by Tomer Berkowitz
As 2018 drew to a close, the staff and students at Alia hitched up their pants and made their way up north to the town of Euroa. Euroa, for those who are unfamiliar with the place, is confident in what it is and what it can offer, summed up best by the stubby holders that proudly proclaimed ‘London, Paris, Euroa, New York’. On arriving at the campsite, everyone was impressed by the space afforded us, as it allowed for everyone to spread out and organise their tents in a way that would minimise the irritation caused for Scott. The campsite itself was along a lovely, serene creek, and the weather was sunny and mild, perfect for lazing about throughout the day.
With only one planned activity for the camp, there was plenty of time for students to use the time as they saw fit. Much jovial time was spent in the swimming pool, young and old alike partaking in swimming while the sun was out and lounging about on the inflatable chairs. Other spent their time by conducting multiple expeditions into town. Many students exclaimed that the IGA in the centre, which tripled as both a hardware store and clothes store, was the largest they’d ever seen. Mysteriously, all were plastered with the same moniker: Burton. Truth be told, it will probably only be a matter of years before the town is renamed ‘Burton’ and Burton sits on the Euroan throne, lording over their subjects like some dictator from an Orwellian future.
On the camp’s third day, some students decided to try their luck firing beams of light at each other in a gratuitous display of bloodless violence known as laser skirmish. Once the students had been armed and divided into teams, the chaos amidst the serene backdrop began. In fact, so serene was the backdrop and so intense the chaos that, once everyone was deeply entrenched in their character, it took some moments to realise that a real-life police officer was calling our attention from across the river. On his arrival to our side of the river, and enquiries as to what we were doing gallivanting through bushland, he explained that he’d received calls from the public. A little concerned, we asked what the calls had been in respect to. We were informed that a concerned citizen had called the police over an invasion of Euroa, and that something should be done. Once it had been firmly established that this was not our primary intention (who knows, it might have happened by accident), Greg, organiser of the laser skirmish, wryly opined, “Because if I was going to invade Australia, I’d start with Euroa.”
It would be remiss of me not to mention one of the most ancient of Alia customs. With school camps comes school traditions, and none are more revered than that as that passing of the school captaincy flame. As has been the case since 2006, the title of school captain is meaningless without the commitment of those upon which it has been bestowed. 2018’s captains, who served the post with grace and dignity (usually), made the announcements at the first camp meeting. After a brief introduction, the first of the two captains, Patrick, was appointed. After a round of applause, the outgoing captains than named Sarah as the other school captain for 2019, ensuring the legacy of the position lived on.
Finally, after four days of glorious weather and determined fun, it came time to unceremoniously pack away tents, clean up the campsite and head back south to the awaiting flock of Alia parents. If there was one thing everyone took away from the week, it was that the spirit of camaraderie lives on, and that we all one day look forward to a return to Burton, formerly Euroa. See you all at the next camp!