Cold; tiring; challenging; rewarding; perseverance; fun and did I say COLD! These are just some of the words used to describe our Adventurous Journey last weekend. From a Year Leader point of view I was very proud of the pupils in how they worked together in their groups. The weather certainly proved a big challenge but all pupils gained some invaluable life lessons from the weekend. I will leave the rest of the newsletter to the different groups who can describe their experiences. I hope that once the dust has settled the pupils will realise how much they gained from the weekend and hopefully many of them will be motivated to take part in the Silver Award next year!
For the International Award Adventurous Journey I was in a group of 6 including Abby, Vicky, Hannah, Till and Tommaso. I think my group managed the navigating quite well. We made it most of the way before we got lost and we were able to correct ourselves quickly by checking the map and compass at regular intervals. We soon managed to get ourselves back on the right track. At the end of the first day my group were the 3rd group to arrive at the camp site. We tried to quickly put up our tents before it started to rain but we were a little too late. By the time we finished fixing one of the broken tents and putting the rest of them up it was dark and pouring with rain. Next was the task of cooking. My group decided to make pasta for dinner and s'mores for dessert. We had all worked up an appetite after the first day of hiking and we couldn't wait for the food to be ready! On the next morning we woke up at five o'clock and prepared ourselves for another day of tiring hiking. We put down the tents and waited for the first two groups to leave as we were the third group to go. We set off at around six thirty and made our down the mountain. The second day of hiking we had to slow our pace as during the night it had rained a lot causing the paths to be extremely slippery. After several hours of walking we made our way back to the bus, we waved goodbye to the guides and set off on our way home. On the way home most people were complaining about how heavy their backpacks had been during the hike. I think next time my group needed to pack lighter, leaving extra clothes at home and packing less food as we were only going for a couple of days! Overall from this hike I learnt that perseverance and patience was key. I learnt to never give up and keep going.
Louise Way writing on behalf of the rest of her group: Abigail Cartwright, Victoria Deschamps, Hannah Scott, Till Scholten, Tommaso Carnelli.
That 2-day hiking experience was tiring to me but worth it! I have learnt how to use simple maps and compasses to find the right route. I also have experienced a longer hiking distance than last time & camping at a mountain. My group members are Aoki, Chloe, Yoona, Aaron, and Niranjan. I think our group did well with the navigating part- as we were the first group arrived at the campsite! There were many tracks on our way to the campsite, which meant we always needed to use compasses to find the right direction. An interesting fact is that not always the main road is the right direction, sometimes we also need to go through a narrow and steep path and this is the right way! By the way, one of our group members really did a lot for our navigating part, who is Yoona. She always found the right way quickly. Also Niranjan and Aaron gave many ideas for finding the route. For the camping part, Yoona and I put up our tent successfully. The moisture-proof pad made the inside of tent dry. It was extremely cold at night so I kept shivering even though I bought sleeping bag for zero degrees. The dinner also cooked nicely. We cooked pasta with tomato sauces by using the pot, and ate with disposable bowl & chopsticks. In general we packed the bags well. We did an equal distribution for things like gas stove, pots, cookers, tents, etc. Also everyone needs to bring something for dinner or breakfast like jam, bowls, chopsticks, energy bars, pasta, etc. But for myself I packed unwisely. There were so many things that were heavy and didn’t come in handy in my bag like extra pair of shoes, extra bowls & folks, etc. The most memorable part was climbing uphill & downhill. At the first 1-hour we were climbing uphill that cost a lot of strength. Carrying a 8kg-weight hiking bag, I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore so I kept walking at the back of the line. As I looked so tired, the other group members suggested having extra short rests for me when I felt tired and to drink water. The uphill was really long. As we were getting to a higher altitude, the temperature also became lower. For the first 2 hours I was extremely tired and for a moment I looked at the endless path feels like I want to give up. But after having some rests and water, I felt better and I thought that I could manage to do it. I really appreciate the kind help from my group members, it also let me learn that teamwork is not only working together, but also helping and encourage each other when someone needs help. Another thing that I have learnt is that things could be hard for you sometimes, like the ascent that looks like endless, but there will eventually have a flat ground that let you have a rest. Finally when you look at the height that you have climbed, you can feel the happiness, achievability and pride.
Jade Wu writing on behalf of the rest of her group: Yoona Jeong, Aaron Yong, Niranjan Rajesh, Chloe LeGodec, Aoki Camada
On the 17th of March, the year 10s, including my group consisting Ken, George, Riccardo, Vanessa, Millie and myself, Jarod, set off for our Adventurous Journey at Moganshan, Zhejiang. This was an area full of mountains and little settlements. Over those two days and one night, we accomplished about 8 whole hours of trekking through the mountains and around them. We were accompanied by the people of Indier who ran the program and the man who assessed us was called Jordan. Over those two days, my team experienced several setbacks and obstacles during the hike such as an asthma attack that struck one of our teammates. However we still made good progress as we moved on quickly and overtook several groups despite being the last group to leave the starting point. Once we arrived at the campsite we begun to set up the tents and cook our food but I only managed to set mine up later than others as Yuseke and his group experienced minor setbacks that delayed their progress. One of the most challenging situations of the whole of the Adventurous Journey turned out to be packing as we had to fit lots of food, a few clothes and other essentials such as torchlights and hauling them along on our 8 hour trek. Over these two nights I’ve learned many things such as how teamwork is essential for any form of success and how important it is to not procrastinate as I forgot several things whilst packing. My memories of the journey are truly an event in my life that I’ll always cherish and will never forget.
Jarod Lee writing on behalf of the rest of his group: Vanessa Oyuchi, Amelia Haynes, Ken Yu, Riccardo Perone, George Magee
Friday after school, when we finally finished our last exam, we got on the bus to MoganShan. We were all more or less excited. After four hours we finally arrived. The guides welcomed us and showed us our rooms. We had a quick dinner and went to bed. The rooms were freezing, luckily my room had a heating and we managed to turn it on. The next morning we got up at 7am. We had some cereal and orange juice for breakfast. Before starting our hike, we had two quick sessions to check everything. First we had to empty our backpack and repack it again, we all realised that we packed way too much stuff. Most groups struggled to fit their tent and roll matt inside their bags. After that, one guide gave us some tips about the card and how it is arranged, which I already forgot after 10 minutes. The groups started off for the hike with 10 minutes distance between them. In my group was Katy, Rianne, Neha, Martin, Thomas and me, we were one of the last to leave, because our guide was the leader and she had to manage everything. It was new for everyone to find their way without road signs or maps, with just a compass and a card yet we managed to not go in completely the wrong direction. After a while it was just uphill, it was very tiring for most people with our heavy back packs. We had lunch next to a road; we ate wraps, cereal bars and cookies. At this point the hike became too hard for Mr Siccardi who took the shorter route. The next few we kept going uphill, it became foggier and foggier, at the top of the mountain we could barely see 15m. After six hours we arrived at the campsite. The first thing we did was put down our backpacks and just lay down. We put up our tents and cooked pasta for dinner. That went pretty well, as we practiced that on project week. We got into our tents at half eight, it felt like it was much later, because it was completely dark. My friends and I slept with five people in a 3-man tent, we were warm and cozy but very squeezed. We had to get up at at 5am, it was still dark so we stayed in our sleeping bags for a few more minutes. We were all cold and I was the only person who slept well. Apparently Katy slept on five rocks... We packed away our tents whilst eating a quick breakfast, the first group was supposed to leave at 6am. We only hiked downhill, so everyone was okay and even Mr Siccardi managed it! The nature was very beautiful and we all enjoyed it, though most people barely slept in the night. My group was very fast, we arrived first at the bus. We were glad to give back our tents, put our bags in the back of the bus and just relax. As all groups arrived we said goodbye to our group leaders. They helped us a lot and we were thankful that they helped us throughout the journey. On our bus ride back home everyone was tired and glad to be home soon. Except from an early toilet break there was no trouble. All in all it was a great experience for all of us, we learned not to pack too much food and clothes and it also gave us the chance to see something completely different from the big city we live in.
Julia Jobst writing on behalf of the rest of her group: Katy Sapsford, Neha Adinamozhi, Rianne Arts, Tom Wallace, Martin Marchant
For the IA, we were divided into different groups. Tariq, Yusuke, Sarah, Ji Woo and Carrie. Overall there were two days of hiking. Unfortunately, my group got lost the first day but we realised our mistake and ended up finding the right path. The navigation part didn’t go so well on our first day; however, everything went well the second day. The camping was the best part of the adventurous journey, putting up & down the tent was rather easy because I already knew how to do it and the cooking wasn’t hard either. Even though I had a short and cold night, camping was fun. In the first day of hiking, Yusuke started to walk a lot faster than the rest of the group at a time where we were all sick of walking which wasn’t very encouraging, so, he had to walk at the back of the group. The second day I wanted to go quickly but the rest of the group (apart from Yusuke) were still tired from all the exhausting hiking that we had been through the day before. We also lost time because we had a problem with one of the tents because it wouldn’t fit in one bag so we had to split it up and put different parts in different bags. In terms of packing, I think I managed it well because everything I needed fitted into the bag but I also packed many things that I didn’t need and that were a waste of space.
Arsene Roule writing on behalf of the rest of his group: Ji woo Han, Sarah Li Jenkins, Tariq Usher, Yusuke Yoneya, Carrie Hsu
My group for the Adventurous Journey included Ali, Kamo, Cherry, Nian Er and Pushti. For navigation, we switched around and helped each so that not only one person would be doing navigation all the time. In terms of which way we decide to go we often decided it together. However there were times where we walked too far, for example, and had to walk back. From that we reminded ourselves that we had to listen to all of our opinions about where to go and making sure to use the map and compass before taking decision for which way to walk. Once we arrived at the campsite, setting up the tents and taking them down the day after wasn’t so hard as we have done this before, though as it was raining we had to remember to put the peg for the outer layer of the tent further away so that we don’t risk getting wet at night. When our group started cooking, we had a slight problem with the gas but it was fixed soon. We then cooked macaroni & cheese for dinner and shared it amongst ourselves. After washing the pots and dishes at the stream, we all slept early as we had to get up early the next morning. I think the pace for our group was ok but we could’ve taken less breaks when walking uphill. Although uphill would be harder for some people and some may find it easier, we tried to make sure we were all walking and not have one person far ahead of the rest of the group. During the hike we learnt that the group as a whole needs to collaborate and encourage each other to persevere even when it may be hard. However, on the second day, when walking downhill, some people in the group walked quicker than others. If we were to do this hike again, I think we should all try to pace so that we wouldn’t be walking so spread-out on the trail. I think our group packed ok for the trip but we could’ve considered what may not be so important or bring lighter alternatives. For me, after the trip I thought that I had brought too many snacks and brought some things that we did not actually need (eg. mosquito repellent), and instead, should’ve brought warmer gloves for the cold weather. Having to compress the tent so that it was small enough to fit into the backpack was therefore more difficult as I had less space in my backpack. From the trip I learnt that we have to remember that this is a group activity and we need to collaborate and help each other throughout the expedition as we are a team.
Katrina Lo writing on behalf of the rest of her group: Nian Er Tan, Cherry Mei, Pushti Sehgal, Kamo Thage, Ali Wong