On 7 April 2014, 44 Bushwalkers arrived in Canberra to be hosted by Scouts (Australia Capital Territory) at their Camp Cottermouth. This modern facility has been rebuilt after the disastrous fire in 2003 and proved an ideal location for the Camp. Set 20km from the city beyond Mount Stromlo and on the edge of the Brindabellas, the camp has a bush country location alongside the Murrumbidgee River and its own kangaroo herd amongst other wildlife!
The accommodation proved very comfortable and the food provided by the catering staff more than adequate in both choice and amount. The lunch “sandwich making” process proved more of a gathering than a task and made demands on skill and deviousness in the quest for your lunch banana!
A program of over 20 walks were achieved between the A,B,C and D groups with people switching between them as loyalties and interest in locations demanded! Generally, we were on the road by 8-8.30am and returned to Camp by 3 pm. Highlight of the D group was a review of the Embassies with lunch at the New Parliament House. For A, B and C groups there was much to choose from but a favourite was the scramble up to Gibraltar Rocks with magnificent views across the plains to the City. After the walk most visited the NASA Deep Space Centre at Tidbinbilla to see the antennae and space artefacts and a welcome tea and cake at the Moon Rock Cafe.
Our standout evening, amongst the daily walk reports, was an excellent presentation by Rosemary Purdie, from the Australian National Herbarium. She motivated us all to pay more attention to the Flora on our walks and did a great job of explaining what to look for at the various altitudes through which we would walk. In addition one member arranged a musical quiz evening, which quickly overcame initial groans and stirred intense competition.