On a bright Sunday morning at 8.00am, 32 students and 3 staff volunteers set off from EP (Mr Shine, Mr Morris and Mr Szelesi) and headed up to Frasers Hill. Our destination would see us camping overnight for 2 nights whilst completing the Bronze Award Qualifying Expedition. This was to be the culmination of 2 terms of after-school ECA commitment and dedication by all the students involved.
Day 1 was intended to be what we call ‘Day Zero’ - time to repack, prepare and relax before completing 2 days of trekking in wonderful surroundings - the weather had other ideas. Sunday saw almost 15hrs of rainfall and a very wet campsite. Everyone remained positive although a little damp. All the students prepared and cooked their meals throughout - from pasta dishes at dinner time to Milo laced porridge at breakfast time they did a great job.
On Monday we were to tackle the Pine Tree Trail - a very tough, very hilly and challenging route along narrow paths deep in the jungle. All students were out of their comfort zone and yet they battled on. For most on that day approx. 20km was covered. Night time saw the rains continue, but tiredness prevailed and all slept soundly - even Mr Morris!
Tuesday’s trail was a far more straightforward exercise in navigating the roads arounds Frasers Hill. A vast array of flora and fauna awaits anyone prepared to brave the elements up here where low cloud can blow in at any time. Student performances were impressive with many helping each other under tough conditions. It really is an ‘invaluable’ experience and even though many are challenged by what they do they all have a great sense of achievement.
James Brum - Year 10
I think one of the most important lessons that we learned would be that it doesn’t matter how long it takes or what you have to do that gets there as long as you make it. The feeling of pride was crazy; walking back into the camp felt amazing and the support from all the other members was incredible. There were hugs, high 5s and clapping everywhere you looked, and the main thing is that despite the injuries, rain and heat, we made it.
Emma Martin - Year 10
The hike on the first day was definitely challenging and I feel like, as a team who didn’t particularly know each other outside of school, we really pulled together and pushed each other throughout the trip. Keeping the morale and motivation up within the group was a big challenge especially when the rain started, the trails turned to rivers and it was tough to say the least. But as a whole, the trip was extremely rewarding and it was the best feeling seeing your friends at the end of the day.
Duke Of Edinburgh International Award Coordinator
Click here for this week's full issue - 26th May 2017