It is with tremendous sadness that the International Camping Fellowship acknowledges the passing of past ICF President Jenny Bowker.

Jenny Bowker

Starting in the late 1970s, Jenny and her husband Bill built one of Australia’s (and the world’s) most impactful camping operations, Kangaroobie. Located along the breathtaking Great Ocean Road, Kangaroobie continues to welcome, with open arms, generations of Australians and many (many) others from every corner of the globe.

Jenny was an influential leader in the early days of the Australian Camps Association as a member of their inaugural Board, offering her insight and perspective to strengthen the Australian camping industry.

In the early days of their lives as camp owners and directors, Jenny & Bill committed wholeheartedly to the ideals of international camping.  “Bringing together the world of outdoor experience” was a rallying cry to do all they could to support their colleagues with insight, perspectives, resources and most significantly, their time.

Following Bill’s passing in 2000, Jenny joined the ICF Board and continued the Bowker legacy of leading with integrity and honour. Jenny was elected as ICF President at the Sixth International Camping Congress in Melbourne in 2003 and served until 2008.  She was awarded the ICF’s Abbott Fenn Druzhba Award in 2016 for her significant and sustained contributions to international camping. Jenny was also inducted as an Australian Camps Association Life Member in 2008.

What Jenny meant to so many in the international camping community is difficult to put into words. Jenny believed that everyone should be seen and heard and recognized and celebrated.  And at every opportunity, Jenny did just that.  There was no better feeling than being in Jenny’s company and knowing that you were acknowledged and loved.  Jenny made every stranger feel like a friend and every friend feel like family.

On the occasion of Jenny’s 80th birthday, son Matt wrote a beautiful, good natured and heartfelt tribute to his Mum.

Bill & Jenny Bowker Scholarship Fund

As many are aware, ICF established a fund in Bill Bowker’s name in 2000 (renamed as the Bill & Jenny Bowker Scholarship Fund just a few months ago) to support ICF members to attend International Camping Congresses and other training events. For those interested in making a donation to honour Jenny, please visit:

Join the celebration of Jenny’s life

A celebration of Jenny’s life took place at 1:30 pm AEST on Sunday, April 21st and it was livestreamed here.

The international camping community stands as one to lovingly remember Jenny and her remarkable life and to send our deepest condolences to Matt & Soph, Kez & Jim and the Bowker family at this very difficult time.

April 2024