'The 2011 floods did us a favour'
DESPITE the devastation of Ipswich's most memorable natural disaster, Moreton Region Scout Commissioner Ken Millers says the 2011 flood was one of the best things to happen to Allawah Scout Camp.
Mr Millers said although recovery had been long and arduous, the floods meant the site would reopen in the middle of this year with better quality buildings and at a bigger capacity than ever before.
"We would have never had the resources to upgrade to the standard of buildings we have now," he said.
"The whole scouting organisation ended up with a lot of damage but it has enabled us to improve."
After their cabins were destroyed in 2011, Education Queensland donated buildings from the old Bremer State High School site to the scouts.
"We have had a range of supporters and donations and all of a sudden what was a mess in 2011 has turned out to be a very productive area," Mr Millers said while looking up at the donated buildings.
But it's not only cabins that are being donated.
As part of the State Government's Skilling Queenslanders for Work program, apprentices from Apprenticeships Queensland have been working hard to get the donated buildings back up to scratch, and gain a Certificate I in construction while doing so.
Caelen Jones, 17, is one of the apprentices giving his time to rebuild the site.
"I really enjoy it, we're learning important life skills and about what needs to be done on a work site," he said.
"The boys here work really well as a team."
The larger buildings mean the camp site, once finished, will be able to fit up to 142 people, 30 more than it did before the flood.
Mr Millers said the council and State Government had been vital for the rebuild.
"Although it's taken a long time we are doing better than just repairing it, we're improving it," he said.
"This translates into more activities, skills and programs we can offer.
"The flood was a huge kick in the teeth but we've come back stronger than ever."