Lady Somers Camp Leader - May 2024 Journal article - Lord Somers Camp and Power House


Lady Somers Camp Leader – May 2024 Journal article

-Sophie Bowker

I have been a member of Lord Somers Camp and Powerhouse since 1988 and I believe this is the first Journal article I have written.

I would like to share a bit about myself and my history with this wonderful association. I was introduced to Lord Somers Camp and Powerhouse when I was nominated by my school to attend the 1988 Lady Somers Camp as a Dark Blue Grouper. Since then I have taken on numerous roles at camp from Slushee Co-ordinator, AGLU, Group Leader, Executive Officer and heads of various departments.  I have recently finished 4 years as Chef De Cuisine (just in case any of you didn’t know that!!).  I was also a member of the Powerhouse netball and softball clubs.

I am honoured to be part of this association which has enriched the lives of so many people – young and not so young – and will continue to enrich the lives of so many young people in the future. We all make up the history of Lord Somers Camp and Powerhouse and I can’t wait to be part of the future with you all.

I have often asked myself where I would be if I hadn’t attended camp back in 1988. Through this association I met my husband at a pantomime, and now have three wonderful children – Lachy and Chris who are Slushies and Charlie who will hopefully be a grouper at the next big camp.

I am honoured to be announced as the 12th Camp Leader for Lady Somers Camp and I am honoured to be added to the list of amazing women who have stood in this place before me. I have great respect and admiration to all of the women who have taken on this role before me and I am fortunate to be able to call many of them my closest friends. I know I have the support and encouragement from them and know they will always be there for advice if I need it.

Thankyou to Georgie for the past 4 years. Who would have guessed when she took on this role in 2020 what the next few years would bring. Georgie has a very calm demeanour and handles every situation with such clarity. She has been a fabulous leader, she is deeply thoughtful and is highly intelligent which became evident when making the tough decisions during the 2022 camp. From cancelled camp to COVID camp to gastro camp – what a rollercoaster of a ride.  The leadership from Georgie and her exec team in the past 4 years has been inspirational. Thankfully Georgie has ended her reign with a massively successful 2024 camp – it was definitely full of glimmers!!

I am honoured to be standing alongside the Lord Somers Camp leader – who happens to be my husband. I know we are not the first husband and wife team to do these roles together so I have confidence and reassurance that we can make it work.

Matt and I were lucky enough to attend the International Camping Conference in Spain last year. This conference brings together the camping community from all over the world. The experience was fantastic. It was while sitting amongst the hundreds of passionate international camping professionals that I decided I would take on this role. We know how wonderful Lord Somers Camp is but it was great to be with other like minded people and be reassured that we are doing the right thing by providing these opportunities to young people.

As I mentioned earlier I have been in the kitchen for the past 4 years so I haven’t had the chance to get to know a lot of you.  I can’t wait to spend time with everyone and encourage you to reach out to me with any ideas you would like to share.

I am excited to announce my Exec team of Mon Lo Presti (Executive Officer), Clare Rossiter with Sandy Garland (DCLs Groupers/Trios) and Sarah Cox with Renee Bouvier (DCLs staff). We have been working hard finalising the Trios appointments and making head way in appointing the Heads of Departments. These announcements will come shortly through the social media channels.

I look forward to working closely with the Slushee Queen Ness Wood and her team Brydon and Cath. They have a group of amazing people in the slush and I love watching their creativeness not only at big camp but throughout the year.

One of my aims for my first year as Camp Leader is to get 100 groupers back at Big Camp 2025. Let’s fill those grouper huts again. I would love it if everyone that reads this article could nominate one person for camp. This would put us in a great position to achieve this goal. 

To our Camp Chief Joel Masterson and to the Lord Somers Camp Leader and exec team I am looking forward to working with you to make 2025 the “Best Camps Ever!”