History

YEAR MONTH EVENT PLACE DESCRIPTION / MEMORIES / HIGHLIGHTS
1983   1st ICC Toronto, Canada The 1st International Camping Congress in Toronto, Canada. Victorian Department of Sport and Recreation invite Armand and Beverly Ball to Australia to address and take part in a conference of people in Victoria interested in camping. Armand was, at the time, Chief Executive of the American Camping Association. From this gathering the Camping Association of Victoria was formed.
1987   2nd ICC Washington DC The 2nd International Camping Congress in Washington, DC with more than 1800 people from 15 different countries. The First Lady Mrs. Regan addresses the Congress. Chuck Ackenbom is one of the chairs of the Conference; International Camping Fellowship is formed; its basic operating standards were announced; Tom Slater of Australia delivers ICF declaration. The ICF Butterfly logo was born. It grew out of the theme of “Our Fragile World”, the theme of the 1987 Congress.  
Click here to learn more about the logo.
1988 August SC Meeting Huntsville, Canada ICF meeting at Camp Tawingo, Huntsville, Canada, with Armand Ball and Dick Chamberlain of the USA, Bill Bowker and Don MacDowall of Australia, Bob Metcalf of Great Britain, Sako Tanaka of Japan, Jack Pearse of Canada, Teresa Lucas of Venezuela. Dick Chamberlain was selected to be the 1st ICF Chair.
1989   SC Meeting Caracas
Venezuela
A group of camp directors assembles in Caracas, Venezuela to form the Venezuelan Camping Association or Asociacion Venezuelana de Campamento. A delegation travels to the 1990 ACA Conference in Boston to introduce themselves to the North American camping community. Every spring, on May 1st, in Caracas, there is camp association training event of over 800 camp staff.
1990 February ICF visit USA Valery Kostin is selected to be the first camp director from the Soviet Union to attend a major camping conference in North America. The audience at the ACA Conference in Boston is surprised to hear from Valery that the Soviet Union had, at that time, more than 100,000 camps. The camping world is certainly bigger than anyone thought possible for any one camping association.
1991 October SC Meeting Dinant, Belgium Hosted by Jeunesse et Sante.
1992 September SC Meeting St. Petersburg & Moscow, Russia  
1993 September SC Meeting Kangaroobie Australia  
1993 May ICF visit Athens, Greece The Greek Camps Association is formed with the help of ICF. The earliest camps in Greece were established by the state (1911). Now there are camps run by municipalities, churches, public/private corporations and private enterprises. All are members of the GCA and are contributing to the evolution of camping.
1994 March 3rd ICC, Kumbayah Toronto, Canada The CCA, ACA and OCA agree to come together to host KUMBAYAH 1994 in Toronto, Canada. “Kumbayah” means “Come by Here”. For the first time, the ICF was identified as an official sponsoring body of a major training event. The 3rd International Camping Congress is held with five official languages: English, French, Spanish, Russian and Japanese. “Peter, Paul and Mary” were to give a concert but Mary was not able to attend. Peter, Paul and Jack Pearse led over 2000 people in the singing of an international version of a favorite camp song: Kumbayah.
1995 February SC Meeting Florida, USA  
1996 September ICF visit Athens, Greece  
1997 September 4th ICC St. Petersburg Russia The support provided by ICF leaders around the world was a very important step for camping in Russia, emerging from the Soviet Bloc. Through the efforts of Dick Chamberlain and Armand Ball, ICF began to educate the camping community in North America to the things that were going on globally. The numbers of international attendees at ACA Conferences have increased each year. There is now an official international liaison headed by Linda Pulliam to the ACA Conference to ensure that delegates from other countries are welcomed and oriented properly.
1998 May SC Meeting Caracas, Venezuela  
1999 September SC Meeting Tokyo & Yamagata, Japan  
2000 February ICF visit Ontario, Canada In Canada, organized children’s camping has been long established. There are over 730 camps in Canada, and of that, approximately 300 are from Ontario. In February 2000, at the Ontario Camping Association, the ICF leaders were able to conduct an international evening to celebrate the diversity of camping in Japan.
2000 September 5th ICC Tokyo, Japan The 5th International Camping Congress, Creating a New Camping Culture, takes place in Tokyo, Japan. The Prince and Princess of Japan are in attendance; the Congress site is the Athlete’s Village of the 1964 Olympic Games; Post-Congress tours extend throughout Japan and are hosted by various regional camp leaders.
2001 April SC Meeting Nicosia, Cyprus  
2002 February SC Meeting Virginia, USA  
2003 January 6th ICC Melbourne Australia “Beneath the Southern Cross” is the theme of the 6th International Camping Congress held in Melbourne, Australia. ICF’s original song “As the Butterfly Flies” was composed and introduced by 15-year-old James Simpson.
2003 March ICF visit Athens, Greece On March 6 the Greek Camps Association meets in Athens for the 2nd Panhellenic Congress for camps and youth activities with the theme, “The Camping Institution into the 21st Century”; the ICF Vice Chair Mantha Christou invites the participants to endorse the formation of the European Camp Association.
2003 September ICF visit Burgas, Bulgaria In September a meeting was held in Burgas, Bulgaria, with representatives of eight countries: Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine. The need for a European Camp Association is recongnized.
2004 February SC Meeting Mexico City, Mexico & San Francisco, USA  
2005 October 7th ICC Mexico City, Mexico The 7th ICC is a wonderful combination of educational sessions and organized cultural and touring events. The 1st International Camp Director Course, run by Armand Ball, Dick Chamberlain, Jack Murdock and Connie Coutellier, is filled to capacity with 40 participants.
2006 February Unofficial SC
Meeting
Nashville, USA  
2007 February SC Meeting Quebec, Canada  
2007 September SC Meeting Kitten, Bulgaria  
2008 October 8th ICC Quebec, Canada The 8th International Camping Congress welcomed 600 participants from more than 20 countries. During the four days of the Congress and pre- and post-camp tours, camp professionals from around the world were united even more. With the support of Quebec Camping Association multiple workshops and panel discussions, general sessions and friendly talks took place throughout the course of the Congress.
2009 February SC Meeting Florida, USA  
2009 October SC Meeting Taipei, Taiwan  
2010 February SC Meeting Denver, USA  
2010 November SC Meeting Bogota, Colombia  
2011 November 9th ICC Hong Kong Camp professionals from more than 20 countries participated in the 9th ICC in Hong Kong, themed “Camping – Gateway to Quality Life”. For the first time in history, it was co-organized with the AOCF.
2012 October ICF Board
Meeting
Yamal, Ukraine & Istanbul & Antalya Turkey  
2013 October ICF Board
Meeting
Sydney, Australia  
2014 February Unofficial Board
Meeting
Florida, USA  
2014 October 10th ICC Antalya, Turkey The 10th International Camping Congress found 385 camp and youth work professionals from 30+ countries gathered at the Maritim Resort in Antalya, Turkey. The Congress was hosted by the Camps Association of Turkey with the theme of “Let’s Camp for Peace”.
2015 October ICF Board Meeting Orlyonok Camp, Tuapse, Russia & Radisson Blu Resort, Sochi, Russia  
2016 October ICF Board Meeting Tokyo, Japan  
2017 October 11th ICC Sochi, Russia Over 1000 delegates gathered in Sochi, Russia for the 11th International Camping Congress. The motto of the Congress was “Sharing happiness with children across the world!”. The wooden bird of happiness, the dove, is the official Congress symbol. It used to be a home protection as well as a favorite toy of children in ancient Russia.
2018 November ICF Board Meeting Ghent, Belgium  
2019 October ICF Asia Oceania Camping Congress Malaysia Camping Sustainability – Nurturing Culture for Future Leaders is the theme of the congress. Besides the highlight on research and education, innovation, human capital development, marketing strategies as well as business and networking, ICF-AO 2019 Malaysia will present various elements of camping in the Malaysian Rainforests; the unique spirit of ‘unity in diversity’ through cultures and performances that should be shared with the outside world.