A group of country singers from the Bega Valley and Eurobodalla are encouraging kids to look after the environment through song and dance.
The Country Pumpkins aren’t new to the music scene, but their latest CD, Pat the Possum, is their first album and live show for children.
The nine songs on the album focus on protecting bush creatures and the importance of recycling.
Michelle Scobie is behind the lyrics and uses her background in primary teaching to produce engaging and educational entertainment.
“Music helps make a message stick in the mind, when they’re dancing, jumping about and singing along, the kids are totally involved in the message,” Ms Scobie said.
“It’s important to provide different learning avenues, some kids can’t work off a page, they engage better with sound and visuals and moving their bodies.”
The Country Pumpkins don’t just sing about recycling, they incorporate it into their entire show.
All of the animal costumes worn on stage are made from recycled materials, such as a filled-neck lizard costume sewn together from an old curtain. Even the CD cover for Pat the Possum is made from recycled materials.
To encourage kids to get involved with the performance, the band provides recycled instruments, such as bottles filled with gum nuts or tins filled with sand.
“They’re all made of things that you’d usually throw out,” Ms Scobie said.
“But this gets kids thinking about ways to reuse objects, even if it’s just for a bit of fun.”
Since releasing their CD, The Country Pumpkins have performed the songs at Moruya and Candelo markets and have received positive feedback from their audiences.
As well as instilling the importance of recycling and protecting native animals in the minds of children, being part of the Country Pumpkins also give Ms Scobie creative relief.
“I work in a bank Monday to Friday, so this gives me something completely different to put my energy towards on the weekends,” she said.
“There are so many aspects that push my creativity, writing the songs, making the costumes, designing the backdrops for the stage.”
The next step for The Country Pumpkins is filming their performance and creating a film clip to distribute online and expand their audience.