Rainforest Navigator January 2017 | Youth Development Program
Welcome to the Blog for our Rainforest Navigator program. Follow along as these young adults undertake a challenging and inspiring journey through the Australian bush. Here you will find updates from the program including a written account of each day’s events as well as photos. You can expect the written portion to be quite up-to-date, photos may take a day or two as they are a little harder to get out of the bush! Please join in and leave your comments – we’d love to hear from you! Stay tuned for the first post!
We have welcomed all 12 of the Rainforest Navigator team. They are excited and nervous to be on the program but have a fun filled and challenging 12 days ahead of them. Please come back tomorrow for some photos and feel free to leave your comments!!
While we are still waiting for the team to share their first 24 hours worth of experiences here are some photos from the first day. The team excitedly raised the Outward Bound “Blue Peter” flag to signify the start of the program. The flag will be raised throughout the program signifying the great challenges and adventures they will be encountering. Our two instructors Ed and Shannon are enjoying getting to know everyone. Today the team were going abseiling as well as starting their first hike. Check in soon to hear how it went. Click on the picture to see the faces!
Update on Day 2
With their campsite overlooking a stunning view of Mount Warning and Mount Doughboy the team had a chance to reflect on their first few days. Everyone was proud of themselves and each other for completing the abseil. They learnt how to expand their comfort zones and put trust in themselves. All good things like abseils and superb views though have a flip-side – hills! Whilst the abseil was mentally challenging the hiking up the last hill called Doon Doon was very challenging. The team did well though and stuck out this challenge together ensuring they all arrived at camp safe and sound. This inspired the quote of the day – “when it hurts you know it’s good!”. Each person learning more and more that great rewards take great effort!
The team hiked all day on the famous Postman trail/Nightcap trail through beautiful Rainforest to reach camp for the night. The heat was challenging although the group supported each other and rested in the hottest part of the day. The instructors share that the team is bonding really well and everyone is having a great time so far. Everyone is sharing responsibilities especially with things like cooking and cleaning where each person will have time when they are rostered on to help. Thanks for all the comments left so far on the blog.
The team continued hiking and were looking forward to seeing the 100m high Minyon Falls. Minyon Falls flows out of Boggy Creek which does not do justice to the grandeur of the falls. This hike truly has given the young adults the chance to see some beautiful places! After a well earned lunch the team were transported by bus to the Clarence River where they met their river guides and got to practice some canoe skills which will prep them for the upcoming 3 days of white water. What another great adventure lies ahead!!
The group started their white water trip down the Clarence River. Stay tuned for photos which will be uploaded on Monday!!
Day 6 and 7
The team has had some hot and stormy weather but luckily have been able to cool down during their time paddling the Clarence River. There has been a lot of laughter during the white water canoeing and the mood has been positive with all having a lot of fun paddling. The biggest challenge of course has been the heat. The Clarence River, where they have been paddling, is a majestic place apart. It has given the young adults a real sense of remoteness far from home.
Everyone has done very well and worked together as a team to get camp set up and sorted even as they have been hindered by the rain.
After arriving back from the Clarence River, the team prepared for their solo activity. Solo is a 24 hr experience to reflect on themselves, set goals and learn about themselves in this unique setting.
Everyone was provided a personal tent, food, water and their own piece of paradise near the Main Camp location where their instructors could regularly check them Many of the group members returned with a gift for the group, pictures or even a self-made something from nature.
Day 9 and 10
After everyone returned from their solo experience and Debrief, the team got to learn about mountain biking and went through some skills which prepared them for the next 2 days mountain biking through Mebbin National park for about 8-10km a day.
The Navigators made their way on their bikes to their Service project where they learned how to build a mountain bike track following by an activity called Pamper Pine where each of the members get to climb up a tree next to the beautiful Tweed River at base camp. The aim is to climb up to the Platform with the attachment of a rope and push their limits by jumping off to reach a trapeze before getting lowered back down to the ground.
Today is Bushcook day. The group will be cooking a roast on a campfire with roasted vegetables and the option of campfire baked cake or damper. What an experience to have on their last night before getting up at 3am to climb Mt Warning. More info on that will be posted after completion.
Update on Day 11
The team made an absolutely amazing dinner called Bushcook last night with roasted meats on the fire. The campfire cakes were cooked to perfection.
The group then got ready for their 3am start the next day.
Day 12, the final day.
Today the group walked up Mount Warning or in Aboriginal language “Wollumbin” which was a 9km return walk up a steep mountain in the center of an ancient volcanic range dividing NSW and QLD. It is a challenging summit with everyone having to pull themselves along a metal chain to the top but everyone did it! The team was welcomed to the top with a beautiful sunrise. On the summit a cereal breakfast was enjoyed and a meaningful Debrief conducted.
After returning to Basecamp everyone was awarded certificates and had the joy of watching a slideshow of all pictures from the trip. The Blue Peter was lowered as a final celebration ceremony before their final good byes.
Outward Bound congratulates all the Rainforest participants on their accomplishments over the past 12 days. We wish them all the best!! If you know someone between the age of 15 – 17 please share with them our Navigator program. We run them in the school holidays in different parts of Australia.