1ST, NARRABEEN NSW, JAN 1963 (300+ Campers)
Tours of Sydney, on-site activities, beach and lake activities. (Any person with additional info is welcome to contribute)
2nd, SOUTHPORT QLD, JAN 1966 (600+ Campers)
An entire train was hired by the BB to take campers from Sydney to Brisbane, stopping for meals supplied by churches at various stations along the way. Activities included tours to Brisbane and Moreton Bay, on-site activities and swimming. (Once again, additional info welcome)
3rd, STANWELL TOPS NSW, JAN 1969 (600+ Campers)
Introduction of PENTAPACaward featuring 5 sides, Bible Studies, Assault Course, Discover Sydney, Compass and Cricket Ball throw. Abseiling on cliff-tops, incident when well known Queensland identity, Don Smith, slipped off rope sustaining minor injuries. Tours to Sydney, Warragamba Dam, Steelworks and Coalmine.
4th, RABAUL T.P.N.G, DEC 1971-JAN 1972 (400+ Campers)
Provided the biggest airlift in Papua New Guinea since the end of World War Two including the use of DC3 aircraft with canvass seats. Some flights diverted to avoid a cyclone. Daily earth tremors, climbing an active volcano, tours to islands, exploring old tunnels and war relics.
B.B. Extension Officer, Brian England, fell off a cliff while searching for a missing camper, sustaining massive injuries. Heavy cloud prevented a helicopter from landing and it would be several hours trek to carry him out. Prayer groups were set up back at Camp. In the final 30 minutes of daylight, the clouds parted allowing the chopper to land then fly Brian to hospital. Praise the Lord for His control of the situation.
As it was the wet season, Campers stayed in huts. Many took tours of Port Moresby and Cairns on the return trip.
5th, DEVONPORT TAS, DEC 1974-JAN 1975 (1,000+ Campers)
This Camp was set up in the middle of a racecourse with the advance party contending with heavy rain and thick mud. One of the first groups to attempt the Cradle Mountain Expedition had to turn back owing to a snow blizzard making conditions unsafe (In December!)
Tours included a two-day visit to Hobart and Port Arthur with one group crossing the Derwent River Bridge in Hobart, the day before it was hit by a ship, causing total collapse. Since the 3rd PA Camp, Seniors were able to do abseiling as a separate activity. However, the 5th PA Camp provided the opportunity for a separate Senior Cradle Mountain Expedition and Junior Mount Roland climb, each with their own distinct badges. As one of the local Officers had an interest in the Devonport Speedway, this was THE spot to be on New Years’ Eve.
6TH, PERTH WA, DEC 1977-JAN 1978 (600+ Campers)
“Westward Ho” featured on the advertising brochures for the 6th PAC with Boys and Officers travelling by air, rail and road, some Companies being away for five weeks.
The camp continued on a familiar theme with on-site activities, tours to Perth city, Rottnest Island, heaps of swimming, canoeing and amazing heat! Towards the end of camp, the temperature reached 47 degrees Celsius.
As Boys travelled to the various parts of Perth, they invited girls to the Camp Open Day. The camp-site at Maida Vale was on the outskirts of Perth in a then semi-rural area, with no buses back after 1pm so many of the girls had to be driven back to their own area by the Camp Committee.
7th, MELBOURNE VIC, JAN 1981 (800+ Campers)
Held in the middle of Melbourne’s Bible Belt at Nunawading, this Camp featured an awesome Assault Course containing obstacles of such great height, that at least two people “froze” at the top of one of the wooden structures.
The 7th PAC was the fifth Camp to feature the now well established PENTAPACaward, consisting of Devotions, Skills (Compass Reading, Cricket Ball Throw, Chess, Draughts, Basketball), Discover Melbourne, Assault Course and Orienteering. Tours included the famous Puffing Billy railway and a trip to Sovereign Hill and Kryall Castle at Ballarat.
A series of inter-camp company competitions were also conducted in addition to the Volleyball comp sponsored by The Bank of NSW (now Westpac). This Camp was the last held using a common activity program with little variety for Seniors.
8TH (CENTENARY), CANBERRA ACT, DEC 1983-JAN 1984 (1400+ Campers)
BB Australia celebrated the World Centenary in many ways throughout 1983, with the Centenary Camp Canberra as the grand finale to that busy year. The term 8th PAC was not ever used to promote or identify the Camp.
This camp introduced a radical change in the choice and range of activities available to campers including the concept of electives where 12 months prior, Boys could complete a “Maybe” card indicating their choice of activities. From the initial response, a final elective program offered separate choices to Juniors and Seniors, with the first registrations being offered first preference to: Abseiling, BMX Bikes, Camp Magazine, Camp Radio, Canoeing, Roller Skating, Shooting, Trail Bikes, Archery, Caving, Clay Target Shooting, Fishing, Horse Riding, Model Planes, Squash and Ten Pin Bowling and Senior’s Expedition.
Canberra also included on-site activities (Camp facilities) including Mini Bikes, Air Rifles, Basketball, Volleyball, Fitness Course, Games Room, Indoor Cricket and Videos. Also the concept of the NCO’s Club, an after hours venue for Seniors, was pioneered at the CCC.
Snowy Mountain and Canberra Tours completed an exhausting Camp Program that had been put together under the leadership of 6th Canberra Officer, Allen Brooke ( who is co-ordinating the 2K2 Camp in 2002)
As a logistical operation, the multi-destination transport requirements, staffing and venue arrangements were a major challenge to the organising committee. However, the face of PACs were changed forever at this Camp.
9th, ADELAIDE SA, JAN 1987 (700+ Campers)
Held at Morphett Vale on the southern outskirts of Adelaide, the 9th PAC provided a large choice of electives to take advantage of the campsite and Adelaide’s attractions. Tours included Discover Adelaide, The Hills, Victor Harbour and an all companies visit to Speedway Park.
After the huge (for BB) Canberra Camp, the 9th PAC provided a wonderful contrast, containing a wonderful camp “spirit” and sense of co-operation as many Officers were now working their second PAC under the elective system, one that required a considerable effort from them, compared to the old program method used up to the 7th PAC. The concept of the Seniors Night Out was introduced at the 9th PAC, where Senior Boys would have a night out in the City in company with a couple of Officers.
Adelaide was also affected by unseasonably cold weather, requiring campers to wear warm gear in January. The “gully” winds were a nightly occurrence, culminating in a fierce wind in the early hours of Sunday January 11 1987 that snapped the concrete-steel poles that supported the huge marquee used for church services and concerts. Even in the raging wind, the Lord guided those with electrical knowledge through the maze of live wires that were entangled in the collapsed canvass. Although campers were covered in the wind-blown dirt, the Communion Service held a few hours later amongst the ruins was truly a blessed occasion.
10TH, BRISBANE, QLD, JAN 1990. (900+ Campers)
Situated at Kallangur on the northern outskirts of Brisbane, the 10thPAC featured acres of paddocks that were converted into a motorbike track, mini-bike track, flying fox across the dam, waterslide using water dispensed from old shower heads, floating pontoon and canoe trail, and of course the assault course, of course!
For the first time, Campers were able to choose non-pentapac electives to try out an activity without the pressure of reaching a set standard for the Pentapac Badge. In addition to Discover Brisbane, Dreamworld, Bribie Island and Sunshine Coast trips, Electives included climbing of the Glasshouse Mountains and canoe expeditions to the Noosa River System. To further enhance the program, the Camp had its own radio station and a canteen that became a marketing triumph, “Gordy’s Gobble and Go.”
A wide range of stamps featuring camp activities and theme days were available so that Campers could put together a portfolio of the fun-times at camp. The 10th PAC also formally developed the concept of Volunteers where BB families and Officers who were unable to attend Camp, assisted in preparation, canteen, security and many other roles contributing to the Camp’s success.
Over 200 Boys and Officers made commitments to Christ at the 10th PAC.
11TH, NEWCASTLE, NSW, JAN 1993 (600+ Campers)
At 160km north of Sydney, Newcastle combined the amenities of a large city with the beach, lake, bush and mountain attractions that abound in the surrounding area. The Camp was situated at Merewether High School featuring 20-25 campers in large tents in contrast to the smaller groups of 6-8 at previous camps.
“New Look, New-Life, Newcastle” as the Camp theme, extended to the great locations close by, including Lake Macquarie for fishing, sailing, sailboarding and canoeing; The Wattagan Mountains for bush walking, abseiling and nearby motor bikes; Barrington Tops for expedition and whitewater canoeing; Shortland Wetlands for canoeing in addition to lots of sites such as the bowling ally, roller skating rink, rifle range, golf, sports centre, squash court and BMX track.
Campers also made the epic trip to Australia’s Wonderland and a day trip to Nelson Bay and Port Stephens, providing a great chance to catch up on sleep on the forward and return trips.
Prior to the 11th PAC, Westpac had always provided an agency at Camp. However, in the economically “efficient” early 1990’s, this was not provided, so the Camp Administration devised the existing system that allows Campers to pay in excess of their camp fees prior to Camp. The balance can then be withdrawn during Camp as required.
As at other Camps, large numbers of Boys and Officers made Commitments to Christ following challenging messages from visiting speakers, John Dickson and Mike Frost.
12th, PERTH WA, DEC 95-JAN 96. (600+ Campers)
Campers arrived at Perth Airport, to be transported in ex Sydney double deck buses, gear downstairs, passengers upstairs for the nostalgic trip out to Maida Vale, the same site as the 6th PAC. After a bit of tree lopping, the busses were able to drive through the campsite and became a feature of every outing.
What a Camp the WA Committee put together for the visitors from the “East” and overseas! While the campsite contained the usual array of on-site activities, a heavy emphasis was placed on getting wet either at the beach or the local pool to combat the hot WA climate.
Discover Fremantle helped to satisfy one of the Pentapac requirements while tours included: a day at Adventure World waterski park and Perth, A half day on a fully rigged sailing ship on the Indian Ocean, a day trip to Rottnest Island with its crystal clear water for swimming and diving.
Electives allowed more opportunities to be either, in, under or beside the Swan River while some seniors stretched their skills on the abseiling, caving and high ropes course at Margaret River in the south of the state.
For the first time in PA Camp history, the entire catering function was performed by volunteers, saving the Camp thousands of dollars in labour costs. Camp Companies also ate in large tin sheds, that certainly gave opportunities for warm fellowship in the hot weather.
The 12th was the first PAC to be planned and managed entirely by the host state without the influence of “Sydney”. Well done Western Australia!
13TH, BRISBANE QLD, JAN 1999, (600+ Campers)
Held to the north west of Brisbane at Samford Scout Camp. Heaps of rain during the first five days, but it did fine up eventually. Campers lived in lined bell type tents and ate in a dining hall at the top of a BIG hill. But the food was great with heaps of variety and assistance from over 64 volunteers just in the catering area alone.
What a Camp for varied activity! Overnight electives included: Four wheel drive adventure, Stradbroke fishing, Sea kayaking, Adventure sailing, Mapleton challenge (high ropes course), Extreme expedition, Wivenhoe challenge (canoeing down Brisbane River), Atkinson adventure (varied things at BBQ Campsite), Tour de Force (bicycle expedition).
The campsite’s hilly terrain catered for go-karts, assault course, abseiling tower, dam with waterslide, computer room and swimming pool. Seniors club, International tent and the DogHouse (canteen) completed the scene.
The 13th PAC was promoted by a mysterious dog called Blue, who featured on regular mail-outs prior to camp, “Blues Tails” (daily newsletter) and appeared as the camp emblem on badges, shirts and posters. To this day, there is still debate about Blue’s true existence!
This Camp certainly represented the coming of age for PA camps in terms of technology. It was the first Camp to have its own web site, used 15 PC’s to plan, operate and administer the Camp, sophisticated sound lighting and fog machines to enhance the church services and visiting acts, and used a high quality two-way system to co-ordinate events on-site.
Church services included a Big Band and extremely sophisticated production company from Kenmore Baptist Church enhanced by a “reggae” Christian Band, (“Yo Man” became an on going cry). Also, as PA Camps are international, a girl from BB Malaysia attended as a “boy”, completing her Pentapac award.
BB Queensland operated a very successful Camp on behalf of BB Australia. The Committee blended a mix of personnel with experience from previous PA Camps, new local Officers plus over 140 Volunteers who assisted in catering, program, security, canteen and general tasks. Thank you BB Queensland, for a great Camp!
2K2, CANBERRA ACT, January 4 to 14 ,2002.
15th PAC X-5, STANWELL TOPS NSW, Dec 28 04 – Jan 07 2005
16th PAC V8, Phillip Island Adventure Resort, Victoria, January 3 – 12 2008
17th PAC, Ulverstone, Tasmania, January 6 – 15 2011
18th PAC, South Australia, January 11 – 21 2014 (200+ Campers)
19th PAC, Queensland, January 2017