|Duke of Edinburgh|
Our First Gold Level Expedition and increasing our numbers of Bronze Award Jungle Trekkers and Silver Year 10 Kayakers.
HIS has been running the International (Duke of Edinburgh) Award for nearly eight years now and we cover all levels of the Award from Bronze to Gold.
Harrow makes the International Award Expeditions Skills a compulsory part of Year 9 and all Year 9 students complete a training hike as part of the ‘Adventurous Journey’ component of the International Award Scheme. After this, Assessed and Training Journeys for Bronze up to Gold are run on a voluntary basis where students are free to decide when to complete more of the Award and gain certificates. These certificates are recognized by all prestigious universities around the world and over 70 countries have schools participating in this Award.
A detailed explanation of the award program can be obtained from the following link http://www.intaward.org/about-the-award/The-Programme/. In summary there are four sections:
One of these activities must be taken for another three months.
For Silver and Gold Certificates, the process is the same but with increasing commitments with regard to time from Years 10 (age 15) and 11 (age 16). The method of journeying for the Silver and Gold Expeditions / Adventurous Journeys may vary from hiking to kayaking to cycling.
The 2009-10 year of expeditions started out with a continuation of our Gold Adventurous Journey for twelve Year 12 and 13 students in what we believe to be the first ever descent of the Pasak River by kayak over two trips of four days from the Pasak Jolasid Dam via Saraburi to Ayutthaya. In October 2008, twelve students travelled by bus with our own kayaks to the Dam where we launched the kayaks. All twelve students covered the first 70 km showing great self reliance and resilience over the four days to Saraburi for their Gold Training Journey. Last October in 2009, we completed the journey by travelling by kayak from Saraburi to Ayutthaya for their Gold Assessment. All students successfully journeyed to Ayutthaya without assistance surviving mosquitoes, huge rice barges on the river and obstacles where the kayaks had to be carried. We hope to present several Gold Certificates to students this year. This October in 2010, we have completed another descent of the Pasak River with 22 students completing the journey towards their Gold Award.
For the Silver Asssessed Kayaking Expedition to Sam Roi Yot National Park in April 2010 20 students braved stormy weather over the three days with heavy downpours of rains and some strong winds. The tide was actually partly in for our first campsite which usually requires some serious dragging of the boats through thick mud up the shore which often covers at least 1 – 1.5 km. This does seem to be a major theme of the start of this journey where we have only occasionally been lucky with the tides so the students got off lightly this time. All students battled through the challenges of hot camping, towing their kit around the headland to Laem Sala beach and the long kayak back to Khao Daeng Boat Camp and those being assessed passed with honours.
We enjoyed using jungle trails at Khao Ito and the Wild Lodge near Nakhon Nayok for our recent Bronze Assessed hike in June 2010. The weather was blisteringly hot and most students passed a grueling two days of hiking.
Steve Beer – International