Juniors venture to the wild

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The annual camp for Hoddles Creek Juniors has become a cornerstone event that the brigade’s Juniors eagerly anticipate and discuss throughout the year.


Late last year, tents and bags were loaded, parents waved off their Juniors, and phones and technology went into a lock box as they boarded a bus ready for a busy, four-day long weekend away.

When they arrived at Rubicon, the first task was to set up camp. After this, the Juniors headed down to the river to cool off before returning for dinner.

Day two was the day all the Juniors had been looking forward to the most. With bathers on and towels in hand, they headed up to Jerusalem Creek where they were met by Adam (Mount Evelyn brigade), Trent and Taryn (Hillcrest brigade), and Commander Booth (District 13), who had prepared two boats and two jet skis in the water for some fast wave riding and tubbing.

Through these activities Juniors built confidence, overcame fears, pushed their boundaries and had a lot of fun. After this amazing day of water sports, it was back to camp where, unfortunately, the weather had taken a turn for the worse.

The Juniors pressed on with their evening activity, but it was cut short by a severe storm that threatened to wash away the camp. A late-night call was made to Thornton brigade asking for emergency shelter in their engine bay. However, a chance encounter with the manager of Camp Jungai, a local outdoor education camp, resulted in a warm dry lodge being offered to the Juniors for the night.

The Juniors showed an amazing level of courage and teamwork as the camp was evacuated. By around 1am everyone was asleep in dry comfortable beds.

The following morning spirits were a bit low, but a pancake breakfast and some words of encouragement were a great help.

The Juniors set off on an 8km hike along a river. Always seizing the opportunity for a learning experience, they applied their tree hazard training, identifying and discussing different types of trees along the way.

They also had the opportunity to put their new first-aid skills into practice when a few of the older Juniors faked a first-aid emergency. This was a perfect opportunity for the younger and newer Juniors to take more of a leadership role and show off what they had been learning.

“My first camp with CFA Juniors was great. I got to use some of my training in first-aid on our hike,” Amy-Lee McGregor said. “We had a lot of fun water skiing and it was nice of the local CFA captain to help us when we were hit by the storm.”

This Juniors camp was filled with unforgettable memories.

“It was the best camp I have been on,” Thomas Couzens said, “and I hope next year we can do more fundraising and go on two camps.”

Junior camps are a great opportunity for our youngest members to put their skills into practice, build stronger bonds between participants, develop teamwork and build confidence.


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Submitted by Jen Clement and Kristen Couzens