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The Campfire: How Evenings Around The 'Bush TV' Enhance Our Personal Development

"The happiest I've felt is sitting round a fire in Africa, and being in nature." Chloe Lord

Sitting around a campfire at night, after a day of walking in the bush, rafting on a river, conducting field study tasks, or enjoying safari drives, offers us unique benefits for our personal development. This simple and powerful experience provides a space for reflection, for connection with nature and with each other, and growth that cannot be achieved in any other way.

The campfire interrupts television, mobile phones, and other technological distractions which seem to spend their time demanding our attention.

Reflection

After a day of exploration and adventure in the bush, the campfire becomes a natural place to come together, to feel warm and safe as night falls, a place where the first faint smell of dinner passes your nostrils, and a place for personal and group reflection. The gentle crackle of the fire, the smell of the smoke, the stars above, and perhaps the distance call of jackals, creates a calming and safe atmosphere that encourages peacefulness, and contemplation. Away from the distractions of modern life, we have the opportunity to process our thoughts and experiences from the day. This quiet time allows us to gain insights into our actions, decisions, and personal goals, which deepens our awareness and understanding.

Connections

Gathering around a campfire with the rest of the group creates a sense of camaraderie and genuine connection. Sharing stories, thoughts, and experiences in such an intimate setting strengthens bonds. These interactions help develop communication skills and empathy, as we listen to each other, support each another, and understand more of who the other people around the fire really are. The shared experience of the day's adventures and the appreciation of the natural world creates lasting memories, and deepen relationships. Deeper connections and deeper relationships are created by understanding that having nothing to say, by being silent around others, and simply looking into the flames of the campfire is fine, and accepted as normal, because you know others understand where you are in those moments.

Creativity

The relaxed environment around the campfire stimulates creative thinking. As we share our stories and listen to others, we gain new perspectives and ideas. The discussions and debates that happen around a campfire often just don't happen without it, and can lead to new solutions and approaches to challenges, and life changing decisions both in the bush and in our everyday lives back at home. This exchange of ideas enhances our ability to solve problems, encouraging more of a growth mindset, and less of a fixed mindset.

Resilience

Walking in bush with the sun on our backs, reflecting on the experiences, feelings, and conversations, around the campfire the night before, builds true friendships, confidence and trust in yourself and others, and consequently builds resilience. Getting through the challenges of the day, whether physical, mental or emotional, reinforces our belief in our abilities, and sharing these achievements with the group around the campfire further boosts our confidence, as we receive encouragement, and recognition from our peers.

Double Journey

I believe there is a clear double journey (inner journey and outer journey) we all go through in our lives. The very important outer journey is made up of the tangible experiences we have in our relationships, in our work, our down time, and adventures etc. The equally important, if not more important inner journey, is our emotional growth, our self awareness, how we develop resilience, and find a pathway to knowing our purpose.

The campfire and all the moments it provides us with, enhances our inner journey more than anything else I have ever experienced.

Angus

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