At risk kids learning new skills in the bush
AROUND 40 Douglas youths had the opportunity to get back to nature and step away from daily pressures and enjoy outdoor activities.
Cairns Regional Council was successful in applying for funding from the Department of Communities, Sport and Recreation services to provide three five-day workshops.
The workshops are designed for local young people at risk of disengaging and offer opportunities for them to take part in physical outdoor recreational activities in a supportive learning environment.
The program provides an outlet from social, community and family pressure, while encouraging them to develop a sense of connectedness within the community.
They also develop relationships between participants in each of the programs and learn about services available within the community that participants can access for health and wellbeing matters.
The workshops are held in the school holidays and the first one last month saw the youths participate in day-trip activities including bike riding, sea kayaking, a nutritional workshop, river snorkelling and a two-night camping trip.
Back Country Bliss Adventures provided the program and Barnaby Marris who runs the eco-adventure tours said everyone enjoyed themselves.
“We’ve been involved with youth programs for over seven years and I’ve done over 50 of them and we do as much as we can whenever we can,” he said.
“We’re in a position where we’ve got skills and equipment to deliver these training packages and programs for kids in the area.
“They love it, it was pretty tough, we had high rainfall and high wind and it was challenging but the kids were great, once they get out of Mossman and have no distractions, they’re brilliant.”
The participants were involved in all aspects including food selection and setting up camp and equipment maintenance.
The next five-day program will be held in the June-july school holidays.
To find out more about the next camp, contact the council’s Douglas community development team on 4099 9418.