Vale Karl Rohnke
The following was contributed by Don MacDowall, inaugural EO of the camping Association of Victoria (1984-2000), along with Mark Collard from Playmeo.
Images supplied by Mark Collard.
Karl Rohnke has passed away after a long illness, complicated by the effects of Lewy Body disease. He was 83 and is survived by his wife Gloree and three children.
Karl will be known to many as the best-selling author of dozens of innovative and popular publications such as Cowstails & Cobras, Silver Bullets, Quicksilver and FUNN 'n Games.
Importantly, he was instrumental in establishing Project Adventure in 1971, an innovative physical education program in a local high school that popularised and propagated adventure programming and challenge ropes courses throughout the world.
Karl visited Australia several times and introduced us to his fun, quirky and highly-engaging activities and high-quality challenge ropes course experiences. Today, concepts such as Challenge by Choice, the Full Value Contract and the esoteric FUNN (Functional Understanding Not Necessary) are a common part of the adventure programming and camping lexicon.
His first visits to Australia in the late 1980s launched PA's first international license outside of the US with Project Adventure Australia, a division of the Camping Association of Victoria at the time.
We were privileged to have Karl conduct workshops in several states of Australia, always demonstrating a gentle, yet irresistible invitation to join in the fun and extend our brains, bodies and spirits.
Some of us were doubly privileged to spend personal time with him, sharing travel, food and even hosting him in our home during these visits. There are countless stories about this extraordinary gentleman, to be shared at another time.
Vale Karl Rohnke, you will be missed. A legend may have passed, but his legacy will live for evermore.
"...while camps and outdoor activity providers work tirelessly to be as COVID-19 safe as possible, it is also important not to forget the many positive physical, mental, social and emotional benefits of camps and outdoor recreation..."