A COVID-19 Redemption Tale

By Mrs Sue Hassall, Duke of Edinburgh Award Leader

22 students recently completed the Duke of Edinburgh Award's Adventurous Journey successfully in Namadgi National Park.

The journey, which spanned three days, was a chance for a combined group of students from Radford College and Burgmann Anglican School to take on new challenges, work together in small groups and learn valuable skills such as planning, cooking and navigation.

Karim Wood-Amin contemplates the descent from Darwa (Mt Tennent).

One of the key highlights of the journey was the responsibility the students had for making their own food. Working in small groups, they planned and cooked their own meals using portable camping stoves and organised and packed their gear and equipment. This was a great opportunity for the students to develop their teamwork and communication skills and to learn more about the importance of good nutrition and planning for outdoor activities.

Another major highlight of the journey was the off-track navigation the students undertook. Starting at Honeysuckle Tracking Station, they navigated their way to Booroomba Rocks, and finished at Castle Hill. Along the way, they had to use maps and compasses to stay on course and navigate through difficult terrain. This was a challenging experience but one that the students rose to with determination and perseverance.

Perhaps the most memorable part of the journey, however, was the climb up Darwa (Mount Tennent). The climb took place on a misty, wet day, which made the ascent even more challenging. Nevertheless, the students demonstrated great strength and resilience, and made it to the top of the mountain in good time. This was a true test of their physical abilities, but also of their cooperation and teamwork.

Despite the challenges, the journey was a lot of fun. Students enjoyed the chance to bond with one another around the campfire, cooking marshmallows and sharing stories. They also appreciated the opportunity to reflect on their learning each day through debriefs and discussions with their peers and instructors.

Cooking marshmallows on the campfire.

For many of the students, this journey was a COVID-19-redemption tale. Due to the pandemic, most of them were unable to attend the Year 9 or 10 Outdoor Education Camps. This journey was a chance for them to make up for lost time and to show what they could achieve.

In the end, the students finished the journey with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. They took on new challenges, learned valuable skills, and worked together as a team. They are now well prepared for their upcoming qualifying Adventurous Journey, which will take place during the Term 3 holidays.

Overall, the Duke of Edinburgh Award's three-day Adventurous Journey training was a great success. It challenged the students to push themselves to their limits and develop important skills and qualities such as resilience, teamwork and leadership. We are proud of all the students who took part and look forward to seeing them continue to grow and develop through future outdoor adventures.