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In the second week of November 2013, the Department of Parks and Wildlife’s Community Involvement Unit played host to 170 volunteer Campground Hosts at their annual Information and Training workshop event.

Two days of fire awareness and first aid training flowed into the main event; two days of presentations from a number of DPaW staff from across WA.

The workshop is an opportunity for new and experienced Hosts to share stories, tips and advice with fellow volunteers, before embarking on their travels in the year ahead.

It is also where park rangers get the chance to sell their parks to the Hosts to hopefully recruit these much need volunteers to assist in their parks. They explain the roles expected – mainly meeting and greeting visitors, occasional fee collection and tidying of the camping areas to help campers have a memorable stay. The rest of the time is the hosts own.

Other presentations included the changes to Customary Activities on Country from DPaW’s Aboriginal Heritage Unit and how they may affect the Hosts’ role. A talk on the illegal smuggling of WA reptiles was also very well received and the Nature Protection Branch now have 170 extra pairs of eyes and ears out in the parks.

The workshop was rounded off, as always, with the results of the photo competition. This year over 200 photos were received, making a tough job for the judges. Winners and some of the other entries can be found here - https://www.facebook.com/decparkswa/photos_albums

Campground hosts need to have an amiable disposition and a desire to meet and help people. By the looks of the smiles and attitude of this bunch, we seem to have a great team for the year ahead.

For more information on the Campground Host program visit - http://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/get-involved/volunteering-opportunities/100-ca...