Perak, Malaysia - August 18-21, 2006
Please click here to view the pictures from the Congress
“What an experience the 2nd Asian Camping Association Conference was!!!”, says Jenny Bowker, ICF Chair. The Congress began in the Casuarina Hotel in Ipoh at a glittering dinner reception hosted by the Chief Minister of Perak, Dato Seri Dirija Mohd Tajol Rosli Ghazali (Dato Seri). There followed a day of sessions describing ICF, the Asian Camping Fellowship, the wonderful natural resources of Perak, their tropical rainforest and mangrove parks. There was also an informative session on the new, non-military national service training system being introduced in Malaysia, which will involve 450,000 18-year-olds participating in a three month training camp each year.
On day three, the entire conference moved to the Bukit Merah Laketown Resort in central Perak. Traveling by boat, the group landed several places to see elephants’ foot prints and a large, unusual rafflesia flower, to visit the aborigines' village, and Pulau Tali Kail Camp. Delegates also visited the Orangutan Island to see the intelligent, athletic monkeys, one of which had six wives! At the Matang Mangrove Forest, the best managed mangrove forest in Malaysia, the group saw how charcoal is made from the aged mangroves and exported to Japan. This event involved a night in the jungle with a full tropical storm for a lucky few, before returning to Burkit Merah for a relaxed fun and friendly poolside dinner and closing ceremony, again presided over by Dato Seri.
Malaysia presented an incredible program, complete with police escorts and riding on a coach, listening to ten different languages - but all singing the same song! Tokiko Ando (Japan) expressed her thoughts, “Although I've just come home, I'd like to go back to Perak, Malaysia, and I want to say to all of the staff and volunteers of this congress and the great nature in Perak, "TERIMA KASIH" — with many kisses!
About 150 delegates from 20 countries participated, including Albania, Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Ghana, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, and Yemen. Members of the ICF Steering Committee in attendance were: Jenny Bowker, ICF Chair and Honorary ACF President; Sako Tanaka, ICF Vice Chair and ACF Honorary Advisor; Bill Oakley, Oceania Representative; and Valery Kostin , Russia and CIS Representative. Included among the delegates was Fua'ad Husan Abdulrazzak, an executive committee member of the Yemen Youth General Union which is in turn a member of the Asian Youth Council. They have applied for membership in ICF and are interested in exploring how ICF might communicate and learn more about camping and youth in the Middle East. This is an exciting development! More communication and exchange with young people from camping and youth groups in the Middle East can only help to bring us closer to the elusive goal of peace in these troubled times.
Asia Oceania Camping Fellowship Founded in August
At the General Meeting of the Asian Camping Fellowship on August 21, a proposal was approved that Australia and New Zealand, with Russia/CIS as ex-officio members, join ACF with an organizational name change to "Asia Oceania Camping Fellowship” (AOCF). With the retirement of Professor Makato Yamada as ACF Chairperson, new AOCF Steering Committee members were elected:
Jenny Bowker, Honorary Chairperson
Sachiko Tanaka, Honorary Advisor
Fumio Morooka, Chairperson, National Camping Association of Japan
Nadzri Ismail, Vice Chairperson, National Camping Association of Malaysia
Shin Takahashi, Secretary General, National Camping Association of Japan
Morio Chen, Vice Chair; Organizing Committee for ACC 2009 Taiwan
Fua’ad Hasan Abdulrazzak, Yemen Youth General Union
Jackie Goh Wei Chin, Central Youth Council, Singapore
Valery Kostin, Russian Camping Association
Bill Oakley, Australian Camping Association
Anthony Po, Camping Association of Hong Kong
Somchai Rungsilp, Thailand
Tulshig Tuvshin, Mongolian Camping Association
Jamil Md Yussof, Brunei
--Thanks to Bill Oakley, Jenny Bowker, Fumio Morooka, Tokiko Ando, and Sako Tanaka for their contributions to this report.