Bronze Adventurous Practice Journey

2017 06 21 dofe bronze practice web 14Over the past ten years, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Pacific Hills has seen some remarkable growth in numbers. We now have record numbers in bronze, silver and gold levels. Recently all three levels held their practice adventurous journeys. While the silver and gold groups enjoyed their canoeing adventures with Ms O’Neil, Miss Smith and Mrs Choy, the bronze group commenced their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program by going bushwalking in the Southern Highlands. For many students this was their first experience of sleeping under canvas, cooking using a trangia and carrying their belongings in a rucksack.

Forty-six students accompanied by Mr Mann, Mrs Tondl, Mr Chew and Mr Lees travelled to Moss Vale for their practice journey. After issuing rucksacks, sleeping mats and wet weather gear, the students packed their bags under the expert guidance of the Outdoor Education Group leaders and began their walk. The students spent two days learning navigation using maps, developing teamwork and leadership skills and even learned to build and use bush toilets. It was so encouraging seeing the students gain knowledge and confidence and learn to make informed decisions and trust their judgments.

The terrain the students traversed included fire trails, bush tracks, rope ladders and dense scrub bordering the Wingecarribee River. There were several times the students needed to bush bash and some groups learned the ‘caterpillar technique’ for climbing the steep hills.

The weather at Moss Vale can vary greatly. In recent years, we have experienced torrential rain, gale force winds and even snow. This year the weather was beautiful – clear skies and calm conditions, but it was so cold at night. On Wednesday morning, the temperature dropped to -1°C leaving a thin coating of ice on the tents and completely freezing the tent poles together. We had to thaw them out over boiling water before we could pack them into our rucksacks.

The Outdoor Education Group staff were full of praise for the attitude and effort the students made. They commented that the students really wanted to be on the camp and were prepared to learn as much as they could and gain the most from the experience. One OEG leader commented that some weeks taking different groups feels like hard work but with his Pacific Hills group, it felt like a holiday and was a genuine delight to take the students on the camp.

A few days later, on Sunday 25 and Monday 26 June, Mr McConnell, Mrs Smit and Mr Lees took another six students on a journey from Cowan to Berowra. These students had represented the School at the Zone Athletics Carnival and had been unable to go on the original expedition. This part of the Great North Walk is very pretty, with glorious views from the campsite above Berowra Waters Ferry and Naa Badu Lookout.

The students now will write up their logs of the journey. In addition they will be completing the other sections of their award – physical, skills and service. In November, they will complete their Qualifying Journey walking from Hornsby to Berowra Waters Ferry via Crosslands Reserve.

Without the invaluable help of Mr Mann, Mrs Tondl, Mr Chew, Mr McConnell, Mrs Smit, Miss Smith and Mrs Choy the Adventurous Journey component of the Duke of Edinburgh Award would be impossible to operate. These people are sincerely thanked for their commitment and valuable input into the lives and for building up the character of the students.

Participants on the Journey
Moss Vale (Biloela)
Acacia McCrindle, Alexander Budinsky, Amelia Paterson, Amy Elsegood, Andrew Cooper, Ariana (Simone) Mateo, Arabella Burfield, Azriel Woo, Bianca Janse van Rensburg, Chris Lin, Daena Smart, Daniel Kim, Daniel Y Kim, Daniel Teo, Dylan Huntley, Ethan Wynne, Gautham Aravindhan, Gail (Susan) Lee, Grace Kim, Heather Finlay, Hugh Bingham, Jemma Swaak, Jessica Middlebrook, Joshua Kan, Joshua Kouts, Joshua Lattouf, Julian Knocker, Jun Hee Han, Kaitlyn Chang, Kai Yu Zee, Lachlan Vos, Matthew Gates, Melissa Leek, Michael Squires, Moné Howard, Morgan Reedy, Oscar Strachan, Ryan Fehon, Saki Yoshizumi, Scott Connorton, Sharni Selzer, Sumin Baik, Tamara Oei, Troy Theuns, William Mitchell, and Yeyoung Jeong

Cowan to Berowra
Bianca Janse van Rensburg, James Smit, Kelly Dixon, Lachlan Parkin, Logan Marshall, Suzaan Stander and William Magus

Colin Lees
Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator.

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