A small delegation of Australian camp and outdoor education representatives including OutBeyond’s Managing Director, Joel Thompson, the CEO of the Australian Camps Association, Pete Griffith and Andrew McGuckian (president of the ACA) and ICF-AO Chairman Bill Oakleigh, just returned from the Asia Oceanic Camping Congress held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 


This years theme was about Camping Sustainability and Nurturing culture for future leaders. The International Camping Fellowship event saw representatives from more than 15 countries attend to bring together a world of camp professionals to share world experience, uncover industry trends, and open up new ways of thinking through strong dialogue.


Key diplomatic representatives such as the Malaysian Crown Prince of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail and Russia ambassador to Malaysia Valery N. Yermolov, attended this incredible culturally vibrant event as a strong sign of support, allowing international cooperation between camps to strengthen through official signings of MOUs.


These events naturally foster a sense of cross cultural understanding, and deepen intercultural awareness through celebrating the uniqueness and diversity of not only our culture but also of our organizational differences. With the strongest delegation coming from Russia (almost 50% of all attendees), including key Russian camp professionals and close friends of our Managing Director, new exciting opportunities hope to form for further international cooperation and engagements between our members and our international friends from Russia in the near to mid term future.


Our Managing Director presented a workshop on Inbound Opportunities and how Study Tours and Camps can come together to promote deeper understanding of intercultural awareness, bridge gaps in perceptions around risk in camps, and provide proven strategies on how to increase student participation in unique outdoor programs.

"It was great to represent a small Australian delegation and to meet with the Crown Prince of Perlis, Malaysia Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail at the International Camping Congress in Kuala Lumpur and to witness the relationships between international partners strengthen through the signing of an MOU. Interesting to share some common ground around internationaleducation as he completed his studies at La Trobe University in Melbourne. His support for creating more access to camp education and study tours is evident and we are eager to see what comes from this dialogue between the ICF Board and Key Industry Leaders." - Joel Thompson


With an international delegation of this magnitude, it’s incredible to think that together and through the work that we have dedicated our lives to, that the people in the room have probably impacted the lives of more than 15+million children, youth and adults over the years. A question we like to ask, how can we continue to tell the story better to improve the lives of millions more young people.