12 Oct, 2018
10 : 00
The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award (IA) is a Co-Curricular Activity offered to YCIS Secondary students. The programme ensures the development of students in three key areas: Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS).
On the morning of Friday, September 21, a group of Year 11 and 12 students from YCIS Pudong set off for Hangzhou for their Adventurous Journey weekend excursion as part of the Duke of Edinburgh's Silver Award. Upon arrival, the students attended a briefing with their guides from Keystone Adventures. After distributing equipment – including stoves, gas, and tents – the students were ready to depart.
The city of Hangzhou boasts some spectacular scenery, and the group took advantage of the hiking trails within the city limits. The terrain varied substantially, and, after an early creek crossing, the concrete steps at the start of the trip soon gave way to more testing dirt tracks. The group hiked out of the heavily-wooded section of the trail and then walked through tea plantations. Despite darkness falling, they persevered on, with the light of their head torches guiding the way to the Wuyun Temple. The students pitched their tents, cooked dinner for themselves, cleared any pesky moths out of their tents, and finally climbed into their sleeping bags for a well-deserved rest.
The campers rose early the next morning for a long day of hiking, aiming to make it to the next campsite before the heavy rains forecasted in the early evening. Unfortunately, the predictions were wrong, and the skies opened in the morning, so the students were able to test out just how waterproof their hiking gear was!
The second day was also when the students developed their navigation skills. Decisions were made on different paths to take, and although not all of the groups travelled on their planned routes, they all ended up at the beautiful clear-water pools of Bailongtan Forest Park. Once again, the students set up camp, cooked dinner, and prepared for their final day of the trip.
The weekend of hiking and camping had taken its toll on the students, and they had to dig deep to finish the journey. The final day included incredibly steep hills and multiple creek crossings, but nothing could stop the students from completing this extremely challenging Adventurous Journey, with everyone arriving before the scheduled time. After a quick debrief with the guides, the students settled onto the bus for a peaceful journey back to Shanghai.
Resilience, courage, and determination were all on display over the weekend, and the group proved themselves to be very worthy Duke of Edinburgh's Silver Award candidates.
Article contributed by Ms Tracey Cooney, Physical Education Teacher, YCIS Pudong Secondary.