The North Face Great Camp Out
By Jojie Alcantara
Photos by Rhonson Ng
Set in a high elevation of Kapatagan in Davao del Sur, and overlooking an imposing and fog-coated Mount Apo, the Great Camp Out event sponsored by North Face last October 8 and 9 was highly anticipated by eager participants who arrived despite rainy weather. The rough and bumpy 3-hour ride to reach the cool but now muddy encampment was ignored due to feverish excitement.
“The North Face Great Camp Out is a campaign to promote a rediscovery of the outdoors through a parent-child bonding activity,” explains Jundel Llagas, Division Manager of The North Face Philippines. “We encourage participants to escape their digital world, to leave their PSPs, cell phones and Ipads at home and instead make the adventure real with nature as their playing field.”
The Great Camp Out is among the many initiatives of premier outdoor brand The North Face to encourage people to experience the great outdoors, according to Michelle Alcomendras, area manager of The North Face Davao. Participants of the event are grouped into 2 to 3-member parent-child teams to undergo conceptual and actual learning courses, where kids learn practical camp activities from putting the tent up to making a wash line and cooking, in a fun outdoor learning environment.
Mt.Apo Highland Resorts owner Sonny Dizon arranged a welcome tribal dance by the Bagobos of Tibolo Village as well as provided horseback riding amenities within the camp site. Famous artist and musician Popong Landero provided cool and relaxing songs wafting through the chilly night over campfire bonding and boodle meals.
On this 2-day program event, day one was dedicated to learning skills while day two launched a friendly adventure race type competition among the teams.
The 33 parent-child teams were trained by no less than Mt. Everest summiteer Pastour Emata on the basics of outdoor living, backpacking fundamentals, tent pitching, outdoor cooking, reading the compass, and practicing the golden rule of the outdoors: the Leave No Trace Principle. Camp management organizers, instructors, marshals and security personnel are on hand to provide safety for the campers.
At the end of the adventure race, the two families who finished the challenges the fastest without penalties were the Leuenbergers and the Angs. They will join the winner of GCO’s Luzon leg in the Great Camp Out event on February 2012. They also won an all-expense paid trip for the family to Luzon’s highest peak, Mt.Pulag.
This open-air adventure deepened each family ties with an unforgettable experience through a positive learning atmosphere. It also taught the young kids early in life to appreciate the beauty of nature and gave them a thirst for outdoor challenge and adventure.
Camper parent Laurence Ang says, ‘For me it’s camping as a family bonding experience, my eldest daughter learned how to pitch a tent, and was so excited with the cooking part’.
Camper parent Ed Leuenberger gives this insight: ‘It’s really important nowadays especially with our busy lifestyles, we tend to overlook the importance of bringing our kids outdoors’.
The North Face Great Camp Out was made possible through the support of: R.O.X. (Recreational Outdoor eXchange), Mt.Apo Highland Resort, Everest Outdoors, Bord Werkx Productions and the Primer Group of Companies. Additional info provided by Consigliere De Lena)