Last week ( 23.05.2016 - 27. 05.2016) the Year 6s from both AP1 and TX had a residential trip and stayed at a Earth Camp in Gopeng, Malaysia for an unforgettable and challenging experience without technology. They went through a series of challenges on their way. Mr. James, Ms. Kirstine, Ms. Duyen , Ms. Hong An and Mr. Chau from TX and Mr. Chris and Ms. Esther from AP1 went with us of course to keep us on track and help us to not get lost in the woods. Here is a brief introduction of how it went:
Day 1 - 23.05.2016 :
With excitement bouncing off them, the children arrived at school, ready to go with their purple shirts and their fully packed luggage. After a long time waiting in the foyer, we finally hopped into the bus, ready to go to the airport. At the busy airport there was a lot of time spent on checking in and registering, but at the end it was all done and we headed to the boarding gate. Later on we had a lot more waiting until we get into the plane. Arriving at Kuala Lumpur Airport was a pain with lots of walking around but as we settled in the bus, it started filling up with chatter. After a 3 hour journey, we started entering the humid jungle and eventually Earth Camp. We greeted our dormitories and the bugs and laid the sleeping bags on the bed. Before long it was time for dinner and we walked through the darkness and to the dining area. Dinner was very appetizing. Later on, we had a briefing about the next day and about the rules about staying at the camp. In addition, the activity leaders introduced themselves. There was Mr. Roy, Mr. Tom and Mr. Ami. Because of all the joy jumping around inside the children, they couldn’t really sleep and just kept on talking. The teachers must have had a hard time trying to sleep!
Day 2 - 24.05.2016 :
Many woke at a very early time, mostly because of mosquito bites and the hard bed but they at least tried to keep everyone asleep! So that’s a positive. When everybody woke up we organised ourselves and it was time for our filling breakfast. Next, we split ourselves into 2 groups to make it easier when we go to the cave. So that group 1 could go first and then later on group 2 could come. Soon we set off to the cave , ( Gua Tempurung ) ready to go, with our helmets secured in place and smiles filled with enjoyment. The open air truck was covered in chatter and laughter. Eventually we hopped off the truck to enter the cave. Although there was a lot of explaining beforehand, we finally got to step inside. When we went into the cave, everything was dark. Good thing we brought our head torches! Through the darkness we went stopping in every open area, taking a break. There was lots of rocks and even things that seemed like drawings on the wall. As we walked, the cave started to get darker and darker. When we reached the end of the track, where we could walk, we went down to where the stream was flowing. We soon found ourselves lying in it. Because there was no space to stand, we had to crawl underneath the rocks. Even though we got some scratches, the most important thing was that we enjoyed ourselves. But after all the fun we were all wet, therefore we went to take a shower and feel fresh again. Dinner was at 7:00 and at around 9:00 we went back to the dining area to get a cup of Milo and some biscuits. Although the Milo was really hot, at least we had our friends to share the hotness with!
We’ve really saved the best for last! The last 2 days were the best days of the whole trip, which were river school and mountain school. Even with our tired bodies we still managed to do the activities. To be able have more time to do all of the fantastic activities, we split ourselves into 2 groups again. On the first day group 1 would do river school while the other group did mountain school. Here is how group 1’s days went :
Day 3 - 25.05.2016 :
River school was the first activity we ( Group 1 ) had. Waking up was as usual. After having breakfast and all that, we packed our daypack which included :
A water bottle
Before we could go, had to go to the equipment shed to get the tools for the day. Nobody could wait to find out all the amazing challenges we were going to face! In the morning we learned about safety in the river. Here is what we did in the morning :
Defensive and aggressive swimming helped us to learn how to move through the water take you somewhere without harming yourself. Defensive swimming had us go on our backs and aggressive swimming was just like swimming freestyle.
Throw bagging is the easiest and simplest way to rescue somebody in flat water. Despite the fact that it was pretty hard for us.
That was all for the morning. After those challenging activities, we had a nice delicious meal with chicken and rice. The activities in the afternoon included:
Shallow River Crossing
In shallow river crossing, we crossed a river by walking and taking your balance.
Raft flipping is basically what is sounds like, you flip a raft and try to flip it back and get everybody else on it too. Teamwork is key for that.
In rafting, first, we were taught the basic skills of paddling. While we were on the raft, the guide taught us some more tricks. Everybody tried their best and that's what mattered most.
The children rushed back to the trucks and we headed back to Earth Camp, which we now kind of started to call ‘home’. A quick shower followed that to make us feel nice and clean again. A little bit of free time came next and soon dinner. After that we had the usual routine again with brushing our teeth and changing into pyjamas… Children had a hard time sleeping again, especially because there were a few fireflies visiting the Girl’s Dorm 1! Since they kept quiet, it wasn’t too loud.
Day 4 - 26.052016 :
Mountain school came up on the next day. Most slept tight except for a few… Well let’s leave them for now… But after getting our daypack sorted and putting a lot of mosquito repellent and sunscreen on, we left our dormitories to go to the dining area. Full of energy with breakfast, we rushed to the equipment shed, once again, to get all the equipment we need for the day, which wasn’t much because most of the equipments were at mountain school already. When we first got there, we had to keep our motivations down a bit to listen to Mr. Roy, who was explaining about the place and the rules and so on… There was a covered area where we could put our water bottles. Here are the activities we did in the morning:
In low ropes, we had to walk on low ropes, holding onto pieces of ropes dangling down from a rope above it. The other children had to support them by putting their hands out to protect the person walking on the rope. The next bit had one rope that could move around, like a swing, and we could walk on the rope while holding onto the swing rope. When we are halfway through the rope we are walking on, we won’t be able to hold onto the swing rope anymore, so we have to rely on our friends. We have to hold your friend’s hand and walk through the rest of the rope. Lastly we had to walk across a path which was made of wood and tyres, but we had to be careful because some of the tyres goes down a lot.
In the silent cave, of course we had to be silent. There were two ropes going across the cave in a zig zag.there was one rope on the top and the other was in the bottom, near the floor. Basically we had to hold the rope on the top and walk on the rope on the bottom. When we got through the cave, we went to see some bats and also some palm plantations. The guide explained about how palm and palm oil can be used.
Rock climbing was very challenging and interesting for most people. We had to climb the rock and come down too.
In the afternoon we did:
The Giant Swing
The Leap of Faith
These were probably the scariest and appealing activities we did on the trip. This is what everyone was so excited for…
The giant swing was really surprising and scary. We get pulled up by the other people (using the rope) and then the guide takes the rope that was keeping us in the air out and we just go swinging!
The leap of faith was pretty hard compared to how it looked like. Jumping off a platform isn’t something we would do normally so it was a very adventurous activity for most of us.
Ziplining is probably what everyone was so excited about. Before we do the actual ziplining we had to climb up to where we start the zipline. So we learned how to use the equipment for climbing it correctly.
At last, the long day was over and everyone was exhausted but happy to be there. Later that night, TX and AP1 discussed about their extended science projects that they are going to be doing together with the help of Year 9's.
Day 5 - 27.05.2016 :
After the long tiring week was over, it was time to say goodbye to the guides and the hot and humid jungle. Although we were happy about leaving the mosquitos and hard beds, we still had a feeling that we wanted to stay. We went on the bus once again, on the 3 hour journey. We went to Starbucks to grab a little lunch and got onto the plane. Everybody missed home. While being picked up, we said farewell to our friends and teachers, ready to meet them on Monday again.
Overall it was a pretty hard and very challenging trip with lots of mosquitos and no technology, but because everyone kept positive, everything was fun and exciting making the trip unforgettable. As we probably wouldn't have a trip like that ever again. Lastly, the trip was very motivating, fun and really brings up your confidence a lot. Thank you to all the teachers and guides who helped up on this trip. We really enjoyed it!