The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is an internationally recognised program for young people, building their skills to equip them for life and
work. By creating opportunities for young people to develop skills, get physically active, give service and experience adventure, the Award can play
a critical role in their development. To earn an Award, each young person must learn a skill, improve their physical well being, volunteer in their
community and experience a team adventure in a new environment.
On the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of November, 11 girls from year 9, accompanied by Mrs Uphill and Evie - an instructor from the Collaroy Centre, participated
in the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh hike from Berowra station to Cowan station. The hike consisted of 8km on the first day and 5.5km on the second. We
faced many trials and tribulations, testing our teamwork and endurance.
The first day was especially difficult as one of the girls fell ill and had to be picked up and taken home. We finally reached camp that evening, two hours
later than we had planned. Despite it not being as appealing as we expected, we still made use of what we had. There were no sanitary facilities or
places to fill up water so we had to save and salvage from what he had earlier on in the day. After being tangled in strings and pegs, we finally managed
to set up our tents. At this point, we were all exhausted from a long day in the scorching heat, but later discovered a small dirt track leading off
the main site to a cliff face. There we got to experience a magnificent sunset. Before we knew it, we had our 2-minute noodles and instant miso soups
cooking on the trangias. We finished off that night discussing what we had planned for the next day.
The following morning, we were woken up to the sound of cackling kookaburras. We enjoyed an early breakfast and set off to start the second day of hiking.
This part of the hike was predominantly downhill and was not as difficult as the previous day. In spite of sore legs, mosquito bites and heavy backpacks,
we surged on. We had found a spot towards the end of the journey where we stopped for a break. Here we were tested on our navigation skills while enjoying
a beautiful, elevated view. To our surprise, we all managed to successfully pass the examination. From here, we weren’t far from finishing, and knowing
this, we pushed ourselves as hard as we could to power on through the last leg of the hike. We finally arrived at Cowan station and were greeted with
the smiling faces of our parents. We were tired, sticky and sweaty, but the experience was well worth it!
By Bridget, Genevieve and Lucy