Subud Youth Australia are back! For the first time in around 7 years there was an official youth camp in Australia. Isti Jenkins is based in Melbourne and is the current youth co-ordinator in Australia and it was she who made the camp happen (as well as all the delicious food that was served throughout) !
The camp was held at Gunnebah (a Subud owned retreat property) from the 28th December – 2nd of January. With 12 youth attending this was a big success (we had attendees from Perth, Sydney, Melbourne & local groups).
The program was loose and this left space for those attending to direct the activities. There was a lot of card games, loud games of Articulate, an art gallery & coffee expedition, some fishing trips, swims in the pool, catch ups and a bonfire and sparkler bomb for NYE. We also a brief meeting about World Congress and Roland collected some feedback to take with him to the planning meeting in Puebla.
A jungle warrior/jungle parkour experience on the nearby Mt Warning was kindly offered by Hamilton Barnett and accounts from attendees indicated that it was a highly challenging and enjoyable experience (this was sadly a guys-only event otherwise I’d have more to share!).
Wolumbin is indigenous name for Mt Warning and is one of the first places on the Australian mainland to have sunlight reach it. On New Years day we got up at 3 am, drove the short distance from Gunnebah to the base and climbed for around 2 hours to the summit. Many other people had a similar idea for their first day of the new year, so the summit was crowded but still impressive.
Next day we headed to Congress a short 45 minute drive over the NSW/QLD border to Tallebudgra. Congress went from the 2nd until the 8th. I can safely say that I (and most of the youth that attended) made full use of the fact we were just a 5 minute walk from the ocean and the Tallebudgra river by swimming every day! This congress had a lot of families in attendance. The energy of having young children around was a bit infectious and made the congress incredibly light and carefree.
There were organised congress events such as the opening ceremony/greeting, dress up ball & nightly community hour (feat many young performers- Frances Madden, Aliyah Farebrother, Roland Flynn, Rosalyn Barnett and Hilary McRae) that were lots of entertainment and fun. There was also a plethora of workshops (the SES one resulted in several enterprises that ran throughout congress), kedjiwaan sessions and cups of tea. There were soccer and basketball games, morning runs and swims, more card games, dance lessons and inspirations in the creative space. Also incredibly successful for the young men and women in attendance were the sharing circles- a private and facilitator led time that created space to share feelings and experiences related to life,to spirituality and Subud.
For me the highlights were the chats and hugs with people I had not seen for months or years as well as some strong reminders I received about my own personal journey. I’m so happy that we raised around $300AUD for IYTF though the sale of some Subud ties, bracelets and from a pledge from Subud Australia. I can’t say thank-you enough to all the young people that attended the camp and congress and the organisers that insured there was room for the children and youth. When we took the photo above I looked at the crowd and realised that the youth in attendance outnumbered the ‘older’ attendees. As long as there is space made for families, children and youth at Subud events- (in my opinion) I really don’t think we need to worry about Subuds growth.