Camp Leaders

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Adjutant: Ben Wiley
In camp I am the Adjie, the camp's general manager. I run the day-to-day program of camp, making sure the day goes as planned. I am also in charge of maintaining the Camp Spirit and discipline. Before camp, I am responsible for recruitment, processing applications and admissions. Outside of camp, I am a high school teacher at Wynberg Boys who teaches Mathematics. I am a provincial hockey player and coach. I studied my undergraduate degree in Economics at Stellenbosch University and my postgraduate teaching at UNISA. 2018's camp will be my 15th Hermanus Camp, having come to the camp since I was a young boy. The thing that attracted me to camp and continues to do so is being able to challenge myself in different ways. It give me an opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone and test my boundaries physically and mentally.
Commandant: Murray Bridgman

I have been the Commandant since 2006.  I attend the whole Camp and sleep in the tent at the top of Main Street.  I keep a watchful eye over Camp.  We sing a Camp song, “here’s to good old Commie, who takes the place of mommy”, and that, effectively, is my role.  However, I have many more assistants than the normal mommy, so my job description includes regular communications with the Adjutant, making sure the Backstreeters do their various jobs energetically, liaising with the Vlei Master (disciplinary officer), convening and presiding at parliament, including the High Court of Parliament (where summary trials are heard and justice is dispensed) ensuring that Cookie has enough ingredients, the Sea Lords enough spare parts for the boats and the Earl of Hampton enough toilet paper, and many more ad hoc duties which crop up.  My late father was a Circle member in the 1930s and attended Camp until the year before he died.  I was a tent leader in 1973.  My son was in the Circle and Back Street.  This Camp is in my blood and bones.

Vice Chairman: Mark Simpson

I am, and have been, an avid camper and supporter of “Camp” since 1966 which was my first camp. The Rev Wakeling was the Commandant then, and it was a small camp with something like 25 members of the ”Circle”, about 12 Staff Officers, and Main Street varying between 5 and 15. Prior to coming to the camp I had been taken to the “Dimple” site any times and gone to sit on the rocks in the setting sun, to see the boys coming in from their day’s outings, with my father, Alric. The picture of the Camp had been painted for me by the time I was eight or nine years old. The colour of evening with the sun lowering into the west, pink, cobalt, and orange. These pastel colours, all merging into the landscape of water lightly lapping on the shore, the weed-banks and wading birds, all quiet in the lazy movement of evening air.

Being a Simpson meant keeping the responsibility of making sure that I never left a task only half-tackled, and to drink thirstily of the opportunity afforded by proximity to such an unusual, individualistic, strong-hearted group of men. Laughter and blisters went together on any day. Enthusiasm and energy, on each of those long days, was met with the deepest of sleep that a young boy could have achieved. Learning to sail, walk, play, participate, help, think, innovate, and respect others, and also, just to keep going.

I was Adjie for three or four years from the age of about 20, after having spent “Staff Officer” years as the likes of “Earl of Hampton Court”, the “Commander of the Flotilla”, “Boundary Officer”, “Assistant Sub Adjutant”, and since have shouldered the approximate office of “The Marquee Man”.

Countless expeditions to the top of Rocklands (Maanschijnkop) (at least an average of 1.5 per year since about age 14), and to the small docking spot of Stanford, lie deeply among rich memories cast around the unique landscape known in the minds of those still present, as in the legends of those whose souls have gone steadfastly before.

There you have it, my friend. A sketch of Mark Simpson, Family Man, Farmer, Conservationist  and “Camp” Enthusiast.

Captain Morgan Griffiths
Started in Circle in 1988, and has missed only one camp in 30 years. Coming up through the Back Street ranks, Captain was Adjie in 1995 & 1996, and Quarter-Master from 1996 to 2001; during which time he introduced shooting, archery and abseiling into our activities. Since 1990, Morgan has also been or assisted as the Camp Medic. But his main passion is teaching sailing, on our 3 dinghies, and was the Sealord for many of those years. Captain sailed offshore, serving two years as Sailing Director at the prestigious Winona Camps, Maine, USA; and was Vice-Commodore: Sailing at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club over 2015-2017.  For the past 8 years, Captain has volunteered as the Staff-Officer Trainer and Special Projects organiser. 
Treasurer: Richard Ferguson

As a native Natalian (now KZN), Richard Ferguson never attended the AHC as a member of the circle, but was introduced to the AHC through the attendance of both his sons who thoroughly enjoyed and benefitted hugely from, attending the camp for a number of years. He was lulled into accepting the position of Treasurer by a silvery tongued member of the AHC committee who “asked if he would look after the bank account for an interim period while they found a Treasurer” which he later discovered was exactly the same fate that befell his predecessor of 40 years standing, Keith Richardson, in 1974. Richard has strived to optimize on Keith’s, minimalist but appropriate and effective style of treasury management, but to date has not been successful in this regard. He notes however that the camp does not appear to have any trouble in maintaining its sound financial position due to the ongoing generosity of its many and varied supporters and benefactors.

Padre: Gordon Crowther

My role is to support the welfare of all at camp and to lead reflection, prayer and celebration to assist personal growth and good leadership.

Gordon is the father of two campers, was once a keen Boy Scout, and is now an ordained Anglican pastor leading one of the churches in the Parish of St John, Wynberg.

Born in Zambia, he grew up in Durban and Johannesburg, studied law at Rhodes and theology in London and at Durham University.  He loves good food, intelligent conversation, beautiful music and peaceful contemplation of the great outdoors - so obviously absolutely suited to the Hermanus camp!

Fiscal Shrike: Pete Kantor

I am counsel for the prosecution in the High Court of Parliament where we regularly try guilty backstreeters and dispense justice on the hop. I am also a very keen singer and regale the concert with compositions that would make Cacofonix wince. Bodysurfing is a personal favourite, flippers are advised.

Nigel Gwynne-Evans

Nigel was deposited at Camp by his wicked uncle at the age of 11 and apart from a year or two overseas has attended every camp since.  He has an active life having to juggle his desire for being at camp with the growing needs of the expanding Annual Hermanus Girls Camp, which takes place at Wortelgat, and numerous friends who arrive from overseas.  He tends to get involved in arranging centenary banquets and being a past Adjutant, passing sage comments on the running of camp to exhausted incumbents who politely ignore the said advice.  His favourite expeditions are the big ones of Rocklands, Stanford and Dangers (although increasingly only half, and certainly not together!).  While at camp he can be found at sunset hanging onto his favourite trig-beacon overlooking the wonderful expanse of beach, camp, mountain and vlei.