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The Gift of Nature

Like millions of other kids I was introduced to the great outdoors and the wonders of nature by camping and hiking with the scouts. These activities can be PEAK Experiences. These often occur when close to nature and when our senses are really engaged. It can be by the grandeur and beauty of a place, by the exhilaration of an activity, by the awesomeness of the night sky, by encounters with wildlife or just by the difficulty of the climb. PEAK Experiences can be life changing in terms of our relationship with the environment and the world around us. They can change our perspectives and values, often leading to new patterns of behaviour.

Contact with nature has been shown to be the key component in creating Environmental Awareness. It is simple: if we develop an empathy and emotional attachment with nature then doing the right thing becomes easy...

The world is changing fast and the affects of climate change are becoming obvious for all to see. Scouting’s traditional role of introducing kids to nature is more important now than ever before. We need to become agents for change.

At lough Dan Scout Campsite we have done just that and created the world’s first Scout Eco-Park and climate action centre. We are on a mission to re-connect kids with nature and create lots of learning opportunities for doing simple eco-actions, small things that benefit the environment. Everything from tree planting & creating future forests to making bird and bat boxes and enhancing habitats.

We want to as BP put it to “leave a place better than we found it” We want to help every scout den be come a “green” scout den, an exemplar of sustainability within our communities showcasing what can be done.

The enthusiasm and idealism of youth is the sort of “force of nature” that Al Gore talks about as being essential if we are to stop climate change. Scouting with its 50,000,000 members world wide can respond to Nature’s SOS and lead the way to a sustainable future. It should be easy as the scout motto has always been “Be Prepared”.

We have put some of our eco–action ideas into an on-line eco.loughdan program resource. They fall into 4 categories,

  • Nature DIY, Making things to benefit nature like bird and bat boxes, herb gardens & bird feeders
  • Connect With Nature, Traditional scout activities like camping, hiking and backpacking that are so important in creating environmental awareness
  • Nature SOS, actions like tree planting, habitat enhancement and helping wildlife
  • Nature Close Up, ideas to help you become familiar with some of the other wonderful species we share this amazing planet with.
  • Feel free to use them and we would love you to add your eco-action ideas.

    We have also created an eco.scout image platform where scouts everywhere can share their photos and videos of what they are doing to make the world a better place.

    ~ Zef Klinkenbergh

    Camp Chief at Lough Dan Scout Eco-Park

    Barry

    Nature DIY

    Section 1

    Making things to benefit nature like bird and bat boxes, herb gardens & bird feeders.

    PDFs include Bat Boxes, Insect Hotels and Bird Feeders

    Matt

    Connect with Nature

    Section 2

    Traditional scout activities like camping, hiking and backpacking that create environmental awareness.

    PDFs include Tarp Bivvies, Hammocking and Building a Den

    Luke

    Nature SOS

    Section 3

    Actions like tree planting, habitat enhancement and helping wildlife in your local area.

    PDFs include Propagating Plants and Hedgerows

    Sam

    Nature Close Up

    Section 4

    Ideas to help you become familiar with some of the wonderful species we share this amazing planet with.

    PDFs include Pond Dipping, and Curio Hunt