Student Report One
This year, we left for IA on Thursday 29 October 2015 and after experiencing the first rainy day in Shanghai in a few weeks, we left for Hongqiao Train Station to travel to Ningbo. In Ningbo, we spent the first night in a hotel, where we were also allowed to leave some of our “over packed” things, as a sort of “second chance”. This did help many of us as we at first didn’t realize how much we actually brought. The next morning, after repacking our bags and having breakfast, we left the hotel, to travel to our starting point of the hiking journey.
Our group consisted of 8 people – meaning we were the largest group there. We had 3 girls and 5 boys and got along – generally – very well. I think, as the group leader, that the things we did well included making decisions, motivating each other, working together and of course having fun. Things we didn’t do so well were sticking together on hikes (as obviously, there were people with different abilities in each group) and also teamwork when it came to cooking (this was due to not having planned very well who should bring what food, who should cook, etc.). However, we easily overcame these problems because firstly, even though we might have been travelling at different paces, we took rests at the same points in time and we never stayed out of each other’s sight. We even made a group “call” if we were to have gotten lost. Cooking problems we also easily overcame as even though it took longer periods of time for everyone to cook separately, in the end, we all shared our food amongst each other anyway, so ultimately no one starved. Things we also did well were cleaning – which we made a fantastic effort with on the second campsite, where other groups left their rubbish on the ground and we picked it up for them.
As for map skills, we all learned how to use a map effectively during the Silver award. This was because we had to plan out our route on the second day, and therefore make sure we always followed the trail, by checking constantly where north was and keeping our compass ready. We also learned how to accurately measure distance (using the rope of the compass) to trace along curves in a route, etc. We also approximated the length of additional time it would take to travel up in altitude or down in altitude, as it makes a difference to walking speed.
As it rained most of the trip, we also were forced to learn how to be able to pack up tents quickly and effectively, so that we were still able to use them on a second night without being soaked from the first night.
Overall, our group enjoyed the Silver trip a lot – we had amazing staff guiding us and our group spirit was always positive. We laughed a lot and learned a lot along the way too.
Vivian Graf 11B
Student Report Two
On this year’s Silver IA trip, we certainly challenged ourselves. After leaving Shanghai on the 29 October and arriving at Ningbo for a night in the hotel, we began hiking the next day, at around 9am. We were given a map and compass to navigate ourselves around the mountains. It was the shortest hike of our trip and we could say that it was just a warm up, as the other days were a lot more tiring.
However, on the hike we were tested by lots of different things – uphill terrain, rainy weather and multiple pathways. We established that a very difficult part, was keeping up the pace to everyone’s liking, not going to slow or too fast.
We arrived at our campsite nice and early to relax before setting up tents and cooking dinner. This campsite was near a small village and even had a ‘toilet’. My group cooked pasta; others also made pasta, rice and sandwiches. Because of the rain we couldn’t build a campfire but that didn’t stop us from the camping tradition of roasting marshmallows – which we did with our gas and stove. The next morning, we packed all our belongings and made sure we didn’t leave a trace of our presence. Then all our groups has to make a decision of which route to take by using the map to calculate the distance and time required for each, including elevation.
My group chose the longer path to see more scenic views and it was a prefect day to hike – no blinding sun and no rain. The first part of the hike was really easy compared to the next. It was constantly downhill, we had our lunch by a pretty waterfall. Then, we had to hike all the distance back up at a steep elevation, which admittedly tired us all out. The feeling of success that rushed through us after, made it all worth the while. It was almost dark when we reached the campsite on the rice fields, so we quickly set up and cooked before going to sleep.
The last part of the hike was along the road winding up a mountain to a stone village. Here the bus picked us up and we drove back to Ningbo. Afterwards we said bye to the Indier staff and headed to the train station.
Personally, the biggest learning point of the trip was to keep motivated. This was very important to ensure we challenged ourselves. Also, along with setting up tents quickly and locating ourselves on the map, we cooked in the dark for the first time. Overall, it was a really great experience and its safe to say we all had lots of fun!
Anna Loasby 11S
Student Report Three
On October 29, we left for our adventurous journey in Ningbo, China. The 4 days we spent there were intense and hard but very educational. Once we arrived at the hotel on Thursday, we learnt some useful packing tips on how to efficiently pack our bags and create more space for our belongings. On Friday, once we met our fantastic guides, we headed off into the mountains; using our map skills we made our way to the first campsite. We got lost a couple times, but in the end we made it, soaked from the rain that lasted all day. We used our cooking skills to prepare a healthy nutritious meal that prepared us for the next day. My group cooked spaghetti, with tomato sauce, carrots and broccoli. My group planned well each meal on the trip, making it very easy for us to cook. That was definitely something we did well at – cooking. On the second day we got to choose which route we would take. My group (4) decided to go with the tough – but very scenic route. It was beautiful. The first half of the route was very difficult as it was very uphill. We were all relived once we got to the half waypoint; from then on it was a steady flat hike. Overall the distance we covered was 33km. It rained throughout the second night, and was still raining in the morning. We all had an early start so we packed up our tents and belongings quickly and we set off for the last short hike – back to the hotel. We were all glad to get back home to Shanghai. IA Silver was fantastic; I learnt lots of map skills, for example estimating how long it would take to get to a certain place, and also about contour lines.
Furthermore I learnt useful packing tips, for instance only bringing completely necessary items and where to place certain items in my hiking bag. IA Silver was a complete success and I wish to say thanks to all the teachers and guides in Ningbo as I’m now very excited about doing Gold!
Isabel Johnson, 11B