Binna Burra, Mt Lamington National Park saw 20 self-sufficient students walk through it towards their first expedition for their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, 6 to 7 March 2021. The Award was launched at the College at the end of 2020 starting off strong with keen students eager to take on their Bronze Award and tackle the Adventurous Journey aspect with ease.
The Adventurous Journey is one of the five sections students must complete. This first journey brought the Duke of Ed students together from many senior year levels who now look forward to planning and participating in their Qualifying Journey later in the year.
On Saturday 6 to 8 March, 20 students including myself, arrived at the College ready for our first ever journey for the Duke of Edinburgh award. We had been practising our skills after school in the two weeks prior and were excited to action them.
Before departure we split our cooking equipment, tents and other necessities provided by the school, amongst each group and were ready to go by 9.30am. The bus trip was about an hour and there were beautiful views and a plethora of motorcycle clubs speeding by as we travelled up the mountain towards Lamington National Park in Binna Burra.
Our walk for the day, reached 15-kilometres and we travelled through both rainforest and rock scenery across the mountain. I started off leading the group, a position we rotated, learning many new navigational skills as we went.
We stopped at Numinbah Rock for lunch and were greeted by an amazing view, seeing a huge python - whose stomach was inflated to the size of a balloon from its lunch - along the way. Once we arrived back at camp, we set up our tents and got to work cooking the food we brought, using Trangias and fuel which for a lot of us was our first time using this equipment. This was when we formed most of our bonds with each other, helping to cook food and playing games like mafia to pass the time later that night.
The second day's walk was filled with big open caves such as Kweebani Cave which for me was a definite highlight as it was my first time seeing a cave so large and beautiful. Since this walk was much shorter, we spent the second portion of our day at a school park where we had our lunch and learnt first aid procedures and other important skills surrounding environment care, eccetera.
Overall, the trip was an incredible experience that I will remember forever, and it was an amazing opportunity for both forming friendships with students you don’t have class time with or who might not be in your grade and learning skills for the outdoors. I cannot wait for the qualifying trip in the coming months.
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