Bringing Boys to the Bush to Forbes

The Forbes area will soon be hosting Boys To The Bush, a not-for-profit program aimed at giving life skills and real-life experience to disengaged boys.

The Boys To The Bush will be heading to Forbes each school holiday period to help disengaged boys get back to the basics. Photo supplied.

The Boys To The Bush will be heading to Forbes each school holiday period to help disengaged boys get back to the basics. Photo supplied.

The program was inspired by three people from Albury-Wodonga, Adam DeMamiel, Richard Leahy and Tim Sanson. From humble beginnings two years ago, the program has grown to have regular camps at Howlong and Lake Cargelligo.

The Boys To The Bush program hosts camps every school holidays, and co-founder Adam DeMamiel said they plan to have their first camp at Forbes in April.

Adam said they have been running the camps in this format for the last two years.

The camps are aimed at getting the boys back to the basics.

'It's about getting them back to basics, stuff that most of us grew up doing," Adam said.

Surrounded by the sounds, sights and smells of nature the boys tackle fishing, yabbying, cooking, wood-cutting, basic mechanics, animal husbandry, basic welding and fencing and more.

Adam said that they like to get involved with the local community and community organisations to help foster a sense of community ownership over the program.

They have made inroads with many local community organisations around Howlong and Lake Cargelligo and Adam said they are looking to get Forbes community groups to jump on to help.

"One thing that has blown me away is the community. The community down here is so supportive."

Forbes local Jared DeMamiel, who has been helping bring the Boys To The Bush program to Forbes, said they have had local support from the Men's Shed, as well as a couple of locals from Forbes and Wirrinya offering their farms for use.

Jared said he would like to thank the Forbes Men's Shed, Darren Cowan, Cassandra and Matt Tyack, and the members of the Wirrinya community and Forbes Men's Shed for coming on board to lend a hand.

In an interview with The Border Mail, Adam said they have had 20 camps with over 250 boys attending over the last couple of years.

Adam said they have had kids coming from Queensland, South Australia as well as all over NSW and Victoria.

"It's giving kids a connection. Many of these kids are now attending our camps regularly and are staying in contact with both staff and other participants."

A big driver for setting up a camp in the Forbes area, Adam said, was the amount of kids from the Central West wanting to take part in the Boys To The Bush Camps.

"We want to surround the boys with good people and Forbes has so many people that are exactly that."

To support the program or get involved, visit https://boystothebush.org.au/

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