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Rails Camp 23 – North Pine

It’s probably a fact well known to those willing to put in the hard research, but the world wide phenomenon that is Rails Camp actually originated here in Australia. Since then it’s spread not just to our local neighbours in New Zealand, but further afield to Scotland, Germany, England and the USA to name a random few.

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend Rails Camp 23 at Camp North Pine just outside of Brisbane. It’s camp 23 by Australian reckoning but it turns out overall it was a much more momentous number.

As they originated here it’s perhaps not surprising there’s a following of people that regularly go to Australian rails camps, and some that enjoy them so much they travel overseas to attend camps in other countries. Along with the Brisbane locals you would expect, there were a good number of people from Sydney and Melbourne attending, as well as a few international visitors.

From the word go it was really nice to get some fresh air and observe some of the local bird life hanging around the camp. The Old Petrie Town markets on the Sunday made for a nice stroll, and an enticing supplement to the catered food.

Traditionally rails camps are less about coding (though there was some of that) and more about socialising with like minded people. Big games of Werewolf have long been a part of these events, with official records putting first games as early as the 4th rails camp. This camp was no exception. Many games were played and some people even tested some new and innovative strategies for play.

I’ve not attended enough camps to speak authoritatively on the subject but from what I’ve gathered this one was weighed more towards the social aspect, with a huge number of board games played over the event.

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The spreadsheet shared beforehand coordinating these (and helping people coordinate traveling together) was quite extensive!

The organisers did a really fantastic job of putting on the event. Massive thanks go to Caitlin Palmer-Bright (@CaitlinPB) and Geoffrey Donaldson (@geoffreyd) for putting in the hard yards.

There’s some good news if you didn’t go and are feeling like you missed out - there’s not long to wait for the next Australian camp. There will be a summer rails camp this year, and the venue is rumored to be somewhere in Tasmania.

To keep up to date, follow @railscamp_au on Twitter. If you are feeling adventurous and want an excuse to go further afield, have a look at the full, global list of previous and upcoming camps at https://rails.camp/

Hope to see you at one!