Engaging Young People with the Mountains

by Wollangarra Outdoor Education Centre
Engaging Young People with the Mountains
Engaging Young People with the Mountains
Engaging Young People with the Mountains
Engaging Young People with the Mountains
Engaging Young People with the Mountains
Engaging Young People with the Mountains
Engaging Young People with the Mountains
Engaging Young People with the Mountains
Engaging Young People with the Mountains
Engaging Young People with the Mountains
Engaging Young People with the Mountains
Engaging Young People with the Mountains
Flying fox Holiday program
Flying fox Holiday program

October 2021 update

by Kay Weltz, Director Wollangarra

 

The year 2021 for Wollangarra so far has been an up-and-down year, as we are sure it has been for most Australians. Following on from the last report in April, we have been fortunate enough to be able to run some of our programs throughout the Autumn, Winter and Spring. Given we experienced a major flood in June which left our Phoneline down for over three months and dealing with sudden changes in COVID restrictions related to outdoor recreation and accommodation, we have had to be flexible and adaptive in the way we have run these programs. Unfortunately, many of our programs have recently been cancelled due to COVD restrictions in Victoria. Nonetheless, we feel blessed to have been able to run a total of 10 programs this year, including schools and some holiday programs, thereby offering ~240 young people the opportunity to step away from their online-learning screens and reconnect with nature and basic living. Given the difficult and uncertain times Wollangarra has faced over 2020 and 2021, maintaining day to day operations and running of programs has been made possible by the kind and generous support of our local community, Fox Flyers Members donations and the Airbnb community Fund grant. We were very grateful to be selected by the Airbnb community Fund through GlobalGiving to receive a fantastic grant this year, which has directly supported our ability to continue to operate through all the lockdowns. 

The Airbnb community Fund grant will enable much needed funds to be invested back into the property as well as updating and maintaining essential equipment required for running our programs.For example, our extensive gear store requires some old well-loved items to be replaced (tarps, hiking gear, food bags etc). Being able to provide young people with the appropriate equipment for bushwalking in the mountains means more young people get to experience of this environment in a safe and comfortable way, without having to purchase this equipment themselves. To provide the highest level of safety on our programs, we ensure our Staff are appropriately trained. We will be using some of the grant money to cover costs of upskilling and training our next Staff members for 2022. Another part of the grant will be used to continue much needed infrastructure updates including two new composting toilets and fire maintenance on the property. Another part of our program is to show young people a sustainable way of living, including a Fruitbottling event and a Passata making event in which volunteers help bottle and preserve fruit to make preserved fruit, jams, tomato paste/sauce used when out on hike. We would like to put some of the Airbnb Comunity Fund grant towards purchasing new garden and orchard equipment (such as netting for fruit trees, garden tools) to ensure we can show young people that we can produce and harvest as much as possible off the property instead of purchasing produce from other sources. Lastly, Wollangarra offers financial sponsorship for young people who need it, covering either 50% or 100% of our program costs. We will use some of the grant money to be top-up our Sponsorship funds to assure we can provide all young people equal opportunities in a time when they need it most.

Wollangarra hopes to be able to have young people and community back on the property as soon as possible. In the meantime, we as the Woll 2021 team will do our best to better the property, facilities, safety equipment and programs for future young people visiting Wollangarra. This would not be possible without the generous emotional and financial support Wollangarra has received this year. We are deeply grateful to be able to continue doing something we are passionate about - providing young people the opportunity to step into a world of nature, basic living and community connection! Thank you.

Stage 3 Induction July
Stage 3 Induction July
Mcalister river on program
Mcalister river on program
Cooking out on pogram
Cooking out on pogram
Woll program 2021
Woll program 2021
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Plums
Plums

2021 June Update! 

Plums and Programs!

The aim of Wollangarra is to offer young people (age 4-17 years) an opportunity to reconnect to basics and to nature. Wollangarra provides ongoing experiences that excite and empower young people, while building community, kindness, and purpose. Following the difficult year of 2020, any funding acquired has gone to the operational running of Wollangarra, including property maintenance, staff training, equipment purchases and the running of programs and events. Given that the first few months of the year are fire season in Victoria, property maintenance was primarily focused on fire management by training the staff in fire management, maintaining the property to fire-safe standards and ensuring we have functioning water-pump systems in place. If we were not working on the property, we were training our Staff to become competent Outdoor Leaders by providing them with complex trauma training, a bronze medallion qualification, a 4WD courses qualification, communication skills, and experience in hike training and program training - to name a few. As the first three months of the year consisted of training, we have only recently started with Holiday and School programs. In total we have had 5 programs so far, with a fully booked Calendar shaping the remainder of the year and programs running nearly every week. Each Program sees on average ~24 young people visit Wollangarra. We have therefore so far reached ~120 young people in 2021. With at least another 15 programs booked in for the remainder of 2021, we should be able to reach another ~360 young people this year. In addition to programs we have also been able to have events again at Wollangarra in 2021. We were able to have our annual Fruit-bottling event in January over 6 days, where over 60 people of all ages helped bottle over 130kg of plums from one of our plum trees at Wollangarra. Time was also spent working in the garden and building a new compositing toilet. We also hosted a working bee over Labour Day weekend, with ~30 people helping chop wood for winter and make passata for programs. Lastly, we hosted a Locals Lunch event where ~25 locals from the area came up to Wollangarra to share a delicious lunch outside in the courtyard under the vines. We look forward to many more events and programs this year! 

Gardening
Gardening
Wood for choppin'
Wood for choppin'
Toilet building
Toilet building
Young People enjoying being back at Woll!
Young People enjoying being back at Woll!
Locals Lunch
Locals Lunch
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The last year has been incredibly difficult, as we’ve been detrimentally impacted – like many other Outdoor Ed & Educational organisations – by COVID-19. However, there was light at the end of the tunnel, when we had a primary school and a university group out for two daytrips! This was a massive change, after not getting to hold any of our standard Programs across the entire year. The Woll team came into its own and put down the property maintenance for those days, welcoming new faces to the Flat with gusto. The primary students helped in the garden, gathered massive amounts of kindling and played many games of Duck Duck Goose and the like. Their energy was absolutely fantastic and a welcome relief after a year in isolation. 

We were also able to have several small groups of visitors out to help the team tie up some jobs in December, another fantastic morale boost. Loads of wood were moved and split, chooks were moved into the renovated chook coop, a tank stand foundation was started for a new river water tank as our old one fell victim to rust. We tied up the year with the finishing of a new mural in the woodfire shower block, putting a bright new skylight in the Homestead, installing steps to make the climb to the rota-loo much easier and building a beautiful brickwork installation in the garden to allow for a lush seating area. With a couple of old staff leaving for new adventures and a couple staying on to help the new pair of Directors, 2021 is looking bright!

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Organization Information

Wollangarra Outdoor Education Centre

Location: Licola, Victoria - Australia
Website:
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Project Leader:
Jess Carpenter
Licola, Victoria Australia
$2,902 raised of $50,000 goal
 
13 donations
$47,098 to go
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