2005 ICF CONGRESS
The 7th International Camping Congress in Mexico
From the moment of arrival until the closing banquet, the 250 delegates attending the 7th International Camping Congress in Mexico City, October 12-16 were immersed in Latin culture - the fiesta with mariachis, games and wonderful food, the elaborate costumes and music of the National Folkloric Ballet, the luncheon at the 15th century Hacienda Pipiol, the Counselors Taller (workshop) at Xochitla, an outdoor conference center, and the unparalleled Mexican hospitality throughout the Congress. Participants from every continent shared their expertise through educational workshops and research sessions.
An all-Congress field trip to Valle de Bravo found small groups touring camps, hiking over a volcano, horseback riding, creating native crafts, or visiting villages and haciendas before gathering at Pipiol for lunch and an inspiring keynote address by Peg Smith, CEO of the American Camp Association. Delegates from seventeen countries shared typical camp performances, highlighted by lovely Mongolian melodies, Japanese in Kimonos, Greek dancers and energetic Venezuelan singers.
"The whole week was all about sharing and learning about other countries' camp practices as well as appreciating the beauty of a unique country. Among the sessions I attended was "Building International Bridges with Sensitivity and a Song" presented by Larry Swenson. It was an excellent example of how in such an informal setting a summer camp, it is possible to promote such important ideas as respect and understanding of people who might look, dress or think differently. By celebrating our differences we will make our future generations more perceptive and accepting. Camp is definitely the best place to build these "international bridges".
ICF December 2005 Newsletter