By: Laurie Deacon

Hawkeye, Rama, Malia and Lorikeet get prepared like all good Cub Scout leaders!!

We are taking forty little Cubs with Mums and Dads up Mt Gravatt for a bit of night spotting in the Conservation Reserve.

Walk on your wild side

Mt Gravatt night creatures

Now night spotting for shy furry creatures or sleeping birds with forty noisy Cubs sounds like a optimist’s nightmare….and it was!  Every self respecting Koala, Glider, Possum or bird would have heard the happy sounds of children squealing with joy at being out in the night time … in the dark in the bush … on an adventure! Torch lights waving everywhere but on the trees, usually in little Mary’s face, by accident of course!

We stopped many times along the track, all in single file with Cub leaders and parents interspersed between the badge wearing “baby elephants” to keep them on task and on the track! “Now, no going off the track as you’ll trash the sensitive bush plants and you may crush a flowering orchid” , yells Lorikeet one of the Cub leaders! “Let’s stop and  Listen to the sounds of the bush at night and see what we can hear?” yells Lorikeet again to all the Cubs …. muffled joy was heard, and a few mysterious animal sounds.

Then we all reached the top of the Mountain, had a wonderful Mountain top ceremony for a few Cubs receiving awards for jobs well done, then back we plunge into the deep dark forest and back down the mountain track!

Malia a leader says she will go ahead with a few Cubs and the rest of us follow behind.  Ooops!  Then as the rest of us all come to the fork in the track there is no sign of Malias foot prints and her Pack following the correct route!

So the next adventure starts (with the aid of a mobile phone) we call in the renegade Pack who had gone off in the wrong direction and send a search party to “bring them home”! Some became heroes out of the story and  some became legends!  At the bottom of the Mount all Cubs and Leaders had hot chocolate and piled back into their suburban cars and lives … and beds. WHAT AN ADVENTURE THEY HAD … and all in suburbia!

So I reflect on the Mountain walk that Thursday night (only a few hours and home to bed by 8pm), and think how forty young minds would be changed for life after that night. The wildness around them, the confidence gained within them; the uncertainty felt, the competencies gained; the seemingly insurmountable walk for some, the caring and  sharing offered from others; the uniqueness of the mountain at night, and the humility and familiarity that bred caring in their souls for the bush.

AND THAT WAS ONLY THE PARENTS THAT CAME ALONG ! 🙂

Fond regards

The Wood Sprites

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