The Thylogale track was surrounded in a heavy mist, blanketing the rainforest in stillness. The silence being only broken by the crack of the whipbird, the bounding feet of pademelons, and on this special day, the shrill cries of twenty-five Roots & Shoots members giving their best chimpanzee pant-hoot – Dr Jane style.
After monkeying around the QLD Roots & Shoots members set off on their Climb 4 Chimps. Guiding them through the forest were Roots & Shoots group leaders – all young scientists and researchers studying everything A. P. E (animals people and the environment that is). During the walk members kept their eyes peeled for answers to their scavenger hunt. The forest did not let them down and provided answers to questions about Aboriginal fire management, trapdoor spider homes, bush tucker delights and strangler fig origins. Halfway through the walk, the members gave their eyes a rest and closed them for a minute – to absorb the sounds of the rainforest and connect with nature.
Serious business was also conducted on the day with members being given the chance to talk to group leaders about their A.P.E projects in Queensland. Kai Armstrong (a student at Ithaca Creek State School) and Kate Garland (Queensland Coordinator of Roots & Shoots) chatted away about Kai’s project to help refugees in his local community. While Asha (Roots & Shoots National Youth Council member) talked with the FED-up (Future Environmental Defenders) members about their Backyard Beekeeper project. The day was would not have been complete without some surprise guest stars, including the red triangle slug, the king parrot, the infamous whipbird, the Australian logrunner and even some friendly leeches!
Reaching the top of Mt Nebo the members were welcomed with beautiful views of the D’Aguilar Range and the smell of a vegetarian BBQ cooking away. After lunch, the rain came to send them all home to bed, to dream of whipbird whistles, chimpanzee calls and pademelon paws.