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Leadership Through Adventure Fund 

Venturer Scouts five day Nadgee Wilderness Walk

 

ACT Venturer Scouts completed a five day expeditions in the Nadgee Wilderness Area. The journey was planned by expedition leaders (Mikayla and Bridget) and supported by their families, leader and Dick and Pip Smith, Leadership Through Adventure Fund (LTAF).

The journey has provided many learning opportunities for the patrol such as planning and leading, as well as problem solving lessons that will help improve their skills and preparation for future outdoor adventures.

The trip planning includes, plotting the route, setting points with grid references, compass bearing and calculating daily hiking distance with estimate time.  It required a detailed financial and risk evaluation plan, a gear list, decision on the menu and meal preparation before the journey can begin.

During the expedition, some of the challenges they faced included estimating the importance of water and hydration especially in challenging coastal terrain during summer. They decided it would be a good idea to test the water filter and bring an extra water filter on future hikes to improve water quality and speed up the water filtering process.

The hike also exposed the patrol to many different aspects-from sandy flats to hills, and from hot sunny to cold rainy conditions. One of the patrol leaders, Bridget stated “Although most of us had the correct hiking gear, however long pants are essential items for future hikes as it acts as an important layer of protection against scratches from over grown bushes and potential snake bites.”

“There were days where we hike 6km straight along the coast with limited shade. We learnt to take more frequent breaks, to reapply sunscreen diligently and stay hydrated by drinking more water.” – added Mikayla

At some parts of the hike, the patrol experienced navigational challenges, as there was no reference to the track for few kilometres and in other spots some extremely overgrown bushes. The patrol was supportive of each other and made crucial decisions in order to reach their dedicated camping site.

Overall the trip has allowed all adventurers to improve their navigation skills,  prepare for future outdoor adventure and implement new team management skills. It also provided opportunities for the whole patrol to work together and practice their outdoor skills such as shooting bearings, back tracking and using the sound of the ocean as handrails. “Some part of the inland track was extremely hard to follow…As we bashed through the bushes, it felt like we were on a bear hunt – sometimes we couldn’t go over it, and other times we couldn’t go under it. We then walked through it,” said Bridget.

Despite all the challenges, the patrol completed the Nadgee Wilderness Walk. Their leaders expressed the importance to properly check the exact location of the campsites (eg. grid reference and features) with their hike advisor and the benefits of having more navigation lessons before their next hikes.

The patrol enjoyed the strikingly different landscape the Nadgee wilderness reserve displayed throughout the 55 kilometres of coastline. The diversity of ecosystems such as seemingly barren sand dunes and beaches, to coastal bushlands, wildlife and tress. The biggest highlights were the waves at the beach, the friendship developed with each other. These experiences won’t be easily forgotten.

Dick & Pip Smith Leadership Through Adventure Fund (LTAF) was launched in July 2022 by Dick Smith to provide grants to youth members or project patrols to undertake activity skills and leadership training, adventurous journeys and expeditions.

If you are planning your adventure for next year and you would like to find out more how LTAF can assist financially to the adventure, download the LTAF Application Form and email LTAF@scouts.com.au.