around the campfire
CamperTrailers Group first national meet
Copeton Waters 2005
The first national meet was a success. In fact it could hardly have been better. Naysayers and doom merchants be damned!
D-3 Friday. Our genial camp Kommandant Kevin (KK) arrived to ensure all arrangements were in place - and just maybe have a night of peace before the hordes arrived. Perhaps also to finalize his ‘show bags’ for each CT - A4 size laminated name for each CT, personalized laminated name tags for everyone, forms, and the prized Copeton meet sticker.
D-2 Saturday. The first impatient few arrived two days early - almost half the camper trailers (CT) actually and representing the three eastern states. It’s a big camp area and that evening four well spread out fires kept out the evening chill and were the focus of the social interaction.
D-1 Sunday. Camp doubled in numbers and became a small tent city. The greatest CT show in the country had been born. Now too many for everyone to really get to know everybody else well but the willingness to try was evident. There was more than one ‘moth’ moving from fire to fire that evening - although Carol was widely judged the most flighty ‘moth’.
D1 Monday. The first ‘official’ day of the meet and the last of our number rolled in -until last light. The Copeton Waters staff had built us a huge bonfire on what, when the dam was full, would have been the foreshore - this was used as a gathering point for the official opening.
KK opened proceedings with an informative summary of the group’s history and introduced the group’s ‘owners’. 70+ people were there to hear him formally open the meet and then hand over to Rob.
Rob initially used the old standby to get started (the previous speaker has swiped most of my good lines) and presented various awards:
“Attended meets in most states” - Robert Martin (not present)
“Travelled furthest to Copeton” - A close contest amongst the Victorians but Michael & Sheryl took it out due to their route.
“Newest camper trailer at Copeton” - Steve & Kerrie. May 2005. Already been to north Queensland and back.
“Oldest camper trailer at Copeton” - Rob & Carol. 1991 Track Trailer Eagle.
“Borrowed camper trailer at Copeton” - Richard & Sharon. A rented CT for the week.
“Camp oven award”. Ed & Donna. This couple turned up at Wollondilly and experienced bush camping for the first time. They loved it so much they stayed two more days. Since then they have bought a camp oven, learnt how to use it, and have now upgraded their car to a 4wd with higher ground clearance so they can go to all the group meets. They are well and truly hooked.
“Group person of the year” - Handy Pam (not attending).
“Golden peg award” - Lloyd (not attending).
This meeting and the ‘social interaction’ which followed caused a number of dinners to be a little well done.
D2 Tuesday. No particular events but the day went in no time flat. Much to-ing and fro-ing between Ct’s - seems that almost everybody learned something useful.
Jill & Carol visited Inverell and cleaned out the op shop - providing the material for their very popular ‘awards ceremony’. Every CT group received at least one specialty award with appropriate? momento.
D3 Wednesday. Final ‘official’ day. A few of our new friends had to leave for other commitments. A little sad to see the camp start to break up.
KK formally closed the meet at a 5pm gathering. Presented the Copeton Capers’ award to Nev - something about trying to stretch the fridge power cable (car to CT) all the way to the bonfire site. Apparently he saw several people giving him a friendly wave while attempting this feat.
Close runner up for the award was Michael. Took his Range Rover for the short hop to the amenities where it then remained all night - very tight security on those Rangies when the remote is dodgy. Hardly a secret as many wanted to know what the vehicle was doing there all night while the block was empty.
TV’s - much derided generally in camp suddenly became socially acceptable as NRL Sate of Origin time arrived. Good game but most unfortunate result. NSW may have had two more points had Courtney & Savannah not put Johnnsy off his kick - Erin was not impressed.
D4 Thursday. Departure day for most. Goodbyes and ‘till we meet agains’ all over. Plans for future camps hatched (or at least fertilized). Only two staying on. As your reporter was not in one of the fortunate two groups, that’s the end of the diary.
Some friendships were rekindled but many more were formed. Most had only met previously on the ‘list’ but, as Rob would say, they came together as strangers but departed a few days later as friends. It was a few days of relaxation, fun, and most of all, camaraderie. What better measure of success.
And that’s it for the National 2005. The weather was very kind - a little cool for Queenslanders but possibly almost tropical for the less fortunate.
List of attendees...........
page two Rob's Photos
page three Photo's by Alan & Kathy, Alan & Brenda, Shane & Karen, Richard & Sharon,
page four Photo's by Graeme & Vicki, Peter Reed