Bronze D of E Practice Expedition
On the weekend of May 29-30, Duke of Edinburgh Award students had the opportunity to do a practise expedition in the Lamington National Park, to prepare for their Bronze Qualifying Expedition. This adventure involved two lengthy hikes – Hike 1 was the 10km Box Forest Circuit and Hike 2 was 12.6kms Mt Bithongabel – while carrying their own pack of supplies for the two days and overnight campout. Mr Athol Henderson, our Duke of Edinburgh Leader, asked some of the students to complete a questionnaire about their experience.
What I enjoyed about the expedition? I enjoyed a variety of things during the expedition. The location was amazing with great views and created an overall awesome camping experience (especially since it was my first). I also loved that I got the chance to get closer to my friends, and even make new friends! I improved my relationship with them and got to know them more, also while being in a different environment, which was really nice.
What I found challenging? Throughout the walk, there were a few challenges along the way which made it hard to keep pushing through and continue. Luckily though, I had a great supportive group of people around me who gave me the courage to keep going and complete the goal for our practise expedition.
What I learned about myself? A lesson I learned was to stay strong and not give up even when things get hard, because you can definitely get through it and the results will be amazing. Another lesson was to double check the sleeping bag isn’t broken before you leave for the expedition!
What I would and would not pack for the Qualifying Expedition? Personally, I definitely overpacked clothes and didn’t need as many as I thought as it made my bag heavier than it should’ve been. I would probably bring band aids and another pair of socks because 3 pairs wasn’t enough. The amount of water and variety of food that I packed was good and helpful throughout the expedition.
What I enjoyed about the expedition? I enjoyed all of the expedition but some highlights include cooking my food, walking, chatting and eating with friends.
What I found challenging? I found the setting up and dismantling of the tent challenging as well as the cold.
What I learned about myself? I learned that I can really become a lot happier when I am walking.
What I would and would not pack for the Qualifying Expedition? I would pack gloves and other warm things. I would not pack anything but pancakes for breakfast though.
What I enjoyed about the expedition? I enjoyed being out in nature with my friends and experiencing something new! I really liked camping and that we were responsible for ourselves and our tents, food and equipment. It was a very fun and challenging expedition, but I’m very excited for our next one!
What I found challenging? I found the second day most challenging, since we had already done 10km and we found how far and hard that hike was, I was not ready for day 2. On the way to our Mt Bithongabel stopover, I found it very hard to continue, specifically because there were limited signs and everyone was so tired from the night before. However, once we made it to the stopover and had lunch, we were all freezing but very determined to get home. We rapidly hiked our way back, and I think knowing that we would be sitting in a bus for another 2 hours motivated us to keep going because we would have a big rest!
What I learned about myself? I learned that I am determined and once I put my mind to something, I can achieve it. I also learned how to cook food on a gas cooker which was fun! Overall, it was a very motivating and demanding environment, and I think it inspired me to challenge myself more, especially to continue doing Duke of Ed, and possibly do Kokoda in the future!
What I would and would not pack for the Qualifying Expedition? I would pack a much better bed and sleeping bag, because I was so uncomfortable and cold at night, which made me very tired for our longest hike on Day 2. I think I packed the right amount of food, but next time I would definitely bring more fruits and also hot chocolate for night times!
Image credit: <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/photos/travel’>Travel photo created by jcomp – www.freepik.com</a>