Doing a tour of Camp Creative is an arduous business. After 1.5 hours walking around the high school checking out what’s happening, I’ve barely touched the sides.
I haven’t seen what's going on at the primary school, or at the Memorial Hall, or in the other small venues dotted around town, but I do have photos of kids doing circus and drama and Hoopcraftarama, and adults enjoying Chinese brush painting, Japanese block printing, ensemble singing and freestyle felting.
There’s also plenty of people working with wood, whether delicately with a chisel or boldly with a chainsaw.
Chainsaw Carving tutor Matt George, “a passionate chainsaw artist”, said it was an easy course to teach as everyone there was totally absorbed in their own choice of project and needed little direction from him.
He said he did talk to them in general terms about technique, particularly about “the care involved in making a beautiful cut”.
Camp Creative coordinator Rob Stockton makes a point of saying that although the timber for the Chainsaw Carving course is Camphor Laurel, none of it came from the culling that took place on Church St.
He said he’d received enquiries from people wanting clarification about that before they would consider enrolling in the course.
Rob tells me that about a third of the campers are locals and the rest are from all over, but the distribution tends to be concentrated in pockets, because even after 30-odd years of existence, Camp Creative relies heavily on word-of-mouth for its enrolments.
Somehow the word has travelled as far as Korea, because there are a dozen Korean children at this year’s camp, mostly doing the Simon Says Circus course.
Their school excursion to Australia is for two weeks: a week in Sydney and a week in Bellingen.
Obviously whoever organised it knows how to prioritise.
Enjoy the gallery.