Camp Creative 2018

Committee members applauding Camp Creative coordinators Rob and Michelle Stockton at the welcome dinner held on Sunday night. Pictured are Patty Kearnes, President Paul Tipper, Margot Pleasant,Fiona Hannaford, Barbara Edols, Rob and Michelle Stockton, Susan Priest, Alison Brown, Janette Blainey and Paul Holding.
Committee members applauding Camp Creative coordinators Rob and Michelle Stockton at the welcome dinner held on Sunday night. Pictured are Patty Kearnes, President Paul Tipper, Margot Pleasant,Fiona Hannaford, Barbara Edols, Rob and Michelle Stockton, Susan Priest, Alison Brown, Janette Blainey and Paul Holding.

Amid sweltering conditions and a “feels like” temperature of 46 degrees, people have flocked to Bellingen to enjoy week-long courses in visual arts, crafts, dance, lifestyle, music, voice, writing, photography and more.

The “camping” aspect is mostly figurative these days, with people dispersed among a variety of accommodation types but the “creative” part of the name has been constant for the decades Camp Creative has been operating.

For Rob and Michelle Stockton, who are in their fourth year as coordinators, the work involved in organising an event that caters for 900 people barely finishes before planning for the next one begins.

Not only do they arrange tutors, venues and bookings for about 70 courses, they help people with transport and also offer an accommodation service, matching visitors with locals renting out a spare room.

And they stage some hugely popular events, like the Celebrity Concert on Tuesday night, the Sunset Party in the park on Thursday and the Grande Final Concert  on Friday.

This year, they’ve tried to extend the demographic of the campers, which is predominantly women aged 55-75, with group booking discounts designed to appeal to families and new courses for older men in fly fishing and chainsaw carving.

Walking on Gumbaynggirr Homeland Tutor Michael Jarrett at the Welcome Dinner Smoking Ceremony

Walking on Gumbaynggirr Homeland Tutor Michael Jarrett at the Welcome Dinner Smoking Ceremony

Camp Creative Patron Gillian Helfgott, David Neville, Michelle Stockton and
Robbie Spence

Camp Creative Patron Gillian Helfgott, David Neville, Michelle Stockton and Robbie Spence