History

YEARMONTHEVENTPLACEDESCRIPTION / MEMORIES / HIGHLIGHTS
1983 1st ICCToronto, CanadaThe 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 ICCWashington DCThe 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.
1988AugustSC MeetingHuntsville, CanadaICF 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 MeetingCaracas
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.
1990FebruaryICF visitUSAValery 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.
1991OctoberSC MeetingDinant, BelgiumHosted by Jeunesse et Sante.
1992SeptemberSC MeetingSt. Petersburg & Moscow, Russia 
1993SeptemberSC MeetingKangaroobie Australia 
1993MayICF visitAthens, GreeceThe 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.
1994March3rd ICC, KumbayahToronto, CanadaThe 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.
1995FebruarySC MeetingFlorida, USA 
1996SeptemberICF visitAthens, Greece 
1997September4th ICCSt. Petersburg RussiaThe 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.
1998MaySC MeetingCaracas, Venezuela 
1999SeptemberSC MeetingTokyo & Yamagata, Japan 
2000FebruaryICF visitOntario, CanadaIn 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.
2000September5th ICCTokyo, JapanThe 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.
2001AprilSC MeetingNicosia, Cyprus 
2002FebruarySC MeetingVirginia, USA 
2003January6th ICCMelbourne 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.
2003MarchICF visitAthens, GreeceOn 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.
2003SeptemberICF visitBurgas, BulgariaIn 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.
2004FebruarySC MeetingMexico City, Mexico & San Francisco, USA 
2005October7th ICCMexico City, MexicoThe 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.
2006FebruaryUnofficial SC
Meeting
Nashville, USA 
2007FebruarySC MeetingQuebec, Canada 
2007SeptemberSC MeetingKitten, Bulgaria 
2008October8th ICCQuebec, CanadaThe 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.
2009FebruarySC MeetingFlorida, USA 
2009OctoberSC MeetingTaipei, Taiwan 
2010FebruarySC MeetingDenver, USA 
2010NovemberSC MeetingBogota, Colombia 
2011November9th ICCHong KongCamp 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.
2012OctoberICF Board
Meeting
Yamal, Ukraine & Istanbul & Antalya Turkey 
2013OctoberICF Board
Meeting
Sydney, Australia 
2014FebruaryUnofficial Board
Meeting
Florida, USA 
2014October10th ICCAntalya, TurkeyThe 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”.
2015OctoberICF Board MeetingOrlyonok Camp, Tuapse, Russia & Radisson Blu Resort, Sochi, Russia 
2016OctoberICF Board MeetingTokyo, Japan 
2017October11th ICCSochi, RussiaOver 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.
2018NovemberICF Board MeetingGhent, Belgium 
2019OctoberICF Asia Oceania Camping CongressMalaysiaCamping 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.