What a Way to Celebrate Australia

Dear Parents and Families,

What an amazing day! We had our first International Day here at camp and it was such a blast. What is International Day you may ask? These happen every Tuesday in our B, C, C1, C2, and D sessions. On each of these days we celebrate and learn about one to three countries we have represented in both staff and campers that year. Today we celebrated and learned about Australia.

While the activities still run and not much changes in comparison to our normal schedule, a few things are different. These changes started with our wakeup. Rather than the bell that we use to signal the changes in our day, we had our Australian staff go around to all cabins to wake up our campers with an “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie,” and an “Oi, Oi, Oi”. From here our campers and staff got ready and headed down to the dining hall for  a skit where we learned a bit about the founding of Australia featuring Captain Cook and Steve Irwin as our narrator. After that we enjoyed a delicious Australian breakfast with toast, jam, eggs, sausage, bacon, strawberries, bananas, cooked tomato wedges, and cereal.

It was a hearty breakfast to give energy for our second day of discoveries where our campers got to experience their B day activities. They chose these activities on Sunday once they arrived, discoveries and are set up to allow more focused on the progression of a skill or set of skills than trying some of everything, like they do for afternoon sign-ups. Discovery options range from biking, Camping Skills and Nature, to Blacksmithing and Pottery, to Sports and the Farm. There are so many wonderful activities to choose from!

It was such a fun morning that lunch seemed to just pop up out of nowhere, and keeping with our day of Australia we had roast chicken with rice, broccoli, carrots, salad from our farm, and homemade bread rolls with honey butter. We carried over our Australian cultural learning to singing in the lodge where we sang a mix of both traditional camp songs, like It’s a Beautiful Day to Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree. During our afternoon activities, we enjoyed some rain which cooled us off after a warm morning.

Dinner was just as delicious as Breakfast and Lunch with a meat pie, oven chips (or fries and we call them), tomato sauce (Ketchup), green beans, and lamingtons for dessert. With all of this delicious food, and our Mountainside staff being out, it’s always nice to see our community sharing with each other. Tables would send a camper or staff member up with their extra Lamington to give it to another individual in the dining hall that the table agreed on. It’s such a joy receiving that one extra dessert or being able to see that look of appreciation on the person’s face when you share that extra piece with them.

One of the most memorable moments of our International Days has to be campfire. It is through these that our campers are able to have a little more time to learn about the culture, history, and people from the countries we are celebrating. Our campers and staff learned a popular dance they have in Australia in addition to learning about the Aboritional people, and some of the celebrities that call Australia home. Perhaps the only tough thing about International days is that they always add a country onto the list of places for me to learn more about, or visit!