The very first Family WildTime Camp event was held 31 June – 2 July 2017 on the Sunshine Coast, and it was absolutely fantastic!
We’d worked with our co-host Carly from Natureweavers previously and we all knew we just had to organise a sleep-over version of what we all do and love with our regular services and programs. So we made it happen!
The goal was to provide families with a true nature camping experience, including some ‘wild’ elements with the environment around and the activities, plus some ‘luxury’ by doing all the cooking, washing and organising for them so it was an ‘easy’ camping trip for them and they could get the most out of the workshops and time there.
On the Friday afternoon we welcomed 16 campers to our semi-wild space camp facility in the beautiful Sunshine Coast Hinterland, helping them set up their tents and bedding, sat their camp chairs around the fire pit, showed them around the property and kicked off the activities with Clint’s Primal Play Class for the kids to join in on.
Because it’s Winter the sun set fairly early so dinner time crept up quickly. We were a little late getting the roast chickens from Cotton Tree Meats and veggies into the camp ovens but when dinner did finally come campers had a selection of plain roast chicken meat or freshly picked lemon myrtle flavoured, alongside a variety of hearty Winter veggies.
Dessert, of course, was marshmallows! And because the food element of this event was themed around ‘healthy and simple’ eating, the ingredients used were Paleo-friendly meaning this usually ‘naughty’ fun camping treat was actually healthy! Bonus!
The kids had earlier searched for the perfect marshmallow stick so were well equipped for optimal toasting and eating!
Some campers were tired after a big day of driving and playing so they hopped into their cosy beds in their tents while a few stayed up to chat around the fire. The fire area is where some really fantastic conversations are had and connections are made – a hugely important element to any camping trip.
Saturday morning campers bellies were filled with beautiful campfire-cooked foods including bacon and eggs from Piggy in the Middle , cooked veggies and yummy Eclipse Organics Paleo muesli with coconut milk, raw Hum Honey drizzled on and some fresh fruit. Oh and of course plenty of hot coffee, tea and hot chocolates were made!
Everyone all fueled up, the sun shining, Carly and Tanya took the kids for a nature adventure where they learned how to make fire and build cubby houses!
While the kids were off having fun the adults were invited to join in on Clint’s Natural Fitness Class where he introduced them to a variety of natural human movement activities and fun games. Our littlest camper Tilly also joined in, being held by mum Madeleine during some of the activities, as well as Clint, and giggled throughout the Pool Noodle Jumping games! It was so cute, and everyone had a lot of fun moving and playing.
Trying new games like those played in the class can be daunting for some adults, whose perception of adult play and also their own capabilities being quite limited, but every parent got in there and had a go. With the laughter I could hear from the kitchen and the smiles on faces as they walked down the hill after class, Clint’s goal of ensuring everyone had a great time was achieved!
Before the kids were due back we utilised that time for the parents and gave them the opportunity to learn some healthy camp meal ideas, getting stuck into Paleo Burger Making which would be everyone’s lunch.
Each person helped with preparing the different elements of the burgers, including making melting ‘cheese’, Paleo mayo, slicing up the salad ingredients, stacking the huge cos lettuce leaves (used as buns), slicing the Paleo Rolls buns and cooking the Highbrit Beef patties over coals so everything was laid out and ready to assemble as desired come lunchtime.
It wasn’t a sneaky ploy of mine to have the campers make lunch as one less meal for me to do, but it was nice having others chip in to get it done and enjoying the process as well.
The small tribe still weren’t back and the parents realised it was the perfect chance to feast before having to worry about their kids’ meals. Smart thinking! They made their burgers, dug in, and finished eating just in time for the kids’ return.
Then the littlies tucked into goodies and everyone was fed and happy!
For an hour or so it was then ‘free-range’ time; campers could do whatever they felt like.
Some of the kids played in the creek, some explored the bushes around the camp area, some made up games to play with each other, and adults chatted, napped and relaxed.
The day wasn’t over though, there was still plenty more fun to be had!
Tanya held a fantastic Lantern Making Workshop where the kids and their parents could sit together in a shady part of the property and learn how to make beautiful lanterns using simple household items. A great way to recycle, work together, and use creativity and imagination.
Later the fiinished creations were hung from trees with tea light candles placed inside so they could be seen come nightfall.
That morning’s Fire Making adventures had been really successful so now it was time for the kids to show their parents what they’d learned about making fire and keeping it going.
Carly chatted to the parents about what this activity was all about, the benefits, the challenges, and the parents were able to see it firsthand.
Some frustration and impatience were noticeable but one of the main points was to allow the kids to work through and overcome these emotions.
All of them achieved fire, eventually! Yay!
And they were excited to be able to toast a marshmallow or two on the fire they created! What an exciting moment!
Of course, while all this was happening, dinner was being made and we knew it was going to be a cold night so we wanted to ensure campers had a big plate of hot food and mugs of hot drinks to warm them up.
Oh and a toasty fire to sit by too!
On the menu on Saturday night was Cotton Tree Meats grass-fed diced lamb with veggies cooked in the camp ovens for a few hours to become nice and soft and mushy.
Marshmallows were enjoyed again (not too many, they are made of honey and too much sugar right before bed is not fun!)
A very cold start to Sunday saw early risers heading straight for the jugs of boiled water at the drink station to make hot drinks to warm up with, as well as congregating around the fire egging Clint on to make it bigger!
Hands were warmed, brekkie was had, hot chocolates with marshmallows were downed, bellies were filled with food, and a morning full of activities was about to begin…
Carly and Tanya took the kids for another nature adventure where they explored the area just outside of the property, identifying useful plants, and becoming more aware of their natural surroundings.
The parents stuck around to learn about all the bushfoods in season at the time, being able to forage for and taste them, ask questions, and get ideas for native edible plants they could perhaps grow at home.
We’re very lucky to have access to this beautiful property that just happens to be covered in bush tucker plants thanks to the owner who’s a local bush tucker guru.
The group found and tried Lilly Pilly, Finger Limes, Wild Currants, Lemon Myrtle, Aniseed Myrtle and a few greens as well. Unique and interesting flavours and a unique and interesting experience!
To round off the activities, the parents then were able to benefit from some Forest Therapy and a Rock Stacking Mindfulness Workshop at the creek. Forest Therapy is basically about using all of our senses, preferably in a forest setting, to absorb a huge dose of earthing and healing from nature to greatly benefit our health. It’s also a form of meditation without actually ‘meditating’ as it’s typically performed, and it’s time-out to unwind and de-stress from our busy lives.
Once everyone felt calm and relaxed the rock stacking activity was for them to stack rocks however they desired and then to look back over the whole experience noticing their thoughts and behaviours. Not to judge or try to change those thoughts and actions, but to simply recognise them and get to know themselves better – how they handle challenging situations, how they go about achieving tasks set out for them, what their attitude is, and how they find joy. Awareness is key.
Each person approached the activity differently and it was really insightful to hear their thoughts about that afterwards.
It was a lovely way to end the weekend and as if on cue, the kids ran back just as we finished!
Then it was time to pack up <sniff> so we could hold a Closing Circle around the fire, where we drank some freshly brewed billy bushfoods tea, Carly gave out small gifts to the kids, and we thanked everyone for coming along to the first ever Family WildTime Camp.
Wow, what a weekend! Even though we experienced a few ticks and ant bites, dirt, dropped gooey marshmallows, and cold nights… everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Phew! And hey, that’s bush camping right?!
We hope our campers have implemented some of what they learned throughout those days into their regular lives and noticing changes and benefits. We sure learned a lot and are grateful for the experience, especially meeting so many wonderful people and being able to bring them to this beautiful space and enjoy a stack of nature for a few days.
If you liked the sound of this event and would like to attend one in the future simply register to Primal E-news to stay up to date with all of our nature-based events and activities. And feel free to get in touch with us, we’d love to connect with you!
A HUGE thank you to all of our amazing sponsors (mentioned above) who kindly supplied us with top quality food and products, plus Sunshine Coast Spring Water for our delicious drinking water!
Also, thank you to our helper Sarah who gave a lot of valuable time with the cooking and washing.
And thank you to Carly (and Tanya) from Natureweavers for all of your magic! Clint and I love you!
Aimee (and Clint!) x
Nature-based Health, Fitness + Food Coaching