Bugs in the soil! Animal scat in the bushes! Weird plants! All the clues were in the rainforest ready to find, as Fortem invited first responder families to be Junior Ranger Bush Detectives. The perfect wellbeing activity for the school holidays as the kids had a chance to use their bush detective skills to study the clues animals leave behind. It was an opportunity to meet new people and hang out with friends, be active in nature and learn something new. Let’s hear from Alison about the experience.
“Our participants came along to enjoy the great outdoors of Minnamurra Rainforest Centre located in Illawarra, and participate in a Fortem wellbeing activity facilitated by Heather. It was an opportunity to meet new people and hang out with friends they met at the recent Fortem Cupcake Decorating Workshop.
In this activity, we covered three well-being pillars from Five Ways to Wellbeing, connection, keep learning and be active, but I think we also had an element of ‘help others’. The kids were interacting with each other and helping each other find the bugs in the soil. I’m also grateful to the parents who also helped me with setting/packing up… it was a big trip up the hills! 😊
On their field investigation around the rainforest, the children put on their bush detective skills to study the clues that animals leave behind. They learnt about the weird and wonderful plants and animals looking for animal signs like scats, scratches, tracks, nests, burrows and other traces along the way.
Nature is the perfect classroom. It provides endless opportunities for students and children to learn about the real world in meaningful ways. There are also a wide range of academic, health and wellbeing benefits from learning in the outdoors; from reduced stress and anxiety, to increased feelings of happiness, as well as improved memory, focus and creativity!
During the activity, we all stopped and had some morning tea, and caught up with what everyone had been doing over the school holidays.
After the activity, some stayed on to walk to the waterfall. Everyone was so thankful for the experience and so happy to connect with other first responder families. Thank you also to Melissa from National Parks and Wildlife Service for your assistance with this activity.”
“Thank you so much for organising another great day. Kids had a great time and loved every minute of it.”
“Had a great day. Massive but great, we all enjoyed it, something we wouldn’t have planned…”
Find a wellbeing activity for first responder families in the Illawarra region on our Wellbeing Activity Calendar.