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Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award: Adventurous Journey

It has been two years since the last opportunity for any students to go out of school on a trip, so it was a welcome surprise when we were informed that trips were now being allowed by the Ministry of Education. Last week, the following 16 students went out and successfully completed their Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award ‘Adventurous Journey’.

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The students had already completed virtual journeys, but soon found out that the ‘real life’ journey was a much harder endeavour, with all the physical challenges that it had. Firstly, the students were required to carry everything they would need over the two or three days of their journeys. The students had to carry their tents, sleeping bags and mats, first aid kits, clothes and enough food to last the whole journey. Not only were they carrying all of these things, but they had to do so whilst hiking for a few hours each day through the desert.

The groups had to navigate their way between checkpoints with water stops, to their campsites each night and then aim for the end point on the last day. Our students were walking around and through the mangroves of Purple Island and Al Dhakira, up to 18km in one day.

 

The Year 12s and 11s walked from school on Day 1 of their journey, past the Al Khor community housing and around to Purple Island, where they spent their first night camping. Some of the students put up tents for the very first time, working out what to do with ease.

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The two groups had selected slightly different routes to take, with the Year 12s walking further, but taking the flatter route. The year 11s walked the more direct route, through the mangroves, but had a few more obstacles to overcome and a little tougher terrain.

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The Year 11s walking the shorter route had arrived at camp around 4:30pm with plenty of time to work out how to put up their tents, before getting on with making their dinner. The Year 12s made it to camp just as the sun was setting and swiftly put up their tents, having done this before on their Bronze journey two years ago.

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Day 2 of the journey for the Year 12s and 11s started with breakfast and saw the students head off on their second day of hiking, again choosing two different routes, with one group heading to the east of Al Dhakira and one group to the west.

The Thursday was also the beginning of the journey for the Year 9 and 10 group, who started near the Al Khor community housing, walking past Al Dhakira.

Having passed Al Dhakira, all of the groups had to walk the long way around the water and the mangroves, to arrive at the campsite for the evening. There were sore feet, a few blisters and some tired students when they arrived. When they got there, our students set up camp and got on with cooking their dinner. They really enjoyed the evening, including marshmallows at the campfire, chatting and playing cards to relax.

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The final day of the journey saw the students taking slightly different routes back around the mangroves towards Al Khor hospital to end their journeys. Although this was a shorter hike, it was no less challenging after the difficulties of the previous days and tiredness from camping.

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Well done to everyone who completed their Adventurous Journey! Everyone performed amazingly well on their journey. As always, our students did themselves, their families and the whole NAISAK community proud.

 

Mr. Coppenhall

Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Coordinator

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