Trek will provide leadership skills

Hannah Newcombe, Claire Virgona, Audrey McQuillan, Katrina Mason, Gabby Wilson and Cassidy Harris with Leading Senior Constable Terry Woodcroft.

A TWO-DAY hike aims to give Colac and district girls life experience and leadership skills.

A Beechy Rail Adventure Trek starts tomorrow, taking about 25 Year Seven girls from Colac Secondary College and Trinity College Colac on a hike from Beech Forest to Barongarook.

Colac police youth resource officer Leading Senior Constable Terry Woodcroft will supervise the BRAT Girls trek, which he said was a chance for the teens to forge lasting connections with each other.

“The first trek was in early 2004, we’re getting close to our 400th registered trekker now,” Sen Const Woodcroft said.

“We’ve got kids who are still friends from the Beechy walk from a few years ago,” he said.

“It’s a great opportunity for leadership training, also some role modelling and they get an idea of careers.

“The feedback was they were really glad they did it.”

Sen Const Woodcroft said Colac Area Health would give a drug and alcohol awareness presentation during the trekkers’ overnight stay at Gellibrand.

“And it’s just a really good opportunity for young people who perhaps normally don’t get outside and interact in that way,” he said of the 40-kilometre adventure.

Sen Const Woodcroft said the students were excited about the Otways trip, which would include wildlife spotting.

“We’re certainly always on the lookout for any type of wildlife at all, keeping in mind that a group this size sometimes means there’s not much there,” he said.

“But leeches, that’s the big fear, and there’s just about an absolute guarantee that that’s some wildlife they will be seeing.

“It’s all part of the challenge.”

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