The venue for the 2016 Gold Duke of Edinburgh (DoE) International Award Expedition was the stunning rainforest of Royal Belum in Perak. Fifteen students from Years 12 and 13, and 2 members of staff set off on Saturday 5th November.
Ten students were undertaking their Practice Expedition and 5 their Qualifying Expedition. They all had to be self-sufficient in terms of food, cooking, hydration (from the rivers) and all had to demonstrate teamwork and determination to succeed in what provided a very challenging environment. The students had to endure torrential downpours, multiple river-crossings, leeches and of course their own cooking. A truly memorable experience!
As a direct entrant on the Gold Award, my experience of the great outdoors has been limited. Royal Belum, although extremely challenging, was one of the calmest and most beautiful places I had ever been to. From the endless trees and leeches, I did find a sense of peace in my journey through the rainforest. Upon emerging from the dense jungle, it dawned on me that I did actually survive what so many other people refused to participate in. Then it hit me - I laughed to myself as I realised that had only just completed my practice expedition.
Hong Yau, Yr12 (Practice)
This year, we were lucky enough to complete a Gold DoE Expedition in the Royal Belum National Park in Perak. After four days of inside jokes, trekking, camping, comparing leech bites and crossing rivers, we all have plenty of stories to tell. None of us will see each other in quite the same light ever again! I found the expedition a fantastic and fulfilling challenge, and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to see the Royal Belum National Park with the great group of people who went.
Charlotte, Yr13 (Qualifier)
The DoE Gold Expedition was one of the most unique and unforgettable experiences of my life. Being exposed to the beauty and chaos of truly untouched jungle was unlike anything I’d previously experienced, and seeing how the harsh jungle pushed people far and beyond their comfort zones and limits was an enlightening experience. The challenges posed by the jungle and DoE never fail to bring the lucky participants together until they are as close as family and this expedition was no exception; making it a very special and rewarding experience.
Kiran, Yr12 (Practice)
DoE International Award Coordinator
Click here for this week's full issue - 25th November 2016