Boys Leadership and Cultural Camp at Lake Conjola

13 October 2023

On October 13th Souths Cares hosted a Leadership and Cultural Camp for 12 male participants engaged in the Liverpool Opportunity Hub, Nanga Mai Marri and Deadly Youth Mentoring Programs. The camp was held at Ingenia Holiday Park Lake Conjola , on beautiful Yuin-Monaro country. “Connect to Country” was the theme for the week which was explored in workshops, group activities and discussions throughout the camp.

Once the boys arrived at Ingenia Holidays Lake Conjola they were welcomed onto country with a smoking ceremony by aboriginal elders Poppy Mac and Uncle Bernie McLeod, which left a strong impact on the adolescents. After camp was setup the boys spent the rest of the week connecting to country by exploring the abundance of nature reserves and ocean ways, on their explorations the youths encountered many marine and land animals with their favorite being the striking stingrays. During their visit the boys also did some team building exercises including football games on the beautiful Murray Beach, another highlight as friendships and connections were built. The boys also had to learn to work together through cooking meals at the camp kitchen for each other, the cooking was fun but the clean up not so much….

The last activity was a weapons and artefacts workshop, hosted by Uncle Bernie which included a collection of Aboriginal artefacts acquired from across Australia through trading with different communities. The boys were deeply engaged as they learnt about the traditional uses for artefacts and weapons and each item’s connection to different parts of Australia.

To conclude the camp, the group reflected on the challenges and highlights of the past few days and shared some strategies for ensuring the learnings on leadership, teamwork and culture would be used once the boys returned home. The Boy’s Leadership and Cultural Camp was proudly supported by the NSW Government and Ingenia Holiday Parks.