On Thursday 15th November, our DofE Silver students set off on their Adventurous Journey (AJ) to Yen Bai. For many, this is the next progression on from their Bronze Awards but consists of an extra night camping and an extra day of activity.
The students, in their teams, were tasked with building a raft that could sustain them for near 2 hours of rafting. After learning how to make knots and looking at several designs, all students eagerly began to build their rafts. All the rafts followed a similar design but some were better built than others with some rafts losing a jerry can before their departure. Nevertheless, all students powered through the rafting successfully and began their small hike to their campsite overlooking the beautiful Yen Bai lake. That evening, students tested their culinary skills as they prepared their first cooked meal together and we all sat down next to the fire before we finally went to bed in preparation for the next day’s walk.
A 0630 start on the Saturday was the beginning of 7 hours of hiking through the Vietnamese countryside. The students, all who were carrying between 7kg-10kg of weight in their bags, soon lost their early excitement with more tired faces appearing throughout the day. However, all students were reawakened once we arrived at the campsite and the lovely hidden plunge pool and waterfall. We all had a dip in the water and felt fully revitalised (and some students took the opportunity to wash their hair).
Our last day was definitely the hottest and most difficult of all three days (not to mention the 0530 wake up). There were several more tricky navigational points to be made and as a result, a couple of groups went alternative routes which only added to their already exhausting day. However, there was great teamwork displayed amongst the students as all encouraged each other over the finish line and shared the burden of carrying extra resources if needed.
I am hugely proud of all students that completed this expedition as it showed their determination and grit to power through even though they were running on very little energy by the end of the trek. Congrats to all and I look forward to their assessed expedition in January.