Youth excel on bush adventure

Published on Thursday, 2 June 2022 at 8:45:00 AM

A group of six young Shire of Dardanup residents have been transformed into courageous and intrepid explorers by an innovative new Council project.

Successful recipients of the Bush Adventure Scholarship Excursions had the opportunity to explore their local environment on a two-day outing.

Designed by Right Foot Forward, participants in the program hiked into Crooked Brook and the Wellington Forest, taking part in team building exercises, Indigenous culture sessions, swimming and abseiling.

The program gives young people the opportunity to disconnect from technology and particularly social media while fostering a sense of responsibility, respect for self and others and the natural environment.

An Indigenous culture session on day one included an explanation and interactive demonstration of ceremonial body painting, dreamtime stories, a bush tucker/medicine talk and traditional string making, leaving participants struggling to pick just one highlight.

“It was exciting to learn more from Mitch and Viv about their culture and what it means being first born women in a matriarchal country,” said participant Pippa Bouteloup

Day two started with a morning dip at Honeymoon Pool in the Wellington Forest before an introduction to topographic maps and a lesson on navigating through the bush.

Abseiling was the day’s main attraction and kicked off with horizontal demonstrations before progressing to multiple drops as confidence increased.

Participant parent Claire Richards said: “My son is not much of a sleeper but was conked out on the couch half an hour after we got home on the second day and slept all night long!”

Dardanup Shire President Mick Bennett said feedback from participants and parents had been incredibly positive and following a full review of outcomes by staff would no doubt become an annual opportunity for local young people.

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