Friday, July 10, 2015

Wodonga Chess Camp

The winter months in Victoria means the time of year when my company, Chess Kids takes a group of talented young players to a residential camp. A few parents join us, but for most of the kids it is a social experience as well as a chess learning experience. In the past we have gone south to have our camps in Hobart and Phillip Island . This year we headed north, and held the camp on the shores of the Murray River at Wodonga.

Wodonga is about 3 and a half hours drive from from Melbourne on the Hume Highway which goes to Sydney. It is a border town, with the Murray separating it from Albury on the New South Wales side of the river. It is great for outdoor pursuit on the river and Lake Hume, walking and cycling and general fresh air activities. It is an ideal place to get away from city life for a few days.

We organised our camp in Boathaven near Lake Hume, about 10 km east of Wodonga itself. The camp was based on attacking principles in chess and we gave a number of lectures and activities based on attacking chess. The kids also played a number of games at a slower time limit than they are used to to try to slow their chess and put into practise some of the thinking processes they have been learning.

There were loads of activities organised, both chess and non chess. Keeping kids entertained for 4 days is hard work and a challenge. It is important to get the kids out and about, and we were blessed with good weather. We took a few trips including going to the Hume Dam.

The initial feedback was that everyone had a great time, appreciated the chess material they were presented, and enjoyed the other activities, and the social aspect of meeting kids who share their passion for chess. Although I find it a wrench to leave Caroline, there is no doubt that our chess camps are an amazing experience for kids, parents and coaches alike.

The view of Lake Hume from our camp

Amazing engineering, the Hume Dam

The beautiful Murray River, border of Victoria and NSW

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