CSE Camp – Epic bus fail, broom game, newspaper towers and internet memes

It’s been about 6 years since I’ve had the pleasure of being on a camp, the last I can remember was a Year 11 Thredbo/Jindabyne trip. So ending yesterday, for a little over 48 hours CSE@UNSW first years, and me since it’s my first year at UNSW, were at Wombaroo Adventure Center in the southern highlands about half way from Sydney to Canberra, Australia.

Internet Memes
The theme, one pretty awesome one. I just couldn’t resist going as Happycat (pics may come later). Memes in attendance (by Ben Pinto):

Pirates vs ninjas
Im on a boat
Troll science
F**k yeah
Forever alone
Milhouse is not a meme
Mac vs pc
Wonka bar
The ring/ grudge girl
Charlie the unicorn
Shamwow guy
Old spice guy
Hello world
Dancing star wars kid
Hide yo kids guy
Double rainbow guy
Engineer (teamfortress)

The engineer won the award for best costume…not sure I agree since Callum’s PC was epic but that’s democracy for you.

Broom Game
Simply put – hold broom and face upwards, spin 15 times then jump over it. Your inner ear’s motion detector will deceive you – good luck! (Not me but some of those who participated – the end is a must see :- )

Newspaper Towers
aka Fun with Newspaper. The Australians were by far the best general building material, literally just separate, roll up and build up. You learn quickly the best ways to build things like rope to tie things together.

The two most successful teams maxed out their towers to the 4 m ceiling using tripod-based designs with a spire on top. One other got very close with a spire like a knight’s jousting post on top of a 3 very solid base rings of compacted newspaper. Guess which one I was 😉

Epic Fail Bus
Well ’twas begging to have little more than the chance of a wee snowball in the fires and brimstone of hell. A little context and story:

  • Driver tries to start bus on slight slope at Wombaroo. Driver fails a couple of dozen times, including rolling backwards several meters (luckily no one was back there).
  • Driver finally succeeds in starting the engine for more than 15 seconds, gets the bus up the incline. This is over 30 minutes after we should have left!
  • Bus breaks down at least twice on the freeway (I dozed off so it may have been more).
  • Driver decides to continue following M5 into the longest and most congested tunnel in Sydney (and possibly still the world), despite his engine trouble.
  • Driver continues in the right hand lane, starts off well on the tunnel descent.
  • *Kffppppphh*…*splutter*…*cough*…*bang*…and we’re coasting to a stop.
  • Driver attempts a restart a good dozen times before giving up.
  • Realisation of being (semi) trapped inside a bus inside a 4 km tunnel with hundreds of cars passing very close sets in for some team members. I feel for their claustrophia.
  • Some 15-20 mins in, a redirecting sign truck arrives behind us.
  • To great applause, 52 minutes in, we greet the tow truck…
  • Only to wait another half hour to be fully towed out!
  • And another 20 minutes trapped inside on the side of Marsh Street, or thereabouts. But at least with fresh air through the top air vents…some compared it to being reborn or other life changing experiences. Quite the saga.
Clearly the cases of:
  • the forgotten sleeping bag (yes someone slept the entire night before discovering their sleeping bag was actually right where it should have been), and 
  • the 7 am fire alarm (don’t go playing with circuit breakers at 4am, you don’t know when the cabin battery power will run out)
were awarded camp’s “Biggest fail” far too soon. Everyone scored a trophy – the limited edition purple cake camp shirt.
In summary:

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