ADVERTISING FEATURE: Camp-out initiative

SWAG OF MEMORIES: Scouts from the Hunter region are looking forward to camping out at Fort Scratchley for the Anzac Day celebrations.
SWAG OF MEMORIES: Scouts from the Hunter region are looking forward to camping out at Fort Scratchley for the Anzac Day celebrations.

A troop of scouts will watch the rousing Nobbys Dawn Service from a camp at Fort Scratchley and tour visiting frigate HMAS Newcastle as part of this year's expanded Anzac Day commemorations.

Around 100 scouts from the Hunter and Manning Valleys will camp out for three nights as part of an educational initiative to reflect on the sacrifices of servicemen and women and continue proud Anzac traditions of mateship and respect.

The children, aged 11-14, will sleep in swags either out in the open or beneath the fort's verandas during the educational camp sponsored by Newcastle City Council, Aussie Disposals and Coates Hire.

"I'm proud to say we have two new fixtures on the itinerary this year as part of the city's growing Anzac Day commemorations," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

"The scouts will have a bird's eye view of the city's amazing Dawn Service from Fort Scratchley and HMAS Newcastle will exercise its right to Freedom of Entry to the City with a march to confirm the bond between the ship and the citizens of Newcastle."

RSL President Ken Fayle said the scout camp would combine the old with the new to give the children an unforgettable experience and familiarise them with the work of the armed forces.

"It's an introduction to times past by staying at the fort, but also a chance to see modern technology at work on HMAS Newcastle and at the RAAF base," Newcastle RSL Sub-Branch President Ken Fayle said.

"We hope to make Camp Fort Scratchley an annual event and this is a toe in the water exercise to make sure we can do it."

The scouts have been drawn from the Hunter region, which spans an area  from Woy Woy to the south, up to Taree in the north and out to Murrurundi in the west.

“We were approached by Newcastle RSL and Newcastle City Council with a view to doing it each year,” said Deputy Regional Commissioner of Hunter and Coastal Region Scouts Kevin Allen, who is overseeing the campout.  

“We felt this was an opportunity for young people to get involved.”