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Getting back to nature

Being able to see with your feet is something that many people may never experience in a lifetime, however it was something our Youth At the Zoo (YATZ) got to experience as part of the first ever YATZ camp… and they thought it was awesome!

During three days in the Coranderrk bush, camping in tents and getting close to nature, 17 of Zoos Victoria’s most intrepid YATZ members participated in a nature-based camp that encouraged them to deepen their connection and understanding of natural places.

Everyone on camp (including staff and volunteers) had an incredible experience with one participant commenting “The best bit of the camp was just connecting with nature and understanding its sounds. The awesome people who lead the camp where also very cool too so it was very easy to get on with them. Also exploring the use of our other senses and not being dependent on sight was very awesome too.”

This is me chillaxing under a big old gum tree

The Camp was led by adult mentors from Bellingen EYE – an environmental group from the Northern Rivers Region of NSW who aim to strengthen the connection between people and the environment. They had some very cool activities to bring us closer to nature, including ‘fox walking’ where you learn to walk so silently through the bush that you don’t disturb the local wildlife.

No one could decide which activity was the best because they were all so different and amazing. When asked to pick the best activity one YATZ member would start with ‘The spider web because it was so fun getting carried through the rope haha… oh and the sit spots because they were so relaxing and gave me time to clear my mind’ and then another would chime in with ‘I liked the string line walk because it was challenging and it was something that I would never have gotten the chance to do in my every day life’.

One thing we all agreed on was it was completely inspirational! Thanks for organising it Cyrelle and Ben. You can find out more about becoming a YATZ member here.

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Funded by the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.