RECREATION & ADVENTURE CAMP
We thank the Essendon Rotary club for their great gift of the camp to the Essendon District Scouts and Guides in 1950 and for their continuous involvement and monetary grants over the years since the Scouts have been running and managing the Rowallan Rotary Scout camp as it was originally named.
We also thank the Strathmore Bendigo Bank for their grants to improve the camp.
- 1946Essendon Rotary Club commenced a Youth
Service Project, aimed to establish a youth camp, where trees could
be grown and appreciated by youth, to offset the rapid destruction
of forests and consequent erosion.
Eleven Rotarians paid £50 each to purchase 183 acres of land
in Catherine Valley, Gisborne for a youth forestry camp.
- 1946A 32volt generator was used for lighting.
- 1947Shire of Romsey constructed a road to the campsite.
- 1948‘Prisoner of War’ huts in Nathalia purchased, and
erected on site.
- 1950Boy Scouts and Girl Guides of Essendon
area accepted the gift from Essendon Rotary club of the site for indoor
and outdoor recreation, and training of its members.
- December; Official Ceremony
for handing over of camp, officially named Rowallan Rotary Camp after
Lord Rowallan, Second Chief Scout of the British Commonwealth.
- 1955March 13; General Secretary
of the Scout Association, F.R.G. Sanders received the documents of
‘Transfer of Deeds’ from Rotarian Syd Mills.
- 1959Ron Horne chapel was completed and consecrated.
- Most of the water pipe network to the Forest Camp was completed.
- 1961Swimming pool was completed and opened by Major Gen. RR.Risson,
Chief Scout for Vic.
- 1964SEC electric power was connected to the camp.
- 1965The Swing bridge was constructed by the Burke and Wills Rovers.
- 1967A Bradford ute was donated to the camp by N.Ferris.
- 1968A permanent non filtered water supply was obtained from the
Riddells Creek storage dam at Mt. Teneriffe.
- 1969The planting of pines was started as per Rotary's original request.
- 1973A shed for construction poles was erected in the Forest Camp.
- 1974The HQ Camp toilet block was upgraded and completed.
- 1980A new kitchen was built to HQ Camp, extending the dining
room in the process.
- 1982A new 24 bunk dormitory was built.
- 1983Bushfires caused large destruction
of Rowallan and surrounding bushland.
The Scout and Guide Camps at Rowallan
sustained significant damage.
- 1984April 1; After much
work Rowallan Headquarters Camp was rebuilt and reopened for use.
- 1984Cottage built for onsite assistant warden.
- 1989HQ Camp toilet block extended and upgraded.
- 1991Ex District Commissioner Lt. Col. K. Farquhar
died and was interred at the chapel. Lt. Farquhar received the camp from Rotary in 1950.
- 1993Forest Camp initiative course was built.
- The Swing Bridge was rebuilt after the 1983 fires.
- 1995Forest Camp amphitheatre was built.
- 1997Ex District Commissioner Howard Holden and long time contributor
to the Camp died and was interred at the chapel. Howard was DC at time of the 1983 bushfires.
- 1999The installation of specialised activities;
low ropes course, basketball & volleyball courts, table tennis,
half-soccer and 6 orienteering courses.
- 2000Disabled access installed to HQ Camp buildings.
- Camping Association Victoria (CAV) accreditation
achieved with the help of a donation from Rotary.
- 2001Walking trails were established in the Nature reserve.
- 2002Rowallan web site was established
- Internal window protection installed in the HQ Camp Rec Hall.
- 2003The HQ Camp Recreation Hall walls were relined to reduce impact damage.
- 2004All Forest Camp roads were regraded.
- 2006Upgrade of the HQ Camp ablutions block completed.
- 2008Assistant Warden's cottage was fully refurbished including a new kitchen.
- 20092kW PV (Solar) system installed to offset power usage.
- 70kL rainwater tanks installed.
- 2010A major flood occurred which damaged the Kent Rd. bridge
and 2 bridges in the Forest Camp.
- 2011UV water filtration installed for the HQ Camp.
- 2012Internet connected via 4G link to Riddells Creek and down the hill to the Ranger's House.
- Additional 60kL rainwater tank installed.
- 2013The HQ Camp buildings were repainted externally in different colours.
- 2014UV water filtration upgraded to cover all parts of the camp.
Detailed Camp History from 1946-2014.
Also available in HQ Camp Lounge.