Wildcraft Australia will hold camps in Dungog to teach bush survival skills

NEW SKILLS: Children and teens will be immersed in nature, having fun and learning bush skills.

NEW SKILLS: Children and teens will be immersed in nature, having fun and learning bush skills.

Families from Canberra, Sydney and Newcastle will join locals in the Dungog bush this week to learn more about our environment.

EXPLORE: Fun in nature.

EXPLORE: Fun in nature.

Wildcraft Australia will run a camp on a private property on Jerusalem Creek, Bandon Grove this week and later in the month will host another camp at Ferndale. The camps are open to both children and parents and aim to teach wilderness survival skills and bush confidence.

“Besides being an enjoyable day out, our programs give children an opportunity to connect to their environment and build self-reliance, confidence, teamwork skills, physical abilities and learn some new and interesting skills,” said Nikki Brown from Wildcraft Australia.

“Providing an opportunity for children to connect to the natural world is vitally important for their own health, well being and learning.

“By fostering appreciation for nature, ecosystems and community interdependence at an early age, these children should grow into adults who understand and respect the natural environment.

“(It’s about ) making time away from the house and its inside distractions, screens and everyday routines, and coming into nature – with an opportunity to breathe the air rich with life, to get a bit messy, to explore and adventure, try new ways of engaging by sight, touch, smell, sound and taste.

“We aim to teach new skills which create a deeper level of understanding of the world around us.

“We have never run a kids’ course to a fixed timetable because so  often we come across an opportunity to ‘let the kids go’ to be free to explore and play.”

Co-facilitator Mahli Hawke said the underlying philosophy was for the children to connect with the wild – within and without.

“There’s a sense of connection with the environment and with each other,” he said.

“Dungog has such a great representation of the Australian bush with its amazing contrasts of bush leading down to lush creeks and backing on to the National Park.”

The children will be inspired by campfire stories and learn fire lighting and shelter building.