A creative summer camp for adults is being touted as the perfect mental health retreat with activities ranging from life drawing, pop-up choirs and do-it-yourself “backyard bee hotels”.
Mount Keira Scout Camp will again host the Jamboree Creative Escape, presented by Illawarra social enterprise Wild Rumpus across October 26 to 28.
Co-founder of the organisation Caitlin Marshall said taking time-out for relaxed activities like cooking or learning a new craft had direct mental health benefits and were currently developing a new program with local doctors for 2019.
“Creative routines can help manage positive mental health,” Ms Marshall said.
“It really does impact on our levels of anxiety, stress and feeling in control and calm, and that’s something we’ve absolutely noticed in our skill-share program but also at our jamboree.
“Overwhelmingly people tell us they feel more relaxed and connected to others away from the digital world.”
Ms Marshall said people don’t need to become experts at a craft to reap the benefits as it was more about “unplugging” and doing an activity for pleasure.
“It’s as important as exercise and eating well,” she said.
“We all start out in life playing as a form of essential development and social skills, and then we grow up and get so busy … with being productive all the time it’s a skill that gets lost.”
Jamboree participants can book tickets for the whole weekend or opt for just a Saturday ticket with workshops, live music and food.
Other activities across the event include yoga, entertainment, visual and textile arts, kraut and ferments class, cooking, Shibori stitching and dyeing.
The next major project for the social enterprise is to launch their “Make Shift” program next year.
The course will run over several weeks in conjunction with one-off workshops to introduce a variety of creative activities.
“Like cooking just for pleasure and taste, connecting with plants in the natural world, drawing on paper,” Ms Marshall said.
“It’s just introducing some of those activities for people that feel intimidated by them and … why those activities and habits do help our mental health.”