Robbie our Campground Host for the Queens Birthday weekend is set up, halfway up the right hand side of the Pines. Many probably already know Robbie or have seen him around the Pines regularly. Likes nothing more than a bit of a chinwag to impart some wisdom. Say hi.
Be sure to say hi and welcome Nadia when you rock up at Arapiles this Easter. This is her first stint as a volunteer (hopefully one of many) and what a time to do it. Araps at Easter. The pilgrimage. The people. The tents. She is set up lower left end of the Pines Campground. And if you want to read up on any of the issues that we are trying to look after at Araps, ask to read the Visitors info guide. A work in progress. Also, feel free to write any suggestions/feedback down. This way we get to build the program to suit everyone – climbers, campers and the park itself.
For those who happened to be braving the heat at Arapiles over the Christmas to New Year break, you would have seen the Campground Host, Lee, in place – centre in the lower Pines. The Campground Host program is a new collaboration between Parks Victoria, CliffCare and Friends of Arapiles. With less Ranger presence in the park (yes, yes…some would say this is good) many of the issues that impact the Campground and Park are inevitably going to become more so. This program will allow us as climbers and users of the park to have much more of a hand in keeping an eye on things and educating those who might not be so clear on what some of the rules are and, more importantly why they are there.
From the feedback and experience Lee received in the week she was there, it seems that the Host was a welcome and appreciated addition to the campgrounds. This program is a work in progress for us and much of the feedback will be used to develop a plan that works for the park and for its users. A few points are listed below on some of the situations that Lee had to deal with. As she noted, diplomacy is a key skill to dealing with people.
- 4 cases of dogs in the park. Some walking on leads some tied on long leads to cars. (no dogs or cats allowed at any time in the park, campgrounds inclluded)
- 2 cases of campfires as well as some enquiries re being able to have a fire (campfires are not allowed at Arapiles from November to April)
- 5 cases of campers set up in the day visitor area
- 3 administrations of first aid
As well there were numerous enquiries about the weather in the days ahead, where they could get various supplies, handling a few camper complaints about NYE party noise and general enquiries about the Campground Host role. Feeback was positive.
I would like to thank Lee for being our very first ‘host guinea pig’ and for handling each and every situation with diplomacy for a very positive outcome. She enjoyed the experience and has put her hand up for more. Thankyou Lee! I am still looking for more Campground Hosts at Arapiles so if you think it might be something you would like to try, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
CliffCare Victoria, Friends of Arapiles and Parks Victoria are working on a new collaborative version of the Campground Host Program. I will put up some further info on this over the next week.
The first trial run of this will be from Boxing Day 2011 until New Years 2012 Our campground host will be Lee, who some of you may have met over the years. She is a long time climber, long time Araps visiter, camper, climber and one could possibly say she has earlier dirtbag credentials. Great lady and think she will defintely be a caring eye for Araps and the campground. She will be there to offer information and guidance on what is available at Araps and the various rules and guidelines that are in place. Hopefully steering some of those who may not know, what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to looking after the area.
She is not there to bust any balls, be they male or female or family ones so be open to any information she can offer. There will also be information available at her tent area, on CliffCare and Friends of Arapiles, and the work they do,
Our meetings and training days with PV have been positive and the manual that we are required to write up for the program has been discussed and worked on by Louise Shepherd and myself. This is expected by both sides to be a work in progress. Lee is keen and available to take on more of the Campground Host stints but if there is anyone that thinks they might be up for it, please drop me a line. We are aiming at having a host on all the school holidays, long weekends etc. It is not an onerous role but great experience if you are looking for some skills to write up on your CV especially if you are interested in Land and Conservation, Ranger work etc.