Bush Camp

Thinking about the list of items to take to Survivor – Gifted Island reminded me of the list of items we were allowed to take to Bush Camp at Wycliffe Bible Translators camp at Kangaroo Ground when we were studying at Bible College of Victoria.
All students had to attend Bush Camp at least once during their time at the college.
We were not allowed to take phones or watches and there was no electricity or running water at the camp.
We slept in tents and used oil lanterns for light.
We carried water from the river and heated it in tubs over the fire.
For times of relaxation we each had a hammock strung between two gumtrees.

 Each day we ate the food and observed the customs of different countries and participated in simulation games.
We built mud ovens and cooked really great bread and roasted food in fire pits.
I still use the recipe book ’More food for thought’ compiled and adapted by Aileen Morrow which I brought home from the camp.
 In her forward to the book Aileen says
“In Wycliffe Camps and seminars we prepare cross-cultural meals which demonstrate some very practical challenges… These meals are essentially lessons in cultural sensitivity”

One evening at the camp we had a Rich Man, Poor Man dinner. There was a single rich person who sat down to a grand five course meal with candles on the table, eight middle class people who had a simple but filling two course meal and the rest of us were the poor people who received literally a handful of rice. The middle class people gave us oranges from their fruit bowl and we got one segment each when we shared them.
The social positions were allocated by lottery and Tina, the lass who drew the position of the rich person, felt really dreadful eating in front of everyone else.
But the rules of the game stated she was to be guarded by a burly guard and not allowed to share her meal.
When our youngest who was just a toddler saw the candles on her table he ran past the guard and said “Happy Bir-day!” and blew out the candles. That was the final straw for  Tina and she burst into tears!

Bush Camp was a wonderful, life changing experience. Our last meal at the camp was aptly called the Re-entry Meal.
It was Australian meat pies and chips.
And it really did feel like a culture shock going back to our regular lives after it.

3 thoughts on “Bush Camp

  1. What a wonderful experience! I think the whole world would benefit from attending Bush Camp. Some cultural sensitivity could go a long way in solving some of the most pressing problems in our world today. 🙂

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