the future, as our trusty old tent which has been a good companion is showing the ‘kisses of time’ and needs an update before the summer season.
As any experienced camper will tell you setup time is about the time that kids usually get twitchy, fortunately however about then the fire truck, complete with working fire hose, made an appearance (Love your work Annerley Fireys, thats bath time taken care of too!). Then the treasure hunt clue sheet soon had happy kids racing every which way around the oval (play ground teachers, hats off to you, you manage this every day ….how do you do it?) with some lucky dip prizes on offer from BCF Greenslopes.
First prize, drawn Sunday morning, was an amazing fridge cooler from BCF Green slopes and well done Matthew…we have a winner!!!. Hang on, there’s more than one Matthew and no last name on the entry. A few chin wobbles and a tear or two later and the right Matthew is located, thanks to some careful handwriting analysis, together with the honesty and good naturedness of the older candidate (just another measure of the schools great community spirit). For all the runners up there were shirts, glow sticks, lolly bags and a sticker grab.
Later on a little bit of drizzle kept things interesting (and sent a few parents scurrying off to put up an extra fly or awning) and as night descended a sausage sizzle for the kids and burgers for the parents kept tummies full and were supplemented by assorted BYO snacks. FWIW I saw a pretty amazing spread at a tent out near the cricket nets! (next time I’m setting up next to them). The assorted sugary treats to kept little legs pumping and there were caffeine supplements for weary parents (thanks to Alex at Cafe Cartel for great coffee and sticking out the weekend with us).
As for lighting, if you look up in the trees around the oval this week you might see an assortment of glow sticks as a student contribution to the evening.
Later on it was time for marshmallows (thanks to ARC Metal fabrications for some cool braziers and donation of firewood) after sending the kids out hunting for cooking sticks (don’t tell the principal though) and all too soon it was 8:30 kids curfew time which saw a steady stream of pyjama clad kids making their way to the library ablutions block and bubblers to clean teeth etc… before cuddling up to teddy, some obligatory sneaking from tent to tent with their buddies till eventually we heard something you don’t hear all that often at school ….silence!!!
Saturday night err.. Sunday morning a few die hard footy fans gathered around a 32″ TV set (nice on the spot engineering by Dawson Electric to supply and fit the antenna!) at 1am to watch the All Blacks make their way to the final, apparently some were watching on their iphones from the comfort of a sleeping bag though (Dennis… and you call yourself a Kiwi!).
Actually I have no idea if any of this happened, I crashed about page 29 reading Peter Pan at around 9pm and didn’t wake again till the dawn chorus of soccer players ‘kicked in’ somewhere around 4:30am (so I’m told) and then dozing to something more respectable for a Sunday morning (if you call 6am respectable).
A quick coffee err.. caffeine injection and it was time for some pancakes for breakfast. How do you cook for over 200 campers? Easy 4 BBQ plates, 8 early risers and Dads on a power drill (thanks again Dawson Electric!) with a large bucket to make up the mix of course (Malcom Turnbull, heres that ‘innovation economy’ your looking for).
The weekend was a fantastic success and a real exemplar of the school community in action. As a fundraiser I heard there’s almost $3,000 raised for the P&C too! Running smoothly, with little fuss and like clockwork all without seeming to take any effort, this is a sure sign of amazing behind the scenes work and organisational effort.
Thanks to our “2015 State P&C of the Year” for putting this all together, to all the volunteer helpers (especially Jason S., John B., Dylan D., Kev T., Ean D., Ben M. and Matt S.) on the weekend and all the mums (yes some of them actually stayed rather than give dad the ‘kiss on the cheek’ drop and run experience), dads and kids for making it such a fun time.
Lets do it again sometime!!!