Last month when I unexpectedly discovered us back home in Brisbane, I wrote to the Brisbane Unschoolers (BUS) group and received a warm invitation to several upcoming events. So Sarah, 15yo Jayke and her two little girls joined us this week at Bigriggen where we met up with almost twenty other unschooling families who used this time to relax, socialise and enjoy nature.
We parked our rig at the end of a line of tents. Over time, several more campers arrived and set up their tents on the righthand side of us, so we were more in the middle.
The girls enjoyed playing with some other little girl's toys. Aisha and Brioni created a whole world with this mermaid and fairy figures — it's something that I've never introduced to them, and yet they can flesh out the characters from their imaginations.
Jayke pulled our canoe around the campground with his bike, collecting firewood for each night's bonfire.
After the bonfire was lit, David and Jayke made a hot-air balloon — releasing it into the night sky where it burned safely for ages! Later, Jayke and three girls played with sparklers for the camera.
Now that David learned the techniques from Erin, he uses a crochet hook to keep my dreadlocks tightened. It's a great way to hang out together — I love feeling pampered by my husband!
As we sat around the campfire after dark, songs were shared from an amazingly wide range of sources.
As soon as it got dark, possums came out of the bush and foraged around the campsites. They were unafraid of us, though one ran up Jayke's foot when it was chased by enthusiastic children.
A goanna also prowled around the camp, attempting to steal food that wasn't put away properly.
Bigriggen is bordered by the upper reaches of the Logan River. Here, the river is just a creek. It was funny to think that I could sit in our canoe and several days later arrive down the back of our property!
Delaney loved getting into the water. Brioni was initially keen on swimming, but when she got bitten by a creature in the water, she was reluctant to enter it again.
Kids rode down a length of the creek on inner-tubes. I took our air bed into the water.
The water — while rapid — was quite shallow, and I was thankful that I could keep my legs on the airbed and off the rocks.
When the heat seemed unbearable, we would all head to the river to cool off. The far side of the water offered shade from overhanging trees (and was away from the territory of the biting fish).
When the day became hot and the shade disappeared from the side of our trailer, we were thankful for our neighbours’ extra-large tarp that was set up alongside our rig. One man brought along many of his tools to the camp to encourage the children to tinker in woodworking.
Jayke used a friend's tools and expertise to make a whistle from a twig.
Jayke bored out a hole and then chistled the groove to make the whistling noise.
The days were very hot, so the extra shade made a great difference to us.
David's father Woodoo (seated) came and camped with us for a day. It was fun for the girls to spend some more time with him.
I enjoyed joining with a larger group for a session of answering trivia questions. With the variety of professions and experiences represented, we made a fine team and could answer almost every question correctly!
Several children played with hi-tech devices, something that I'm sure our children will grow into.
I was so inspired by talking to the other women there. We made special connections with Erica who is hoping to travel more and Cas who shares a common spiritual heritage with us. It’ll be lovely to stay in touch with these and other inspiring unschooling families as we travel — we hope to see them again when we’re back in town!