13 October 2015 | Writing

Camp stories

fluffy white cluds in a bright blue sky

Mr 11 is going on camp today to the Grampians, the same camp I went to for my grade six camp – thirty years ago! Mr 11 wanted to know what the food was like – I can’t remember but I’m sure it will have changed!

I found the story that I had written about camp – compulsory grade six unit. I remember using my set of 72 Derwent pencils to illustrate it – my story was so special it was 72-Derwent-pencil-set worthy.

Mr 11 thought it was hilarious.

“You said fluffy white clouds twice, Mum! Who talks about fluffy white clouds?”

Clearly, he didn’t know I was an Anne of Green Gables kind of girl. And obviously, there was a lot of Enid Blyton-children-off-on-adventures influence going on as well. Perhaps some Mary Grant Bruce Australian country description as well.

I love my use of adverbs – merrily, cheekily, excitedly.

My adjectives are diverse – endless, numberless, colourful, unblinking, luminous.

I have dared Mr 11 to write a description of the Grampians more poetic than mine – ‘It was a lovely day for a long walk. Almost luminous clouds were silhouetted sharply against the blue sky. A lake shone mistily in the distance.’ Or perhaps this description of the Pinnacle – ‘A lake sparkled in the distance. Fluffy white clouds drifted lazily in the clear blue sky, overshadowing mountains. Trees were dotted over the paddocks and fields. Glimpses of rooftops could be seen among the trees.’

I had it all jam-packed together – alliteration, adjectives, adverbs, qualifiers!

I wish I could tell my eleven-year-old self to write in the active tense, not the passive tense. And I also wish I could tell her that she’d still be writing thirty years later – just not so many descriptions of sparkling, misty lakes or fluffy white clouds.

Her sheer audacity



The” nearly a teenager” will no doubt ignore the fluffy clouds but probably see how far he and his mates can throw rocks. The lizards or even snakes may be described! !!

October 13, 2015 at 6:37 am


I went on the year 3/4 school camp to the Grampians with my daughter this year. The food was excellent! Especially because I didn’t have to cook it (not a good argument for a kid). There are cute kangaroo joeys in pouches everywhere at this time of year. He’ll have a ball.

October 13, 2015 at 9:47 am


What a star writer Karen! I love what you wrote, and I love that you are still writing. If only we could all go back and talk to our 11 year old selves… not that I would listen, but I’d like to hand over a list of “when *insert event* happens, don’t do *insert reaction*”!

October 13, 2015 at 11:33 am

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