Braving the Cold for the Duke Of Edinburgh Award

  • High School
Braving the Cold for the Duke Of Edinburgh Award
Shantelle Kotowich

50 students from Grades 9, 10, and 11 completed the Duke of Edinburgh International Award Practice Journey to Hakone over the last two weekends. For most of them it was their first time hiking and camping, and they did an excellent job, braving the cold by roasting marshmallows. This practice journey counts towards their Bronze Award and will help prepare them for the Qualifying Journey in February.

roasting marshmallows

The students shared the following comments about their Practice Journey:

"Through the trip, I enjoyed sitting by the campfire with all teams eating marshmallows together, and being able to have relative independence, with a sense of safety with the teachers, should anything go wrong.”

"I was able to enjoy the camping and do a lot of new things at the campsite without much trouble (such as cooking and setting up tents).”

"On the trail, we always walked at a pace that we were all comfortable with. We also took breaks when necessary even if all members did not need it. We were also responsible with bringing supplies for our dinner as a group.”

"When we arrived at the camp, we all helped each other set up our tents collaboratively. We also worked well together when we were cooking our meals, considering the large number of people we had. We helped each other make our meals and collaborated and communicated well in order to effectively cook and keep each other warm and satisfied.”

"The camping, food cooking, and tent posting went really well. We were able to help one another cook pasta and delegate times and roles (e.g. one person would have the lighter, another would boil water) and offer one another food or snacks if we felt hungry. Further, we helped each other with putting up the tents especially with the green tents, and the red tent teammates would quickly put up their tents, and help with the tent posts and placements.”



Blue skies

In regards to the upcoming trip in February:

  • "I am excited about the hike, since we will be walking on a new route.”
  • "I am excited about the camping part, since it was very fun camping with my friends throughout the journey.”
  • "I’m excited for the camping part of our journey (especially cooking dinner!!)”
  • "Finding out what I can do with limited help and resources”
  • "Eating marshmallows.”
  • "I am excited to challenge myself more on the qualifying journey trail. I am also excited to be more self sufficient and independent on this trip.”
  • "I am excited to camp again and learn, as well as experience new things (such as about cooking or effective survival/camping skills). I am also excited about collaborating and interacting with my group again in circumstances we are usually not put in because I think it helps bring us closer.”


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