2018 camp (Still to be updated)

Rhiannon Russell, 25, Long Point, NSW
Camp coordinator & Group Leader

Russell, Rhiannon CWW bio photo

Hello, I’m Rhiannon. I’m 25 years old and was home educated for most of my school life. I have three younger siblings and an adorable little nephew. I have attended several CWW camps as a camper and three as a Senior Staff member.

My interests include traveling, outdoor activities (especially ones involving ropes and cliffs), working with children, reptiles, different languages and cultures and helping others through eventually becoming a paramedic.

When I was 10 years old, out of curiosity, I started school and enjoyed years 5 and 6 at the local school. After eight weeks of high school, however, I returned to home schooling. I completed my year 10 equivalent and a cert. II in Animal Studies with the idea of becoming a herpetologist. I finished my high school studies with a year at a French High School and living with a host family. It was such an amazing year with plenty of travelling and meeting many amazing people. I also became fluent in French.

As a teenager I worked as a face painter, children’s entertainer and in hospitality. I completed a Cert. III in Outdoor Sport and Recreation. I recently spent two years living and working in London. I worked as a teaching assistant in many different primary schools and Special Needs High Schools throughout London. I also did plenty of travelling around Europe.

I have had the opportunity to see many aspects of education including home education, mainstream primary and high schools as both a student myself and also as a teacher’s aide. I especially loved working with Special Needs children as I found it so rewarding and fulfilling being able to help and guide them.

I was previously the Program Coordinator for Cataract Scout Park where I was responsible for organising and running school camps. This included hiring and training qualified outdoor activity staff, communicating with the organising school teachers to ensure all students are well prepared and looked after and ensuring all our activity standards were safe and up to date, completing risk assessments and writing Standard Operating Procedures for our site.

My dream for many years now has been to become a paramedic and eventually get into their rescue team, so that will be my next adventure.

I’m really looking forward to being a staff member again at CWW this year. I really enjoyed it as a camper because it is such a great place to meet other like-minded and interesting people. Some of my best friends are ones I met at this camp, despite living in Sydney. It’s also an excellent opportunity to learn new skills and also pass on your own skills and knowledge to others. I’m looking forward to sharing my skills and experiences with the other campers and having an awesome week.


Joe Willow, 26, Long Point, NSW
Group Leader

Joe camp photo

Hi there, my name is Joe. A long time ago in a town far, far away….

No actually it was just Pomona on the Sunshine Coast. Anyway I grew up there, and by that I mean I had lived there from 11 onwards. I have always lived with my mum, and I remember we moved around quite a lot, so I never really had a “home base” where I could build up a large group of friends, although what this meant was that I had a few really close friends throughout my childhood. I think my mum was always interested in home­educating me because she had little faith in the schooling system. This resulted in an extraordinarily informal education without any real direct teaching, as she had little time (being a single mother and all) to teach me. What she excelled at tremendously was finding people who were masters in their respective field who were interested in mentoring me. This resulted in me being vaguely good at a few things like: pottery, woodwork, building barns out of straw bales and mud, meditating, qi gong and organising a library according to the dewey decimal system. However as I cannot recall in living memory ever having completed an excersise book of any sort, the “foundation” of most peoples education was almost completely lacking in my case. I have little to no clue about grammar, have never used a calculator for anything more complicated than arithmetic, and I don’t know much about the periodic table. Everything I know in those subjects I have learnt myself, simply by osmosis. While this can be quite crippling in regards to further study, I have discovered that what my mum taught me was simply this: She taught me curiosity. She gave me the tools and the mentality to find out, and to go and learn anything I wanted to.

I moved out when I was about 16 during which time I was a hairdressing apprentice. I discovered after about 2 years that I didn’t enjoy what I was doing, so this meant change. I quit my job, did a 6 hour barista course, and moved to Canberra. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I learnt quite a bit from the whole experience. After about a year there of what felt like limbo, (if you’re not a public servant, in the defence force or a student of the ANU it doesn’t feel like you’re there for any real reason) I moved back to Brisbane to obtain a Certificate III in Adult Tertiary Preparation. I really really really loved it! I had never sat down to do any study whatsoever, and it ground me down but I loved it. I was going to keep going with it but at the end of the 2nd semester something happened. I got stuck without anywhere to live. I had two choices, stay in Brisbane, struggle through the rest of my course and then….? Or go to Far North Queensland to live in Cairns?! Lock in option B of course! So yeah I moved to Cairns with the full intention of picking up my study when I’d settled in. Yeaaaaaah that never happened, I got too stuck into life! I learnt to scuba dive, jumped out of a plane, ate sushi in Japan, started skateboarding to work and concentrated on pwning noobs. This wasn’t a particularly productive time in my life, although I am now a qualified AIN (yay go me I did some study!) for some reason.

Now I find myself in South­ West Sydney in a relationship with a beautiful woman who is teaching me to be a grown­up, and I have goals and plans and stuff now. So the next chapter of my life is yet to unfold…

I hope to see you at camp!