Alpine School delivers Snowy Adventures and Survival Skills for NSW Scouts

Scouts from across the state engaged in amazing snow-filled adventures as part of Scouts NSW’s Alpine School from 10-16 July, 2023.

More than a traditional ski trip, overnight skiing treks, cross country skiing, snow shoeing and alpine survival activities challenged Scouts aged 11-26 years.

NSW Scout Leaders, who are some of Australia’s leading outdoor educators with decades of alpine, mountaineering and even Antarctic exploration experience, guided 53 Scouts, Venturer Scouts and Rover Scouts, and 38 adult leaders and support staff in training  throughout the week of activities.

NSW State Leader for Alpine Activities Chris Ward, who worked with fellow Scout Leader Matt Godbold in Antarctica in 2003, said the youth members benefited from this experience.

“Overnight cross-country skiing and snow shoeing treks later in the week really challenged our participants, extending their abilities and teaching them crucial skills,” he said. “We build up to the overnight adventures, with the initial days used to guide and assess participants.”

For Scouts visiting the snow for the first time, Alpine School teaches necessary skiing and snow skills while also developing their confidence. Accommodation at Scouts NSW’s Alpine Activity Centre in Jindabyne serves as the perfect base from which to explore the snow fields, giving Scouts six full days in the mountains.

“Scouts offers an amazing variety of fantastic experiences for young people,” Scouts NSW Chief Commissioner Lloyd Nurthen said. “Being a Scout is about much more than hiking and camping and Scouts NSW’s Alpine School helps challenge those perceptions.”

Drawing from near and far, Scouts travel from all over NSW to attend Alpine School. Fourteen-year-old Scouting twins Brianna and Madeleine Ward from 1st Oatley Bay Scouts were born at 29 weeks critically premature, and now live a full, adventurous life and love the snow.

“I like skiing on different terrain,” Madeleine said. “Turning around corners while going downhill challenges me. Building snow caves is also incredibly fun and learning how to build a few different types and then getting to use something I built is rewarding.” Brianna loves tobogganing and building snow caves and igloos. “I just love all activities in the snow,” Brianna said. “I really enjoy learning new skills and learning how to skate and glide on cross-country skis.”

Brianna and Madeleine’s younger brother and fellow Scout, 11-year-old Tarn also from 1st Oatley Bay Scouts loves cross country skiing. “I also like doing jumps, snowball fights and digging snow caves and shelters. I also enjoy skiing with my Dad.”

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