Like most clubs, the Shoalhaven Bushwalkers enjoy 'socialising' together. Our Christmas parties have taken many forms, usually picnics and barbecues in the bush, with an easy walk and a swim to work off some of the good eating. Venues for these have included Depot Farm, Iluka and Greenfields. Memorable gatherings have been bush dances at Bangalee Reserve with Sally and Stuart Leslie providing the music. One unforgettable occasion was the year when everyone went back to their cars at the end of the party and drove to the park exit only to find the gate had already been locked. We enterprising bushwalkers can always find a solution to a sticky problem, so it was out with a spade and up with one of the gate posts, and we all made a quick get-away. The only one not happy with this solution was Russ Evans. He had to report the 'vandalism' to the appropriate council ranger when he got to work the next morning.
Then there are the end-of-year camps at Honeymoon Bay and Bristol Point with fun themes like a Mock Wedding, games that tests our skills at navigation, Line Dancing and dress-up parties. Of course, the weather was not always perfect for our Christmas parties. On one occasion (in 1996) the venue had to be changed because of heavy rain, and we were glad for the offer of Audrey and Wally's home in Woollamia and the merriment was not dampened. "We had a good turn out for the Christmas party with about thirty campers and several other members joining us for the Saturday night celebrations. Once again Leila and Yvonne put together some novel entertainment with events such as The Quick Change Relay, The Close Encounter with a Tennis Ball Relay, and the Wink-Wink Challenge. A big thank you also to Fay for the lively Line Dancing. It was amazing to see that so many good walkers had two left feet.
"Two other items that drew a crowd were the setting up of the Kelleys camper trailer, and the packing up of the Southwells caravan, which refused to go down. The highlight of the evening was when Lauri was asked to lead us in a rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I don't know if Lauri had supernatural powers or whether it was just a remarkable coincidence, but the very moment Lauri implored us to look up into the heavens, a magnificent shooting star made its journey across the sky. Well done Lauri - I bet you couldn't do that again!
"A good time was had by all who attended and the winner of the back pack - the first prize in the raffle - was Don Raffell!"
Another annual celebration is 'Christmas in July', a great time for merriment. This has been held at Bundanoon, and other local hostels and guesthouses but our favourite venue was at Woollamia where, for a number of years, 1996-8, Leila and Ray Kates welcomed members to their pleasant home.
A Social Secretary was appointed at the 1995 meeting and Margaret Brown has held this position for most years since then. She arranges a theatre party three or four times a year when we enjoy a wide range of plays, performed by the Nowra Players, dramas, comedies and the fun of the 'Old Time Music Hall'. Robin and Ray Dalleywater, members of the Club and keen walks leaders, are frequently seen performing with the Players. Often members and friends gather for a pre-theatre dinner at a local club.
To test our general knowledge and have lots of fun a 'Trivia' night was arranged by Karen and Brett Davis in June, 2000. The questions were all on an Australian theme and made for great entertainment.