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Environment Activities
Ingleside Scout Camp

Rick Shires
Phone (02) 9970 8581

Environment Activities At Ingleside Scout Camp

There are four types of development planned or already underway at Ingleside:

  • development of the camp as an Environment Activity Centre;
  • participation in various community conservation projects alone or in conjunction with other agencies;
  • development of a conservation/environment resource centre;
  • development of a variety of environment-themed internet resources.

Environment Activity Centre

Ingleside is being developed as an area where Scouting groups can visit to undertake environment-related activities. Conservation, the environment, recycling, and bushcraft are themes that run through all levels of Scouting, from Joey Scouts, to Cubs, Scouts, Venturers and Rovers. Cubs, for example, learn about native flora and fauna; conservation and recycling; litter, air and water pollution; and the natural environment as part of the Scouting program for their age group. Scouts have the environment as a major area of investigation. Both groups can also participate in the Landcare and World Conservation Badges, each of which involves a considerable investment of time, e.g. for Cubs the Landcare badge involves participation in an official Landcare project for a minimum of 6 months, and the World Conservation Badge involves learning, research, involvement in 2 projects, community improvement and an expedition.

Planning is underway to develop resources at Ingleside so that Cub and Scout groups can visit and complete some of their badge requirements on site, or gather the information and resources they need to do the work closer to home. They can participate in and observe the various projects already in place. Visits to the camp could be for a few hours or up to a complete weekend. Camping at the site could involve a range of environment activities, interspersed with ropes courses, abseiling, and general recreation.

Work planned or already begun includes:

  • development of a nature trail aimed at Cub aged children, with an ongoing project to bring the trail to a standard suitable for all ages (including adults);
  • laying of permanent 'animal tracks';
  • information sheets on plant & weed identification, weed removal, identification of animal tracks and scats, bird observation, seed dispersal, the role of fire in bush regeneration, composting techniques, recycling etc;
  • preparation of detailed evening, day or weekend programs covering various badge requirements for Cubs and Scouts e.g. Bushcraft, plus environmental research projects for the older age groups, ie Venturers and Rovers;
  • a worm farm;
  • a working composting system;
  • an on-site recycling program;
  • a bird observation hide;
  • a weather station;
  • Streamwatch, with a local database and results on the Region's website;
  • Nature Watch, with a local database and results on the website;
  • various other projects including Bushcare with Pittwater Council, NPWS, etc.

Community Conservation Projects

The camp already runs or participates in various community conservation projects, alone or in conjunction with other agencies. These include:

Wirreandra Creek - A Healthier Catchment
This project is being co-ordinated by the Coastal Environment Centre and Pittwater Council. Other participants include NSW NPWS, Landcare, Kimbriki Eco Garden, Coastwatch, Stormwater Trust of NSW, Macquarie University, Camp Kedron and Ingleside Scout Camp. It aims to increase awareness and concern for the health of this local waterway and catchment among residents and other members of the community. Scout members have participated in workshops and field days run as part of this project.

Scouts in the Catchment - working together to care for Wirreandra Creek
With assistance from the above organizations Ingleside Camp has designed this project to promote an understanding of biodiversity and conservation, sustainable property management and demonstration sites for best practice management. Various Cub, Scout, and corporate groups have already participated. Progress to date includes:

  • development of a plan of management;
  • a survey and map of weed affected areas;
  • preparation of worksheets and booklets;
  • a Healthy Soils Workshop held for Youth Members and Leaders;
  • establishment of a composting area and system;
  • building of stairs;
  • establishment of a recycling centre with assistance from Pittwater Council;
  • a plan to upgrade the waste water disposal system.

Ingleside has successfully applied for a Community Partnership Grant from the Department of Land and Water Conservation. This will enable the Camp to:

  • purchase small hand tools, gloves and pouches for use on the site;
  • develop display and reference material (posters, brochures, field guides etc);
  • provide professional and technical assistance in organizing, advertising and planning workshop and field days;
  • provide professional educators to run workshops and field days.

Other projects include:
  • Stream watch;
  • bushfire management;
  • Your Creek, It's a living thing (workshop, Camp Kedron, March 23rd);
  • Rover working bee, May 17th;
  • Healthy Soils Workshop (Ingleside Scout Camp, June 1st);

Conservation & Environment Resource Centre

It is planned to collect texts, brochures, worksheets and programs, and develop displays on site. These are to be used to help leaders plan work with their groups and for use in the various projects at the camp.

Internet Resources

The development of a variety of environment/conservation resources accessible via the Internet is planned as an extension of the Resource Centre. In this way members who cannot come to Ingleside can benefit form the work being done there. It is expected that Scouting groups around the state will use and add to the site.

The site will publish environment-themed programs aimed at the various Scouting age groups, ranging from those to run over an evening to programs for full weekend camps. Reference lists, links and background information will also be provided to enable leaders to provide quality environment education at all age levels. The site will contain information on a variety of topics related to badge and award work, as well as results from Streamwatch and Nature Watch. Members will be encouraged to add results from their own locations across the Region.

In addition to the above the Sydney North Rovers have agreed to take on Ingleside as their Service Project for 2003. They will undertake numerous repair and maintenance tasks at the Camp. It is possible that the Venturers will also work at Ingleside as part of their environment or service awards.

Sponsorship And Assistance

All these activities need resources. As all leaders in scouting are volunteers, and therefore have their own jobs to do, personnel resources are always limited. Also, scouting is self-funded, and to keep the membership costs within reasonable limits, we are always seeking extra funds to assist activities.

Ingleside is currently used not just by scouts but by other youth groups and schools, and we envisage them being involved in the environmental activities as well. We would be able to display a sponsor's name prominently at the site, and possibly negotiate a 'name' right to, for example, the Nature Trail, or possibly the Environmental Resource Hut, or other area subject to negotiation.

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