Duke of Edinburgh International Award – Adventurous Journey – Moganshan May 2017

Introduction

16 pupils from IG1 have been involved in the world famous Duke of Edinburgh International Award at SUIS Pudong this year.  The students have taken part in a year long program to develop various personal qualities within themselves along with developing skills, participating in physical activities and voluntarily providing services to others.

On the 19th May, participating students left SUIS Pudong campus to complete their Adventurous Journey, the culminating part of the Award. This journey involved a hiking and camping trip to the Moganshan Hills where they spent 3 days and 2 nights exploring the hills, overcoming personal challenges and working together.  The students were tasked with the vast majority of the planning and actioning of the trip themselves. Below are a series of exerts from student reports on their experiences.

Students Reflections

 

“Living in a labyrinth of bamboo

Maybe some moment I must leave you too

If we never sleep, this nightmare will never end

Though we may feel broken and defeated

In the end we all succeeded

So take my hand

And never be afraid again

We thought we were immortals

But when we had nothing left

We trusted each other to have our back”

A section of reflective poem by David Pan

“Soon we learned that discussing and consulting with each other would be crucial to our success. Every time I was uncertain about which path to take, I asked one of my teammates what they thought. We made sure none of us were falling behind. We switched backpacks a couple of times. Many times, we almost got lost in the bamboo and Ann or Mr. Dan had to not-so-subtly guide us onto the right path. Reading a map and  actually using a compass to figure out our position was a completely new experience for me, and I improvised a lot on the way. We did make some breakthroughs, though. At one point, the main road on the map curved a long way to the right, forcing us to walk a lot of extra kilometers. We wanted to find a shortcut but weren’t sure if it was possible. None of us were willing to waste time. We wanted to rest for lunch as soon as possible, and the place where we had decided to eat lunch was not so far away if we could take a shortcut. We pressed on stubbornly through farmland and bamboo, taking paths that were not marked on the map. Somehow, with our leader Susannah at the lead, we managed to come out onto the main road. Even Ann was impressed- we were the first group ever to discover the shortcut. This decision probably saved us from walking an extra five kilometers. We felt exhausted but pretty optimistic. We stopped for lunch on a bridge. The water was clear, and there was even a place where we could fill our water bottles. We shared out snicker bars, apple slices, and crackers, and enjoyed the scenery. At the next bridge higher upstream, we pulled out our garbage bags and picked up plastic bottles, wrappers, cigarette butts, and all kinds of garbage left behind by tourists. A group of tourists were kind enough to take the garbage bags down the mountain for us. “

by Rina Mitsutsuki

The most important thing I learned was persistence because you won’t give up, and if you give up, you are basically dead. Also how to use a bearing equipment and light up a fire. In addition, this was a wonderful experience and it taught me never give up in the mountain with persistence.

by Henry Zhang

Overall, I enjoy the trip in Moganshan because it let me gain  experience, it made me find out great qualities from my classmates and teachers, and it made me finished one of the greatest challenge I had.

by Michael Huang

And so we started walking again, the hills got steeper and steeper. At some point they were so steep we had to hold on to the bamboos in order to keep going. What made me completely lose my mind was when we got lost. But everyone seemed very patient. Just as we were trying to find our way it started raining really hard all of a sudden, we all changed into our rain resistant jackets really fast but we still got wet as they weren’t very effective. The ground started getting really muddy and hard to walk on, but we had no choice, we had to go back down. Grabbing onto bamboos didn’t seem to work anymore as well, our pants were covered with mud and we all fell several times. At this point the sense of danger had started taking over the feeling of exhaustion.

by Cathy Zhang