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2003 ICF CONGRESS

The 6th International Camping Congress

On the beautiful campus of LaTrobe University, Bundoora, the 6th International Camping Congress convened on January 5, 2003. With a traditional Aborigine welcome of eucalyptus leaves distributed by Ian Hunter, the Congress began, with over 300 participants from twelve countries. The opening ceremony included welcomes from Don MacDowall, Congress Chair; Tom Slater, Program Chair; Mantha Christou, ICF VIce Chair; and Bill Oakley, Social Chair, along with the introduction of the original song, "As the Butterfly Flies", composed and performed by 15-year-old James Simpson.

Participants attended the following theme sessions- "It's the Vision Thing: It's Easy Being Green" by Grame Baxterq; "Spreading the Magic-Building Community" by Digby Hannah; "Young Aussies Camping in the Outdoors: Culture and Meanings" by John Quay. 

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In the middle of the conference all conference delegates moved to Latrobe University's country campus at Bendigo. Latrobe - Bendigo hosts Victoria's premier Outdoor Education degree and whilst at Bendigo delegates participated in a forum on the latest research being conducted into camping and outdoor education. The trip from Melbourne to Bendigo gave delegates the chance to participate in many travelling workshops. Exciting tour choices, which included Paddle the Murray River with Bird watching, Goulburn River Paddle, Landcare and the Environment, Canyon and Gorges, or Caves, Koalas and Wineries.

The closing Ceremony was highlighted by slides of the Congress, one last rendition of "As the Butterfly Flies", and words of appreciation and gifts from the delegations to their wonderful, attentive hosts. 

2002 Druzba Award

The 2002 Abbott Fenn Druzhba Award was presented posthumously to Bill Bowker at the International Camping Congress in Melbourne, Australia. The award was accepted by Bill's wife, Jenny, and daughter, Kezia. As a founding member of the International Camping Fellowship in 1987, Bill continued his active involvement in international programs throughout his lifetime, with particular interest in developing programs for Africa and India. Bill's beloved Kangaroobie Camp in Princetown, Victoria, Australia, remains his legacy, and it continues to foster global understanding through camping. His enthusiasm, ability to communicate across cultural boundaries, and belief in camping as a vehicle for global understanding has made a significant contribution to the camping world.