The Duke of Edinburgh's Award has three levels (Bronze, Silver & Gold). Participants in the Award Program work towards four sections - Service, Physical Recreation, Skills and Adventurous Journey (the Gold Award also includes a Residential Project). Students in year 9 - 12 can participate in this program and may join at any stage (Please see School Box for more details)
. This term has seen some of our students working towards their Bronze or Silver Awards complete hikes as part of the Adventurous Journey section. Please read on to see some photos and descriptions of these hikes.
The students working towards their Bronze Award completed a hike in the Lake Manchester area and one in Lamington National Park. They were able to learn from their experiences during the first hike and make adjustments to what they carried for the second hike. During the first hike students worked in small groups learning to navigate, adjust their packs and set up camp. Not long after we had set up camp, we had some rain which added to the challenge of cooking the evening meal on stoves. Soon we had enjoyed our meals and were able to relax around the campfire as well as play some spotlight. The hike on the second day included a long uphill to test perseverance and everyone was able to successfully navigate to the pick-up point. The hike at Lamington National Park included the border track and each group chose which walk they would complete on the second day. To complete the border track (O'Reilly's to Binna Burra) with packs is quite an achievement. We were unfortunately unable to fully enjoy the views from the lookouts but were treated with the eerie feeling of walking in the clouds for most of the day. The second day included opportunity to enjoy some good views as well as walk through some different landscapes.
The students working towards their Silver Award completed two hikes in D'Aguilar National Park. They accepted the challenge of planning and packing for two 3 day hikes. It was great to see them remember so much of the navigation learnt during their Bronze hikes and apply many of their camping skills to a longer trip. There were lots of hills (up and down!) and plenty of decisions to be made during the two hikes. The groups worked well together and were able to successfully navigate off-track to find little used campsites and enjoy time together in the great outdoors. As these students complete the other sections of their Awards and contemplate starting their Gold Awards it will be great for them to remember that 'it's more about the group than the destination'.