Baden Powell Scout Centre
Pennant Hills, Sydney NSW
Wow, this camp is within a staggering 25 kilometres of the largest city in Australia. I’m personally pretty jealous of how scout camps have been able to snaffle some of the best locations throughout Australia, mainly due to the fact that some of them are getting close to century old purchases. I have been to loads of Scout Camps around Australia (15 or so in including Guides ones), from the Great Ocean Road to the Eyre Peninsula from Queensland to Tasmania. This particular camp was established way back in 1929, so you could imagine that at the distance of 25 kilometres from Sydney, back in 1929 it would have been bushland in all directions around it for miles. We’ll the 80 acres of camp is still with pristine bushland, it’s just that the houses that make up the neighbouring suburbs have built up around the camp and the houses stretch well beyond as far as the eye can see.
The camp has a rustic charm about it. Beautiful Sydney sandstone is used throughout various buildings including the entrance arch and you can understand that the stonework is heritage listed and rightly so. Lots of mixing of the older buildings (which I generally prefer) blends nicely with the newer ones. The facility was in fact used by the homeless during the depression era. It would have been a nice place to stay is my guess. I really enjoyed walking around this camp, the neatly manicured lawns, well attended gardens, lots of shady glens, compulsory outdoor chapel and a rather steep looking outdoor amphitheatre. Activities included a tree-top high ropes course, zip line, leap of faith, crate stacking, rock climbing wall, bushwalking and low ropes activities.
Accommodation for 120 was in bunk-houses and some smaller guest house style rooms. Lots of opportunity for tent camping throughout the property is also available. Big dining halls with parquet flooring, have been kept in tip-top condition, which is a surprise given the hundreds, if not tens of thousands of scouts feet that have pounded these floors. They must have a shoes off policy!